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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

February 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Assault-weapons ban dead in state Legislature

It’s cutoff day in Olympia, which theoretically (more on that in a minute) means that non-fiscal bills that don’t make it out of committee in either the state House or Senate today cannot be passed this session.

There is no cutoff for bills deemed necessary to implement the budget, which means that sponsors of bills having to do with money don’t really have anything to sweat about yet.

And even seemingly non-fiscal bills have a way of being brought back from the dead as part of a deal at the end of the session — either by being declared somehow necessary to implement the budget or through a procedural maneuver.

Still, it’s a somewhat important day for determining whether proposals have a real shot at passage.

Here’s one thing we can say: The proposed ban on so-called assault weapons, introduced to much fanfare by Senate Minority Leader Ed Murray, D-Seattle, appears done for.

The House Judiciary Committee, which Democrats run and has produced most of the gun-control proposals this session — including a universal background-check bill — does not have another meeting scheduled today. The Republican-controlled Senate Law and Justice Committee does have a meeting this afternoon, but even Democrats acknowledge the assault-weapons ban doesn’t have a chance there.

“There wasn’t broad enough consensus for it to have a chance of passage,” said state Sen. Nick Harper, D-Everett, who is coordinating gun legislation for the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Harper noted that the assault-weapons bill was not among the caucus’ priority proposals. None of those got a hearing in the Senate, but some are alive by virtue of getting through a House committee.

The so-called assault-weapons ban has been a focus among some Democrats across the country, who see it as a needed response to the school shooting in Connecticut.

Murray, who is running for Seattle mayor, has said the effort may take several sessions.

Check back later for cutoff-day updates.

Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: assault weapon, cutoff day, ed murray


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