A rifle ban that misses the mark

 To address violence in our society, we must consider root causes

Note: The following e-newsletter was sent to Sen. Chris Gildon’s subscribers April 12, 2023. To subscribe to Sen. Gildon’s e-newsletters, click here.

To see video, click here.


Dear friends and neighbors,

One of the most controversial bills of the year passed the state Senate Saturday. House Bill 1240 would ban the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles in Washington state. Judging by the volume of calls and emails I have received, I know this is a major issue for many who live in our district. I voted against this bill, and in the video above, I explain why.

The rifle ban is one of three major pieces of legislation in this year that would affect the availability of firearms in this state. House Bill 1143 would impose a new condition on gun purchases by requiring buyers to complete a state-approved gun-safety training course.  Senate Bill 5078 would allow the attorney general to sue gun manufacturers and dealers when weapons they sold are later used in crimes.

All three bills are very close to final passage in the Legislature, and the governor has promised to sign them when delivered. We also can be certain they will face court challenges because they appear to contradict both our federal and state constitutions.

While the constitutional issues are significant, my opposition runs deeper. Until we address the root causes of violence, we will not move the needle. Throughout my legislative career, I have advocated solutions that address our mental health and behavioral health problems, public safety and the disorder in our streets, and the scourge of drug abuse and addiction. Simplistic responses that consider only the instrument of violence will not resolve this problem. Rebuilding our social order is a much greater challenge, but it is the only way we will make progress.

In this video, I’ll tell you more about the experiences that shaped my perspective. I hope you will take a moment to watch.



Thanks for reading — it is an honor serving you!



Sen. Chris Gildon, 25th Legislative District

Deputy Leader, Senate Republican Caucus



Contact me!

PHONE: (360) 786-7648

E-MAIL: Chris.Gildon@leg.wa.gov

MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 40425/ Olympia, WA  98504


NOTE: Written communications are subject to disclosure under the Washington Public Records Act.