State Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, released a statement Wednesday criticizing a firearm regulation bill, known as House Bill 1143, after it passed the state House by a vote of 52 to 44 on Tuesday.
“Although it was narrowed a bit by a last-minute revision, the bill remains a poorly conceived, unconstitutional mess,” Walsh said. “As we mentioned during the floor debate, it will almost certainly be overturned by the first federal court that reviews it. The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ‘Bruen’ decision practically guarantees this. The constitutionalists in the Washington State House tried to repair the bill’s worst defects with a series of carefully drafted amendments. The majority rejected all of those amendments.”
Walsh pointed to Article 1, Section 24 of the state constitution to criticize HB 1143, arguing the bill impairs protected constitutional rights by requiring training and tests before Washington residents can buy or sell firearms. The bill also requires the records of firearms sales be kept in a registry at the state Department of Licensing.
“These unconstitutional impairments won’t save a single child. They won’t improve our worsening crime rates. They won’t make our streets safer. This bill makes false promises to people who don’t know about guns and don’t care about gun rights. Those of us who care can see those false promises,” Walsh said.
HB 1143 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.