Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee signed a trio of bills meant to prevent gun violence on Tuesday – one banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles, one imposing a 10-day waiting period on firearms purchases, and one clearing the way for lawsuits against gun makers or sellers in certain cases.
A crowd of gun-control activists and Democratic lawmakers broke into cheers as he signed the measures, which he said would not solve all gun violence but would save lives.
“Just because they don’t solve all the problems does not mean the state of Washington does not take action,” Inslee said. “Inaction against gun violence is unacceptable.”
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, praised Washington state officials for passing the ban on selling specific semi-automatic weapons. President Joe Biden “commends the leadership of Washington Governor Jay Inslee and legislative leaders as well as the advocates, survivors and elected officials who fought for years to make today a reality”, she said.
The ban on some semi-automatic weapon sales drew a quick legal challenge from the Second Amendment Foundation, based in Bellevue, Washington; and the Firearms Policy Coalition, based in Sacramento, California. The groups sued in US district court in Tacoma on Tuesday, saying the law violates the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“The state of Washington has criminalized one of the most common and important means by which its citizens can exercise their fundamental right to self-defense,” the plaintiffs said.