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Groups seek to create a 'West Coast Wall' with ban on assault weapon sales

A coalition of groups and lawmakers in Washington state is calling for a statewide ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, the type of gun used in recent mass shootings in Dallas, Tex., Orlando, Fla., Roseburg, Ore., and San Bernardino, Cal.

Gun control legislation hasn’t gotten very far in Olympia in recent years. But Ralph Fascitelli of Washington Ceasefire says the recent shootings have changed popular opinion about guns – and might be enough to get some traction in the Legislature.

Ralph Fascitelli: “We’re just seeing one shooting after another and the carnage higher. You know, enough is enough. What do we do, just lie down and accept it and put our head in the sand like ostriches? Or do we fight back?”

Fascitelli’s group and its sister organization, Ceasefire Oregon, want the same kind of legislation California has: a ban on the sale of assault weapons. That would create what they call a “West Coast Wall” of gun control. Six other states and the District of Columbia also have bans on assault weapons.

The Washington and Oregon groups also propose a ten-bullet limit on high-capacity magazine clips.

Democratic State Senator David Frockt of Seattle supports the proposal.

David Frockt: “The amount of lethal firepower that can be brought down against defenseless citizens and law enforcement who are outgunned, it just says to me that we could do better than we are doing.”

Frockt said at the very least, he’d like to see background checks for people trying to buy assault weapons become as thorough as those for handgun sales.

Year started with KUOW: 2008