Walsh Criticizes Gun Bills as Unconstitutional Ahead of Committee Hearing


State Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, released a statement regarding four proposed gun regulation bills on Friday. 

The bills — HB 1143, HB 1144, HB 1178 and HB 1240 — are expected to receive a hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 17 in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee where Walsh serves as the top Republican. 

In his statement, Walsh called the bills a waste of time and energy, arguing they violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. 

“The Bruen decision held that the fashionable 'two-step' justification for anti-gun laws is 'one step too many' and not valid. Gun-control activists, like the current state attorney general, have relied on that two-step logic to defend their positions. They can't do that any longer,” Walsh said. “The takeaway here is that the governor, state attorney general, and their supporters in the Legislature know these proposals are unconstitutional and will be rejected by the federal courts. So, why are they wasting taxpayer money on futile exercises?”

According to Walsh, the bills seek to enact several unconstitutional policies, including a ban on assault weapons, a term he argues has “no technical meaning,” a requirement for new permits to buy or sell a firearm and the creation of a pre-emption system that he argues places local ordinances above state law. 

"These attacks on foundational rights to self-defense are about more than just guns. They are an attack on all foundational, constitutional rights, including your right to free speech, privacy, property, travel, employment, conscience and religion. Your right to self-defense protects all of those other rights. As the Declaration of Independence says, undermining these rights is 'formidable to tyrants only,’” Walsh said. "Anyone in this state who is concerned about protecting their rights to self-defense, especially in these times of rising crime encouraged by bad policy, needs to take action and oppose these bills. By doing so, you are defending the rights of all Washingtonians."