Forums / Political & Legal / Washington State tries to push more gun laws.

5 years 45 weeks ago, 3:50 AM


hillbilly77's picture

Lieutenant General
Join Date:
Jan 2009
Newport, Wa

Four anti-gun Democrat lawmakers representing four Seattle-area districts have filed a bill to ban so-called “assault weapons” in Washington State, with definitions based almost entirely on cosmetics rather than on the actual function of the firearm.
The bill is sponsored by State Senators Adam Kline (37th District), Jeanne Kohl-Welles (36th District), Darlene Fairley (32nd District) and Joe McDermott (34th District). McDermott is the majority assistant floor leader.
Ironically, the bill was filed on the same day that Chelan County Sheriff Mike Harum was quoted by the Wenatchee World noting that criminals like the man who gunned down four Lakewood police officers on Nov. 29 will not be deterred by gun control laws. He sat on a law enforcement panel appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire in the aftermath of that shooting to determine if changes in state law might reduce the possibility of another such incident.

Our fear was that if a legislator has a knee-jerk reaction to this whole incident, he might come up with something that we would not be able to work with as a community.”—Chelan County Sheriff Mike Harum

Harum told the newspaper that the panel feared a “knee-jerk reaction” by some lawmaker, such as an “assault weapon” ban or registration of all firearms in the state.
Senate Bill 6396 offers a broad definition of an “assault weapon” that includes semiautomatic pistols, rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than ten cartridges in a detachable magazine. Thumbhole and pistol-grip stocks (such as those found on many popular shotguns designed for hunting wild turkeys or big game, and sporting rifles now marketed for varmint and predator hunters) also raise a flag, as do muzzle brakes and compensators, and pump-action rifles or shotguns capable of accepting detachable magazines.
Typically, there is a specific exemption for law enforcement officers. Gun rights activists have long argued that police officers should never be exempt from laws they are required to enforce.

Harum said he has heard rumors that some legislators want to ban assault weapons and others want to require that all guns be registered.
"Maurice Clemmons violated many firearms laws before he murdered the officers, so it seems rather dubious to argue additional laws might have prevented this tragedy," Harum said.

Of course, people may keep the "assault weapons" they already own, but there are certain provisions, including the possibility of being visited by a sheriff's deputy once each year for an inspection, to make sure the firearm is being "safely" stored. Anybody willing to just open the door to an unscheduled, warrantless search by a sheriff's deputy, raise your hand.
Not all Democrats will support this measure, but there may be concerns in Olympia that such legislation, unilaterally sponsored by ranking Seattle-area Democrats, could have a negative effect during this fall’s election cycle for Democrats in rural districts, where voter unrest is already rising over taxes and spending. While the four sponsors live in liberal Seattle districts where they are considered politically bullet-proof, many of their Democrat caucus colleagues are vulnerable.

(5) In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing the assault weapon shall do all of the following:
(a) Safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection;
(b) Possess the assault weapon only on property owned or immediately controlled by the person, or while engaged in the legal use of the assault weapon at a duly licensed firing range, or while traveling to or from either of these locations for the purpose of engaging in the legal use of the assault weapon, provided that the assault weapon is stored unloaded and in a separate locked container during transport. - Senate Bill 6396

Rural Democrats should be wary of any such legislation, as it only reinforces the image of Democrats as the “Party of Gun Control.”
If the Democrat-controlled Legislature hikes taxes to make up for a $2.6 billion revenue shortfall that developed under Democrat control in Olympia, a law attacking the gun rights of rural Washingtonians could easily push those voters over the edge and bring occasional voters to the polls in huge numbers, resulting a political sea change in November. Voter frustration has a way of becoming voter fury when lawmakers stick one hand in their wallet and the other hand in their gun cabinet.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Kline is chair and Kohl-Welles is a member. Other committee members are

“If ever time should come,when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of it's experienced Patriots to prevent it's ruin."Samuel Adams
5 years 45 weeks ago, 5:47 AM


TXLUCKYGUY's picture

Major General
Join Date:
Dec 2009

Take a tragedy like the Lakewood shootings, and use it to pass feel-good BS 2-bit featherlegged laws that only a socialist puke, rich idiot with their head in the sand, or pacifist hippie would agree too.

You don't see anyone trying this hard to ban swimming pools, motorcycles, chainsaws, etc....even though they're dangerous. The people who support any type of new gun control laws are the same sort of busybody self-important jerkoffs who got my lawn darts taken away as a kid just because some other idiot kid was stupid enough to throw one up in the air and still be standing there like a cow lookin' at a new gate when the thing hurtled back to earth.

5 years 45 weeks ago, 10:47 AM


i am in direct contact with 2 of my states top pro gun of them is the lawyer who reviews all legislation,laws and bills before they are passed to the judiciary.the other is a pro gun legislator who fights for our 2nd amendment rights.John Gower and John Charba are their names.I was told by them that these people from Seattle are just getting the media wound up right now and havent presented any actual proposals to Olympia as of yet.When that happens I will hear about it and then i will post it on here ASAP!I hosted these two legislators at my gun club for some defensive handgun training.I feel as a pro gunner and a range officer of a gun club that it is my duty to lobby these guys and keep them on our side.

5 years 45 weeks ago, 11:19 AM


samD's picture

Join Date:
Aug 2008
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States
Hey GP

I sent you something...

5 years 45 weeks ago, 12:29 PM


Schuyler's picture

Join Date:
Nov 2008
Bainbridge Island, Washington, United States
SB6396 has been filed

and there it is. I posted my letter yesterday, but as it has gone below the fold, here it is again. I'm sending this to my own senator, whom I know personally, and also to members of the Judiciary Committee, where the bill is now. The chair of the Judiciary Committee, as well as one of its members, are sponsors of this bill. Note particularly in the bill there is a provision for the sherriff to visit you once per year to ensure you have your firearms safely stored. That provision alone should send howls of protest across the land.

January 14, 2010
Mr. Phil Rockefeller
218 John A. Cherberg Building,
P.O. Box 40423
Olympia, WA 98504-0423

Dear Phil,

I am writing to you concerning Senate Bill 6396 (Now in Judiciary), which proposes to place heavy restrictions on many firearms. Though the word “assault” is used in describing these firearms (I think, erroneously), the fact is the bill covers just about any semi-automatic firearm sold today. As I understand it, this bill is a reaction to several police officer fatalities we have experienced in Washington in the last half of 2009.

I join you and all our citizens in condemning those needless deaths. I trust the perpetrators of these crimes can be brought to swift justice. However, I have to wonder what the bill proposes to change, realistically. Is the idea to ‘save lives’ by reducing the number of people potentially killed by firearms? It would seem to me that this is the only reasonable justification to introduce such restrictions—to make people safer.

California has had very restrictive gun laws for some time, including some of the very same restrictions proposed in SB6396. Yet take a look at what has happened in California.

In 2008, the last year full statistics are available, California experienced 1,487 homicides involving firearms. The population was 36,961,664 giving them one firearm-related death per 24,856 citizens. (69% involved handguns.)

In 2008, Washington State experienced 110 homicides involving firearms. The population was 6,664,195 giving us one firearm-related death per 60,583 citizens. (57.89% involved handguns)

Given these statistics, the sources of which are below, how can you justify this bill? Are there any statistics whatsoever that prove such restrictions will save any lives whatsoever? California’s death rate is over twice Washington’s despite its many restrictions.

No, there are not. The FBI reports that the first half of 2009 saw a 10% decrease in murders over 2008 and that it is 51% lower than in 1991 giving us the lowest rate since 1963. Yet firearms sales have skyrocketed in the same period. National ‘instant check’ transactions rose 24.5% in the first half of 2009, reflecting citizens’ worries about gun control legislation.

Accordingly, SB6396 does not deserve your support. It is a ‘reaction bill’ not based on any scientific or statistical evidence which will not have any effect on the murder rate of our citizens whatsoever.


Michael R. Schuyler

Source: FBI Crime statistics, Criminal Justice Information Services Division & US Census Bureau for population statistics.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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