Washington: Legislature Adjourns, No Time for Gun Owners to Rest in Defense of Rights

Posted on March 14, 2014

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Last night, the Washington Legislature adjourned their 2014 session and while Initiative 594 stalled in the state Capitol, the fight is just beginning as the deeply flawed I-594 will now go to the November Ballot.

As previously reported, I-594 is a universal handgun registration scheme being promoted by a very wealthy group of anti-gun elitists who have already raised nearly $1.4 million to qualify this initiative.  Although they describe it as a “universal background check” measure, it is not “universal” because criminals will never comply with the requirements.  It is, however, universal handgun registration.  Under I-594, every time a handgun is transferred, the person receiving the handgun will have their name added to the government database being maintained by the state Department of Licensing.

Further, virtually every firearm transfer - with very few and limited exceptions - would be required to go through a licensed firearms dealer under the provisions of I-594.  I-594 will specifically regulate transfers, not sales.  Under the language of I-594, in virtually all cases, a person merely handing his or her firearm to a family member or a friend cannot do so without brokering the transfer through a gun dealer with the accompanying paperwork, taxes and, in the case of handguns, state registration.  I-594 also doubles the state waiting period on handgun sales from five to ten days and extends it to every private transfer of a handgun!

Awaiting approval by Governor Jay Inslee (D) is Senate Bill 5956, sponsored by state Senators Brian Hatfield (D-19), Tim Sheldon (D-35) and John Braun (R-20).  SB 5956 would make legal the possession, acquisition or transfer of a legally registered short-barreled rifle in Washington.  SB 5956 passed in the Washington House of Representatives by a 95 to 3 vote on March 7 after passing unanimously in the Senate earlier in February.  Special thanks to state Representative Brian Blake (D-19) for his efforts in ushering SB 5956 through the House of Representatives.

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