Sales of high-capacity magazines brisk as bill banning them heads to Governor’s desk

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Business is brisk at this local gun shop, three days after a historic vote banning the sale of high-capacity magazines in our state.

The legislation cleared the Washington State Senate last Friday and is now headed to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk.

The bill bans all gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, making Washington State the 10th state to do so.

There is now a big demand for these magazines. A lot of people appear to be stocking up on them.

That has people here saying law-abiding gun owners are once again being penalized for the actions of criminals.

“These are all going to be banned,” said Tiffany Teasdale. “It’s a lot of our inventory.”

These are the waning days for Lynnwood Gun and Ammunition.

Teasdale and her business partner are closing shop after eight years. She says it is a coincidence that the Washington state legislature has voted to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines, just as she’s shutting down her business.

The vote is already impacting her store.

“People who don’t even buy guns are coming in and buying magazines just because they might buy a gun someday,” said Teasdale.

“Yeah, I think there’ll be a short-term impact where people go out and buy the ones that you can legally access,” said Sen. Marko Liias, the 21st District Democrat who sponsored the legislation.

He says his goal is to prevent mass shootings like what happened in his district in Mukilteo in 2016.

A 2015 Kamiak High School graduate killed three fellow graduates, including an ex-girlfriend, seemingly on impulse.

“And so, taking these products off the shelf means that folks who are disturbed like he was won’t be able to access that when they get into that, into that dark place,” said Liias.

Senate Bill 5078 will prevent anyone in this state from manufacturing, distributing, possessing, buying or selling high-capacity magazines — anything that holds more than 10 rounds.

Senator Liias says he believes the bill will save innocent lives.

“We know in states where they have passed a law like this, they see lower levels of mass shooting violence,” he said. “And that’s my goal.”

“They’re saying that this magazine is going to promote public safety,” said Tiffany Teasdale, holding a high-capacity magazine.

She says the bill will mostly penalize law-abiding gun owners.

“Just because they are banned for law-abiding citizens,” says Teasdale, “doesn’t mean criminals aren’t going to have them.”

She says a better deterrent is to adequately fund the police and prosecute the criminals they catch.

Senator Liias says if the governor signs the bill, it could become law in mid-June.