Wednesday, December 23, 2009

State lawmakers to seek ban on sales of semi-automatic weapons

In response to recent shooting deaths, three state lawmakers say they want to ban the sale of military-style semi-automatic weapons in Washington. The lawmakers intend to propose the ban in the state legislative session that begins next month. The legislation, called the Aaron Sullivan Public Safety and Police Protection Bill, would prohibit the sale of such weapons to private citizens and require current owners to pass background checks. It is named for Aaron Sullivan, 18, who was fatally shot last July in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood, allegedly with an assault-style weapon. Supporters say they also are motivated by the Oct. 31 slaying of Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton and the wounding of his partner. Police believe a .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle was used then. The bill is backed by Seattle's police department, spokeswoman Renee Witt said. Also pushing it is Washington Ceasefire, a nonprofit that seeks to reduce gun more

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