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Washington bans open carry of weapons at state capitol, public protests

Washington bans open carry of weapons at state capitol, public protests
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Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeBeyond California, a record year for recalls Seattle is first major US city to see 70 percent of residents fully vaccinated, mayor says Rivers, hydropower and climate resilience MORE (D) has signed legislation into law banning people from openly carrying weapons at the state Capitol and during public demonstrations.

According The Associated Press, the governor signed the bill on Wednesday, which takes effect immediately.  

Inslee called the measure “a common-sense approach” that extends the state’s “existing prohibition to open-carry firearms in limited situations to ensure an individual can’t use a weapon to intimidate other citizens.”

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Under the measure, people in the state will be prohibited from carrying weapons at public protests as well as within 250 feet of such a demonstration, the news agency reports. The legislation also reportedly bars people from being able to carry firearms at the Capitol and parts of the surrounding grounds.  

The measure comes years after the state barred open carry of guns at the public galleries in the state legislature’s chambers and in certain spaces at legislative buildings on the Capitol’s campus.

The bill has already been met with pushback from gun groups.

In a statement to the AP,  state director for the National Rifle Association (NRA), Aoibheann Cline, vowed the group “will continue fighting this injustice on all available fronts.” 

“The right of self-protection should never be denied whether at home, on the road, or in the public square,” Cline added.