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Fortunato Files State Constitutional Amendment Expanding Protections for Citizens’ Right to Bear arms


While many policies that emanate from Olympia concerning the right to bear arms focus on restricting Second Amendment protections, state Sen. Phil Fortunato (R-Auburn, 31st-LD) is pushing to expand them.

He’s filed a state constitutional amendment to enshrine an individual right to own high-capacity magazines, a popular target for anti-gun advocates. Senate Joint Resolution 8205 would amend Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington Constitution by adding, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state includes the right to possess firearm magazines and firearm loading devices of any size.”

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Sen. Phil Fortunato | courtesy photo

“Arguments for banning high-capacity magazines focus on preventing a mass shooting. However, banning these magazines only puts the public at more risk,” said Fortunato. “An outright ban ignores the number of magazines already on the market. A conservative estimate based on gun ownership of the types of rifles that use them is about 50 million with each owner having an average of 5 magazines. Add handguns and the total number of magazines is over 250,000,000. The reality is that a person intent on killing innocent people is not going to be concerned about a law that bans some kinds of magazines.”

A 2019 study on shootings shows that trained police officers have about a 25 percent accuracy rate with firearms, typically using a 9mm due to the larger magazine capacity. With the highest accuracy rate of 35 percent, about 14 rounds would need to be fired to stop one threat. Fortunato argues that average citizens exercising their rights deserve every tool to protect themselves as outlined in the state constitution.

“All citizens deserve to have every means of protection at their disposal,” Fortunato added. “In no other area do we have a conversation about restricting rights enshrined in our constitutions. This should be no different. As technology advances, we should be looking at ways to expand protections for law-abiding citizens, not constrain them.”

The above is a press release from Sen. Phil Fortunato.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its content. 
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  1. Robert B Robert B February 4, 2021

    US Army vet here. (It’s been a few decades, I’ll admit) What Fortunado doesn’t realize is that these things are already legal. And so are howitzers, tanks, fully automatic ‘Ma Deuce’ .50 caliber machine guns, and about every weapon you can imagine. They’re not, you say? Sure they are. You just have to pay the fees and get the licenses from the Federal government to own and shoot them. And the Feds do a background check on you similar to the one you would get trying to apply for the CIA. But they do approve the right people. And so far, not ONE of those people have ever abused the privilege.

    My position on all this is that assault rifles and high-capacity magazines should be placed into this same Federal category. Only the right people, the ones who have been checked out right up to and including a colonoscopy should be allowed to own them. When I was in the Army, the first thing I realized when I started training on the M-16 was that not EVERYBODY should be allowed to own one, because their sole and only purpose was to end the life of other human beings. And with that comes a certain moral responsibility. You want to protect your home? Buy a 12-gauge shotgun, as Joe Biden once said in that video before he became President. (Search ‘Biden Buy a Shotgun’ at YouTube)

    Now you’re probably saying, “But Robert, those weapons you mentioned…the howitzers, the full-blown 50 cal machine guns, etc are NOT legal to own and shoot!”

    Sure they are. You just jump through the Federal hoops, pay the fees, get the background checks. Want proof? These guys get together all the time to do their stuff, the most famous being the Big Sandy Shoot each year. Below is a link to one of their better videos. Tell Fortunato to wake up and smell the coffee, and stop trying to put ridiculously sized magazines into weapons that the gun manufacturers did not originally design them for. And to leave these things in the hands of people properly checked out and licensed to own them.

  2. John Dyer John Dyer February 5, 2021

    I want to express my gratitude that someone with sence is in the position you are in. My prayers and support are with you. Please do not give up!

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