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What You Should Know about Washington’s New Gun Control Laws
Posted in Personal Injury on April 15, 2023
To reduce the risk of gun violence and firearm-related accidents, Washington state has recently enacted three new gun control laws designed to limit high-capacity magazines, ghost guns, and open carry in certain areas. If you own a gun in Washington, it is important to be aware of these laws to avoid hefty legal consequences.
Senate Bill 5078
The first law, Senate Bill 5078, prohibits the sale, distribution, manufacturing, or import of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The law went into effect on July 1, 2022, and only applies to new purchases, imports, or manufacturing of high-capacity magazines. Gun owners who already own high-capacity magazines do not need to take any action to comply with Senate Bill 5078.
The only exemption in this law is that licensed firearm dealers can sell these magazines to military branches and law enforcement agencies. Similar regulations on magazines are in place in nine other states across the United States, as well as in the District of Columbia.
If someone is found to have violated Senate Bill 5078, he or she can face severe penalties. Violations of the high-capacity magazine law could result in gross misdemeanor charges, which could result in a sentence of up to 364 days in jail and fines of up to $5,000.
House Bill 1630
The second law, House Bill 1630, enacts restrictions on where gun owners are allowed to openly carry firearms. Openly carried firearms are not allowed in any local government facilities or locations where local government meetings take place. They are also not allowed in any school board meetings or other election-related buildings.
House Bill 1630 went into effect on June 9th, 2022. Violations of this law could result in the revocation of concealed carry licenses for three years. Those who are federal, state, or local law enforcement officials are exempt from these restrictions.
House Bill 1705
The third law, House Bill 1705, prohibits the manufacturing, purchasing, or selling of ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms without a serial number. These guns are generally bought in pieces online and then assembled at home. Gun enthusiasts who make guns as a hobby can still do so but need to use parts that have serial numbers.
House Bill 1705 went into effect on July 1st, 2022. If someone is found to own a firearm without a serial number, he or she can face severe penalties. This crime can result in fines of up to $500 for a first offense and misdemeanor charges for a second offense, which carry heftier penalties.
Injured by a Negligent Gun Owner? Contact an Attorney
Washington’s new gun control laws represent a significant step towards improving public safety and reducing gun violence. While many gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens, not everyone handles their firearms with care. If you or a loved one are injured by a negligent gun owner, you have the right to pursue legal action against him or her.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for a personal injury lawsuit against the person who harmed you. In these situations, it is crucial to consult with a Washington personal injury lawyer about your legal options. As soon as possible following the incident, contact an attorney to discuss your case and plan your next steps.