Anti-Gun Bills for the Lame Duck Washington Governor?

No, I don't mean Locke. He's gone. I mean Gregoire.

As the election contest in Washington continues, the wheels have apparently been greased for a series of anti-gun initiatives. Are they trying to get them to the Governor's office before a revote is called? With a legislature and executive (and judiciary) controlled by Democrats, it's probably a good reason to get pet projects out of the way as soon as possible.

On the 25th of January seven gun bills had a hearing (from the 1/25/05 GOAL Alert):

  1. SB 5344: Regulating possession of firearms on the state capitol campus.
  2. S-0541.1: Fifty caliber gun ban of 2005.
  3. SB 5131: Revising provisions concerning possession of firearms by persons found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  4. SB 5343: Regulating the sale of firearms at gun shows and events.
  5. SB 5342: Encouraging safe storage of firearms.
  6. S-0230.2: Assault weapons ban of 2005.
  7. S-0032.1: Renewing a concealed pistol license by members of the armed forces.

(The “SB” items are public Senate Bills, and private citizens can indeed get a copy of them if they want it. The “S-” items are not yet public and we can't get a copy of their contents, yet.)

The Gun Owners of America also sent out an alert on some of these bills, and also included a link for finding your state legislator. They suggested sending a note asking for a “No” vote, along with the following suggested language:

SB 5342 is an unnecessary bill that will make it difficult for me to defend my loved ones and property. It is nothing more than a “Lock Up Your Safety” bill which is otherwise meaningless, given that Washington already has reckless endangerment statutes for prosecutors to use against the truly negligent.

Seems straightforward to me. What they are leaving out is that many people prefer to have a firearm safely stored but relatively handy for use. Attempting to regulate this area may cause confusion or increase danger.

SB 5343 would ban ALL private individual sales of firearms at gun shows—and is designed to shut down gun shows altogether by holding promoters responsible for the actions of patrons. And no matter what those seeking to disarm me will tell you, gun shows are not the venue of choice for violent felons seeking firearms. Not even close.

To me SB 5343 is a solution in search of a problem. It's a clear case of looking for little victories in order to boil the frog. However, it's not unheard of for feel-good, ineffectual laws to get onto the books, is it?

We will have to watch as these bills march forward. It is just as bad down south in Oregon. Maybe I'll post on that later.

Josh Poulson

Posted Friday, Jan 28 2005 01:24 PM

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Bill Text

In a followup to yesterday's posting, we have text! SB 5342, “AN ACT Relating to safe storage of firearms; amending RCW 9A.36.050; adding a new section to chapter 9.41 RCW; and prescribing penalties.” This one specifically states that ... [Read more]

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Linked Saturday, Jan 29 2005 11:14 AM

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