Own a Gun in Yakima? State Gets Graded on Gun Laws
In 2021, a number of state legislatures took the threat of gun related crimes seriously and passed 75 new laws in 27 states and Washington DC. In the latest edition of the Annual Gun Law Scorecard, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence graded and ranked each state on the strength of its gun laws. Washington State received a B for its gun safety laws.
More than 800 people died in the state in 2020
A press release from Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says in 2020, the last year for which data is available, 864 people died from firearm injuries in Washington, representing a 2% increase in the state over the previous year.
"The increase in deaths was primarily driven by increases in fatal shootings, which comprised 24% of all deaths in the state in 2020.
From 2019 to 2020, the homicide rate involving guns rose 27%."
Giffords Law Center says the state has more work to do
In 2021, Washington banned the open carry of a weapon within 250 feet of a protest. Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says In order to improve its grade, "Washington should strengthen its firearm relinquishment law, close gaps in assault weapon and minimum age laws, prohibit the sale of large-capacity magazines, and invest in community violence intervention programs."
A move to limit the capacity of magazines is now being debated in the state
The move to prevent the sale of large capacity magazines is already underway in Washington. Senate Bill 5078 prohibits the sale, attempted sale and distribution of high-capacity magazines. It does not prohibit the possession of high-capacity magazines. The bill now is now being considered by House lawmakers. The House version of the bill, HB 1164, is sponsored by Rep. Javier Valdez, a Democrat from Seattle.
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