New gun laws go into effect in Washington state

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Mary’s Pistols in Tacoma said it’s been busier than ever with customers looking to stock up on high-capacity magazines before a new state law takes effect on Friday.

TACOMA, Wash. — New laws tightening gun restrictions in Washington state went into effect Friday. The new laws impact not only gun owners, but also gun shops.

As of July 1, the sale of ammunition magazines containing more than 10 rounds is prohibited in the state. The importation, manufacture and distribution of large-capacity magazines is also prohibited. Whereas Senate Bill 5078 prohibits the sale and distribution of large-capacity magazines, it does not prohibit the possession of such magazines.

A new law also came into force on July 1 ban untraceable firearmsbetter known as “ghost guns,” in the state. Ghost guns are homemade firearms built by purchasing individual or kit components and can be purchased online without background checks. Ghost guns do not have a serial number, which makes them untraceable during law enforcement investigations.

Mary’s guns in Tacoma was busier than ever as customers sought to stock up on high-capacity magazines before the new law took effect.

“We’ve been very busy, magazines at the door,” said store employee Rebecca Huckins.

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Huckins said the new magazine restrictions are tougher on small, local gun shops than on large retailers like Bass Pro Shop or Cabela’s.

“They get the best deals. They are the biggest box store,” Huckins said. “So it’s probably still difficult for them in itself, but what they have in stock they can just ship to another Cabela’s. So it’s really not a sweat on their backs. it’s us who are going to, you know, the small businesses, who are going to suffer from [this law].

Huckins said Mary’s Pistols nearly ran out of high-capacity magazines before the ban went into effect.

Second Amendment Rights Advocate William Kirk said he believes limiting the number of cartridges a person can carry only hurts legitimate gun owners and their ability to protect themselves.

“The state calls it a large capacity magazine ban and limits it to 10 rounds, but probably 90 percent of all semi-automatic handguns sold have standard capacity magazines that exceed 10 rounds,” Kirk explained. “In fact, 10-15 rounds is probably your most common load capacity for most modern handguns.”

“It’s sort of preventing people from being able to protect themselves,” Huckins said.

Kirk, who works with Washington Gun Law, expects the ban will eventually be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. He pointed to a similar law in California being challenged in the 9th Circuit Court and said it could have implications in Washington state.

However, Kirk said he agrees with the state’s new phantom gun ban law because 80 percent of all gun crimes are committed with illegal weapons.

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