Wagoner says bill will infringe on Second Amendment rights

Lawmaker says bill targets everyday hunting rifles used by law-abiding citizens

OLYMPIA…As an advocate of protecting Second Amendment rights, Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, has come out strongly against Senate Bill 6620. He pointed to how the title of the proposal hides the fact that it would ban young adults from purchasing certain firearms based simply on age.

“Changes to the bill make it even worse and more far-reaching than the original bill,” said Wagoner, who serves on the committee and voted against moving SB 6620 forward.

“Instead of a limited category of semi-automatic weapons, the bill now targets all semi-automatic rifles.  These are normal everyday hunting and target shooting rifles that millions of law-abiding citizens own and use in a responsible manner.”

The bill proposes a ban on the sale of any semi-automatic rifle to a person under 21, and expanded background checks for all sales of those weapons to those 21 and older. Semi-automatic shotguns are not covered in the bill. Minors are already prohibited from purchasing handguns.

Since the first acknowledged civilian mass shooting in 1966, there have been about 153 mass shootings nationwide. Within the group of perpetrators involved, Wagoner said, only 12 would have been affected by the gun-purchase ban in the Democrat bill.  Out of that dozen, nine had known psychiatric issues that could have been addressed under a state mental-health law.

“To put this bill in perspective, it would infringe on the rights of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Washington citizens because of a description that fits only three mass shooters nationwide in the past 52 years,” Wagoner explained.

Wagoner added that the bill also includes young women in the gun-purchase ban for no apparent reason.

“Only three of the perpetrators of mass shootings in our country were women, and none of them would have qualified for the ban my Democrat colleagues want,” he said. “Why promote gender inequality and infringe on the Second Amendment rights of young women who, according to the historical data, are not inclined to be behind such heinous crimes?

“I am not conceding that young men should have their constitutional rights taken any more than young women, just pointing out that people should be aware of the uneven application and consequences of this bad legislation.”

Wagoner noted that the bill, introduced Feb. 23, was referred to the budget committee instead of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, which traditionally considers policy proposals concerning firearms.