An explosive proposal | Seattle freeze | Dec. 28, 2022-Jan. 3, 2023
An explosive proposition
Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson want the Legislature to consider two new gun control measures in the upcoming legislative session, one that would ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and another that would make manufacturers and arms dealers to face legal responsibility. if they fail to establish and enforce “reasonable controls” around the production and sale of weapons.
The first would represent the second time the executive branch has called on the legislature to ban the sale — but not the possession — of assault weapons. The second legislation would allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers and gun dealers that were barred, in some cases, at the federal level by the Lawful Trafficking in Arms Protection Act. However, Congress made room in that law to allow states to pass legislation allowing such suits.
In a statement, Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) called the proposals “a waste of taxpayers’ time and money” and said that, if passed, the courts would strike them down. He reasoned that the laws could not stand up to the US Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which required a license to carry a concealed weapon in public.
Washington State has successfully passed gun control legislation in recent years. Voters approved Initiative 1639 in November 2018, which prohibited anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a semi-automatic assault rifle and made it illegal to sell such a weapon to anyone under that age.
Lawmakers also banned the sale or manufacture of handgun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The Attorney General’s Office recently ordered a Lakewood gun dealer to pay a $15,000 fine after selling an oversized magazine to investigators from the Attorney General’s Office.
Temperatures in Seattle dropped to lows on the evening of December 21, with a wind chill factor of 5 degrees measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle also identified a chance for freezing rain on December 23 and 24.
In response, the King County Regional Homeless Authority (KCRHA) opened a shelter at Seattle City Hall from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. until at least December 24. The shelter provided an additional 70 beds in the overall severe weather response initiated by KCRHA. Severe weather protocols have been implemented four times so far in 2022.
Severe weather has become more common in the area due to climate change, KCRHA wrote in an email, and while additional shelter space is necessary, it does not solve the underlying problem that puts so many people at risk of extreme temperatures.
“We hope this serves as a reminder to all of our neighbors that housing is a basic human need and everyone deserves a safe place to live,” the announcement said.
Read more from Dec. 28, 2022-Jan. Number 3, 2023.