How Washington and Idaho gun laws compare to Texas’

SPOKANE, Wash. — The shooting in Uvalde sent shockwaves across the country, with many families hugging their children tighter because of it.

However, one question local parents have is whether the shooter could have carried out this massacre in Idaho and Washington, considering the differing gun laws.

Salvador Ramos, the shooter, bought two semi-automatic rifles three days apart from a federal firearms license. In between, he bought 375 rounds of ammunition just days after turning 18.

All these purchases were legal in the state of Texas. Investigators say Ramos had no known criminal or mental health history.

In Idaho, 18-year-olds can carry concealed firearms without a permit as long as they meet the eligibility requirements of Idaho code.

Idaho doesn’t have state laws specifically regulating assault rifles, nor how much ammunition can be purchased or transferred.

In Washington however, there are more restrictions. Since Washington voted to adopt Initiative 1639, no one under 21 would be allowed to buy a semi-automatic assault rifle.

Under this law, no one between the ages of 18 to 21 can possess a semi automatic rifle unless it is in the person’s home at a fixed place of business, among other restrictions.

Anyone buying a gun in Washington would also have to go through a background check, safety training, and gun storage training.

As of now, Washington doesn’t have a limit of ammunition purchases either, but that’s changing soon.

Governor Jay Inslee signed off on legislation that bans the sale and distribution of firearm magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. That law goes into effect July 1.


CORRECTION: An earlier draft said no background check was needed at the time of this purchase in Texas but federal background checks are required when buying from a federal firearms licensee

READ: Local advocacy groups traumatized from Uvalde shooting, demand action