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Washington State HB 1240. What does it mean?

Washington State HB 1240

We have received many inquiries as to the CompMag being used in Washington. Recently we have had the Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC, one of the top firearms attorneys in Washington, do a legal analysis of our products. His analysis can be found below. Please read it.

Unlike Mark, I am NOT an attorney. I cannot give legal advice, but I will give you a quick summary of Washington law and how I understand it pertains to our products.

Currently we are working with Senator MacEwen in Washington to have some of our questions answered by the Washington State AG's office to verify our understanding of the law, for now this is just our opinion. I will update this page once we have some sort of formal ruling from them.

HB 1240

HB 1240 is a particularity wicked piece of gun control legislation which bans the sale, manufacturing, importation, and distribution of "assault weapons". It states that assault  weapons are more deadly, "not suitable for self defense", responsible for mass shootings, and "that the gun industry has specifically marketed these weapons as "tactical," "hyper masculine," and "military style" in manner that overtly appeals to troubled young men intent on becoming the next mass shooter."

Wow, that's alot!

HB 1240 targets retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. It prevents them from bringing in, manufacturing, or selling any of these "banned" firearms. It reads:

"The legislature intends to limit the prospective sale of assault weapons, while allowing existing legal owners to retain the assault weapons they currently own."

HB 1240 allows firearms owners to keep their existing firearms as they are. They do not need to modify them to make them compliant. I believe HB 1240 was written this way to try to avoid the Second Amendment lawsuits that are bound to come up. Instead of making it a Second amendment issue they are trying to make it an issue of commerce. Regardless of the mechanism used, it is still an act of disarming you, the law abiding citizen.

What is an "Assault Weapon" under HB 1240?

HB 1240 classifies assault weapons 4 ways:

1. By name. There is a list of specific firearms banned by name. This includes the AR-15, M-16, or M4 in all forms; the AK-47 in all forms; and the AK-74 in all forms. It also includes a list of about 60 other firearms that are listed by name. These are considered assault weapons regardless of which company produced or manufactured the firearm.

2. Any semi-automatic firearm with an overall length of less than 30".

3. "A conversion kit, part, or combination of parts, from which an assault weapon can be assembled or from which a firearm can be converted into an assault weapon if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person;". This would include an upper and a lower that can be assembled into a firearm, or a parts kit, or parts for a banned by name firearm. This is kind of vague, so I would be careful with this one.

4. "A semiautomatic, center fire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:"

Pistol grip, thumbhole stock, forward grip, flash hider or sound suppressor, muzzle break, threaded barrel, grenade/flare launcher, or a barrel shroud.

How does this compare with other states?

Number 1, from the list above, is much more restrictive than other states as it adds: "regardless of which company manufactured the firearm". It also includes AR-15 and AK-47 in all forms. Other states have a banned list, but it includes the manufacturer so if other companies manufacture the firearm, it would still be ok. That is not the case here.

Number 3 is a new one not seen before in AW regulations.

Number 2 and number 4 are standard for AW regulations in many states.

CompMag and HB 1240.

Importation and sales of firearms are what we will be discussing now. How and what can one legally sell in Washington or import into Washington?

Above we have determined what an "assault weapon" is, so certain things are out. Any rifle listed by name, any semi-automatic rifle less than 30", any parts or kits to create these rifles, and any semiautomatic, centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine and at least 1 feature.

There is not much we can do about the rifles listed by name, or any rifle less than 30", but we can remove the capacity to accept a detachable magazine by making our magazine permanent in the firearm. 

CompMag magazines lock into the firearm in either a fixed (removable by breaking the action or by disassembly of the firearm, like in CA) or in a permanent method (requiring disassembly, and drilling of a part to remove the magazine, like in NY). Since there has been no ruling on this yet, I would recommend the permanent method. In this method the top cover on the CompMag is epoxied on, covering the release hole for the magazine, requiring the cover to be drilled out in order to remove the magazine. Once attached into the firearm, the CompMag can be loaded through the side of the magazine. This conversion must be done before bringing the rifle into Washington.

Once the CompMag is locked in, the features will be allowed. The law states; a rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine AND one or more of the following: (features). Getting rid of the capacity to accept a magazine means you can keep the features.

This could be done on any 30+", semiautomatic firearm that is NOT listed by name. CompMag magazines can be used in other (not listed) firearms that accept an AK-47 magazine, an AR-15 STANAG type magazine, or a AR-10 DPMS magazine. Some research would be required as to fitment, but here are a few options:

Our AR-15 magazine can be used with many other rifles that accept a standard AR-15 (STANAG) magazine such as the CZ Bren 2, SCAR 16, BRN 180, Daewood DR2000, and many bullpup rifles such as the Tavor. In bullpups, the installation is easy, but removal is very hard as you cannot break the action (remove the upper and lower) like on an AR to remove the mag.

The AK-47 CompMag would be compatible with other firearm such as the Palmetto state KS-47, Billet rifle systems BRS-47, and CMMG Banshee. Other rifles would include the PTR 32 KFR and the M+M M10x. There are probably many others.

The AR-10 may be a viable option as it is not on the ban list.

Please read the letter below from our attorney, Mark Knapp.  As this is not legal advice, please check with a Washington Firearms Attorney as to your specific situation.

I hope this helps. Thank you.

Mark Knapp PLLC.

Legal analysis of CompMag products with regard to HB 1240.