Washington CeaseFire and Ceasefire Oregon said a survey shows support to ban the high-powered weapons in both West Coast states.
Northwest advocacy groups and politicians Wednesday renewed a call for gun-control legislation, saying they wanted to create a “West Coast Wall” against high-powered weapon sales.
Washington CeaseFire and its sister organization, Ceasefire Oregon, pointed to a recent survey they conducted of 310 residents in the two states that showed 65 percent favored a ban on assault weapons while 63 percent supported a 10-bullet limit on ammunition clips.
“This is an American scar that keeps lingering,” he said.
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Fascitelli said he hopes legislators will use Connecticut’s ban on assault weapons as a guide, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to hear an appeal challenging the law.
The event also brought out Washington state Sen. David Frockt and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
Frockt, a Seattle Democrat, said it was held mainly to show growing public support in both states for a call to action and said he doesn’t have any doubt there will be legislation introduced in January.
“We must build political support, we must build a movement to prohibit the sale of assault weapons in this state, period,” Frockt said.
The advocacy groups recommend nationalized background checks for firearm sales, safer storage, standardized training and prevention of ownership for 10 years to those with multiple criminal offenses.
Ceasefire Oregon also supports recommendations to require anti-theft measures in stores and to limit gun purchases to once a month.
Fascitelli said he hopes Oregon and Washington will join California, whose governor recently signed legislation that further limits assault-weapon sales. He also hopes that if a “West Coast Wall” happens, it will serve as a national example.
“If we can’t do it nationally, we’re hoping to do it regionally and inspire the nation in so doing,” Fascitelli said.
The Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms released a statement after the event that said the call to ban assault rifles “plays on public fear.”
“This proposal is about flash rather than substance, and these organizations know it,” said Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “They’re after trophy legislation, not any meaningful measure to stop criminals or terrorists. It’s a bad idea, penalizing the wrong people, while attempting to create and then exploit public fear.”