Legislature OKs short-barreled rifles

By | March 7, 2014 | Comments

Washington gun owners will soon be allowed to own a short-barreled rifle under a bill approved by the House on Friday. It previously passed the Senate, and now heads to the governor for his signature.

It is currently a felony to own a gun with a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, or to have a modified gun that is shorter than 26 inches overall. Washington is one of six states that outlaws the weapons.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, urged passage of the bill Friday, saying short-barreled rifles are popular among gun collectors and law enforcement officers. She said the bill also provides safeguards by requiring a stricter background check than current state law.

Buyers of short-barreled rifles will have to follow federal rules set by the National Firearms Act, which includes a background check, approval from a local law enforcement officer and a $200 tax.

“It is a difficult, time consuming and somewhat expensive process to have access to one of these guns, but this will bring us in line with 44 other states in the nation,” Jinkins said.