Breaking News
More () »

Here's why some Spokane lawmakers support WA's 'assault weapons' ban

House Bill 1240 bans the sale and manufacture of any assault weapon in the state.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The bill to ban guns defined as "assault weapons" in Washington state continues making progress in the legislature. Now, some lawmakers representing Spokane share why they support this proposed policy.

House Bill 1240 bans the sale and manufacture of any assault weapon in the state. 

This week, the bill passed out of a Senate committee and already passed the House, which makes this the farthest a bill like this has ever gone.

Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) was among the House majority that voted in favor of the bill. He calls the assault weapons ban a public health issue, and believes his vote matches the wishes of his Spokane constituents.

"I think too many people are dying by gun violence, and particularly young people in school settings," Riccelli said. "This is something that will help us hopefully move past some of these horrific tragedies that are happening throughout our country and in our own state."

Some argue the ban only impacts law abiding gun owners. But, Riccelli disagrees. 

"We need to curb gun violence; we need to curb mass shootings, and I don't think this gets in the way of folks who are looking to protect themselves who are looking to hunt," Riccelli said. "If you're a law-abiding citizen, I think that all those rights that are afforded in the Constitution are respected."

State Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) sits on the Senate Law & Justice Committee that passed the bill this week. He doesn't support the ban because he believes the guns themselves aren't the issue.

"If it could stop some of the violence that is caused by people who use guns, not by the guns themselves, I would support it," Padden said. "But, I don't believe it will help do that. In fact, I think it punishes law abiding gun owners."

Senate Majority leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) has not said outright if he supports the bill. But earlier this month, he told the media there is wide support for this ban by Washington residents and expects it will pass.

"There has been a dramatic shift in the public, and I think there's been a shift in the legislature that I think you saw that with the strong vote out of the House," Billig said. 

House Bill 1240 is headed to the Senate floor for a vote, barring any new amendments. The cut off for Senate to pass the bill is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12.

KREM ON SOCIAL MEDIA:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube



ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KREM in the Channel Store.

Fire TV: search for "KREM" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.

To report a typo or grammatical error, please email webspokane@krem.com

Before You Leave, Check This Out