Washington state has raised its minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle to 21, along with other new rules governing gun ownership. The age restriction went into effect in January, with the other changes taking effect July 1. But some in state law enforcement have vowed not to enforce the measure, arguing that it violates the Second Amendment.
Under the new law, someone buying a semi-automatic rifle has to be at least 21 years old, pass a stricter background check, take a safety training course, and complete a 10-day waiting period. The law does not impose a retroactive ban on people under 21 owning such guns, but it does increase the restrictions on where they can possess them. Washingtonians under 21 can only have a gun in their homes, in a fixed place of business, or on real property under their control.
And people of all ages are supposed to comply with strict new storage requirements. "A person who stores or leaves a firearm in a location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that a prohibited person may gain access to the firearm" is now "guilty of community endangerment due to unsafe storage of a firearm" if "a prohibited person" accesses the gun and uses it. This requirement has been met with heavy backlash, with critics pointing out the potentially dangerous consequences of making weapons more inaccessible in a life-threatening situation.