Washington State Considers Ban on Prohibited Possessors of Guns from Making Guns

Washington State Capitol Building
Washington State Considers Ban on Prohibited Possessors of Guns from Making Guns

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- -In December of 2018, the Attorney General of Washington State, Bob Ferguson, a far-left Democrat, proposed strong prohibitions on the manufacture of 3-D printed guns.

From mynorthwest.com:

“This is common sense,” he told KIRO Radio.”Ghost guns are a real threat — because they’re made out of plastic, they can go through security at your Seahawks game or at your airport.”

The proposed legislation would not only ban the production and distribution of ghost guns, but also the dissemination of written instructions on how to print one yourself at home, be it on a website or via email.

It would also increase the criminal penalty for using a ghost gun in a felony.

This would only apply to guns that “cannot be reliably detected by a metal detector,” and would not extend to legal, detectable firearms.

Undetectable firearms are already prohibited by federal law. But ignorance of the law appears to be a sufficient excuse if you are a politician. Moreover, such firearms as might be “undetectable” use pins, screws, springs, and ammunition which is detectable.

Perhaps AG Ferguson happened to read the part of the First Amendment about freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Forbidding dissemination of instructions on how to print a gun with a 3-D printer would likely fall under the protections of the First Amendment. Perhaps wiser heads in the Washington legislature prevailed.

On 4 March 2019, a much-modified bill was passed in the Washington State House, 55-41, with two excused.

The measure is considerably restrained and reworded from what Attorney General Bob Ferguson proposed earlier.  From leg.wa.gov:

(1) No person may knowingly or recklessly allow, facilitate, aid, or abet the manufacture or assembly of an undetectable firearm or untraceable firearm by a person who: (a) Is ineligible under state or federal law to possess a firearm; or (b) has signed a valid voluntary waiver of firearm rights that has not been revoked under RCW 9.41.350. For purposes of this provision, the failure to conduct a background check as provided in RCW 9.41.11336 shall be prima facie evidence of recklessness.

The bill has been sent to the Washington State Senate, where it has been assigned to a committee.

The bill appears to do very little; it only makes it illegal for prohibited possessors to make their own guns; and only if the guns meet the “undetectable” test.

There is the inclusion of those who have voluntarily waived their rights to own, possess, and purchase firearms. This is an unusual law in Washington State. I have not heard of another state that has implemented this concept.

The idea is that if you do not trust yourself to own a firearm, you make it legally more difficult for you to obtain a firearm or to possess one. Washington State has a system whereby State Police are required to place you on the list of prohibited possessors maintained in the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). A person who does this may not request to be removed from the NICS system for seven days. If they request to have their name take off of the NICS system, the State Police have seven days to do so.

We may never know how many people trust themselves so little as to ask to have their choices reduced by taking advantage of a voluntary waiver of firearms rights. Part of the statute is that all records produced, as required by the statue, are not subject to disclosure through the Washington State public records act.

As prohibited possessors are already forbidden by law from possessing firearms, this law falls under the general category of making the illegal even more illegal. Perhaps it might aid a prosecutor someday in making a plea bargain.

Its general effect seems to be to signal to those who wish for a disarmed population, that the AG and legislature are doing something.

Second Amendment supporters prefer legislation that merely has a frightening appearance, to legislation that has frightening effects.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 15 thoughts on “Washington State Considers Ban on Prohibited Possessors of Guns from Making Guns

    1. Great article Dean W., again you show you are a thinking mans gun writer, to be fair there are a few others. I have long held the belief that if they couldn’t stop the 2cd amendment, they would just decide who can exercise it. I also have come to the conclusion that any discussion with these folks is an effort in futility as they seem obtuse to facts and reality. I have long felt that the average gun owner/outdoorsman was by far more intelligent than the run of the mill activist/protester that seem to attack us daily for whatever reason. There is a news story that broke today concerning celebrities and political personalities buying their children’s admissions to major universities with some even influencing the grades of same. Small wonder we now have a generation that has become influential with no qualifications remotely related to the responsibilities they have acquired. I’m finding it harder to be optimistic about a lifestyle that I grew up with and still enjoy.

    2. Prohibited “possessors”? They mean persons prohibited from possessing rights. Our governments has fund it easier to remove people from rights than rights from people. We must be aware that all felons are not violent criminals and all mentally troubled are not all violent people. Remember misdemeanor family violence can make entire families rights prohibited. Those not complying with newly enacted laws can become prohibited people. Count the ways you can be prohibited. I would count now but it gives me a head ache and upset stomach. It also is scaring my bowels to movement.

      We need to count the ways to stop and reverse this before we are all prohibited from do so. It is coming to acting soon or dying soon.

    3. Kind of an Oxie Moron, IF you are not aloud to have a gun then OF COARSE you can’t make one….Geez….Waste if money…

    4. As with the bumpstock I don’t want a printed gun. I would not trust it to not blow up in my face. Having said that, the cat is out of the bag, and there is as much possibility in stopping 3-D guns as there is in passing a law that stops thugs from getting guns!
      If liberals would spend as much time trying to make this country work for all it’s people as they do trying to take it down, we would have a country no other could touch!

    5. I’m still waiting to see a televised demo of an “undetectable” firearm loaded and passing through X- ray. It seems the antis have the media and pols mesmerized.

    6. What’s the bill number?

      Our AG is pushing hard for gun control and has been able to talk some of our representatives into filling a ton of gun control bills, last I checked there were like 7. I would like to know the bill number is so I can contact my representative.


      Also it is ironic…a study on how to actually prevent mass shootings was commissioned in our state with a wide variety of solutions from a wide and diverse group of experts in their respective fields. Well, no solution talked about restricted magazines and our AG went utterly ballistic over that…We all know a 10 round magazine won’t actually stop a shooting, but he was pissed this commission didn’t even mention a ban…Never have found out what happened with the recommendations that wouldn’t infringe on our rights and would actually do more to prevent the next mass shooting then this “common sense” gun control our AG is pushing.

      1. HB 1739 – DIGEST
        Prohibits a person from knowingly or recklessly
        allowing, facilitating, aiding, or abetting the manufacture
        or assembly of an undetectable firearm or untraceable firearm
        if he or she: (1) Is ineligible to possess a firearm; or
        (2) Has signed a valid voluntary waiver of firearm
        rights that has not been revoked.

    7. RE: “This is common sense,” he told KIRO Radio.”Ghost guns are a real threat — because they’re made out of plastic, they can go through security at your Seahawks game or at your airport.”

      Laughable. People ignorant of guns (and xray machines) should not be allowed to make gun laws.

    8. I have heard it said that: “Communism will take over, and not a shot will be Fired”. It appears that the premediated planning for their Socialist Offensive is finished, and the attack on Freedom is on.

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