Landmark Supreme Court ruling on guns not expected to affect Washington state much

Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the right of individuals to own guns won’t change anything in Washington state, say gun rights advocates, protesters, law enforcement officials and lawmakers.

“Washington has been one of the better states regarding gun laws,” said Don Carey, owner of Blue Mountain Gun Works at 10 Erving Jacobs Road, east of Port Angeles.

“Our state constitution is really very strong in protecting gun rights.

Kristen Comer, executive director of gun-control group Washington CeaseFire, said the decision will likely be unnoticeable in Washington state.

“I don’t think any of our gun laws are in danger,” she said.

Washington is a “shall issue” state, in which almost all non-felons have a right to carry a gun with a license, as long as they are over the age of 21 and meet a list of state requirements.

The court’s 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment.

The primary issue before the justices was if the Second Amendment, ratified in 1791, protects an individual’s right to own guns, even when a state militia no longer exists.

The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

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