Gun magazines sales soar in Washington as high-capacity ban approaches

SPOKANE, Wash. — If you’re looking to purchase a firearm in Washington, prepare to wait in line. New gun laws will soon go into effect, leaving some gun owners scrambling to buy before it’s too late.

While the U.S. Senate deliberates on new gun bills, new laws in Washington begin in just two weeks. High-capacity magazines, or magazines that carry more than 10 rounds, are banned from being purchased and distributed starting July 1.

According to Jeremy Ball, owner of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range, they’ve seen a surge in customers in the past few months since the law passed.

“They’re purchasing magazines for firearms that they already own,” Ball said. “They’re purchasing additional firearms in some cases. Not in all, but in some cases so magazine sales have been consistent.”

High-capacity magazines won’t be illegal to own, but they won’t be transferrable. That means you can’t inherit or transfer them privately to someone else.

“I got three kids so I’ve got my conceal carry so just being able to protect my family when, and if needed a big reason, I have a gun, bedside table and conceal carry as well,” said Sarah Mckeever, a gun owner. She just went home with her third gun.

Business is booming for gun shops right now, but most owners know those sales won’t last.

“This bill was signed in March, and they’re expecting most of us to turn over a gigantic percentage of our inventory in a three-month period,” Ball said. “But from a dollar value perspective, it’s 80 or 90 percent of all the dollars we have on hand.”

The new law will also prohibit anyone from buying high-capacity magazines out of state and bringing them into Washington. Ball says that’s not going to stop anyone though.

“People from Idaho drive to Washington in order to buy marijuana and vice-versa. Washington residents will now drive to Idaho to purchase magazines,” Ball said.

Before the law is officially enforced, many are buying up extra magazines before next month.

“You should probably have an extra magazine, one or two,” Ball said. “They are a mechanical device that goes bad over time, and depending on how much usage they have, I would recommend purchasing at least a couple extras just in case.”

Along with high-capacity magazines, ghost guns and carrying a gun into a government building or school district meeting will also be illegal starting July 1.

READ: Washington legislature votes to ban sales of high-capacity magazines