OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gun rights advocates took to the steps of the state Capitol today. They're lobbying legislators for change after they suffered a big loss in November. More than 60% of Washington voters approved Initiative 1639 in November. It raises the age to buy a semi-automatic rifle, requires enhanced background checks and makes it possible to charge gun owners with a crime if their weapon is stolen and they don't report it.
Ben Garrison, from Puyallup, stood on the Capitol steps with an MP5 pistol across his chest and a Glock 19 pistol on his hip.
“What are you doing here with a weapon across your chest? Just here to support my Second Amendment rights, and I'll use them while I can. It's perfectly legal, and while I can still legally do this, I intend to do it,” he said.
Rodona Devereaux spoke to the crowd about preserving the Second Amendment right to bear arms. She came from Kennewick.
“With the way our society in this country is going, we're losing all of our individual freedoms very, very slowly,” she said.
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Asked why she chooses to own a gun, she responded, “Because when I was 18 years old I was raped, violently raped at knifepoint, and that will never happen again.”
Speaking before lawmakers on Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee promised more gun safety laws.
“We're the state that stands up for commonsense gun safety reforms,” he said.
Gun safety advocates cheered a proposal to ban high-capacity magazines, limiting the number of rounds per magazine to 10.
But Garrison says that's far less than the 30 rounds his MP5 carries or the 15 rounds in his Glock.
“I'm not asking for fully automatic belt-fed machine guns, you know what I mean? I just want to carry my Glock. That's all.”
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