Immediate Action Required to Protect Firearm Rights in Washington!
Please contact legislators in opposition to Senate Bill 5343
Senate Bill 5343, a bill that prohibits non-licensed individuals from buying, selling or trading firearms from their private collections at gun shows without conducting the exchange through a licensed firearm dealer, was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Although over 100 NRA members and firearm owners turned out to voice their opposition to this bill, a handful of uniformed police chiefs have some committee members searching for a compromise.
The proponents of SB 5343, including Washington Ceasefire and The Brady Campaign, made it very clear that restricting private transactions at gun shows is the first step in their plan to restrict ALL private transactions of firearms in the State of Washington. The President of Washington Ceasefire also used this hearing to make a very emotional appeal for a ban on semiautomatic firearms and .50 caliber rifles.
These people are extremists and their agenda is clear. Law-abiding firearm owners must stop this bill or it will be the proverbial first step.
Aside from the horrible precedent Senate Bill 5343 would set, the bill would expand the registration database in Washington. Under existing law, all dealer handgun sales are recorded with the Department of Licensing who maintains a database of Washington handgun owners. Any additional private sales that would be brokered through dealers under the provisions of this bill would also be registered with DOL. Further, SB 5343 establishes state fees (in effect, a GUN TAX) for the background checks and, of course, dealers would charge an additional fee for the time and effort it takes them to facilitate transactions.
The worst part is that all this bureaucracy would be created with virtually NO benefit. The U.S. Department of Justice did a survey and found that less than 1% of criminals get their firearms from gun shows. The vast majority, obtain guns through the black market (about 40%) and through already-illegal "strawman" sales (another 40%). Law enforcement resources would be diverted from going after criminals and the black market to doing background checks on law-abiding firearm owners.
Expansion of firearm registration...Imposition of a firearm tax...
Diversion of scarce law enforcement resources...
Senate Bill 5343 is a horribly misdirected gun control bill!
It is critical that every concerned firearm owner contact their Senator and the members of the Judiciary Committee. Urge them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 5343 and ANY restriction on private firearm transactions!! In addition to the contact information provided below, messages for legislators can be left on the toll-free Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000.
It is especially important for firearm owners in Senate Districts 2 (Senator Marilyn Rasmussen) and 48 (Senator Luke Esser) to contact your Senators!
Senator Rasmussen (D-2) represents a rural, pro-gun district. However, she is considering the compromise mentioned earlier in this alert. If you live in the 2nd Senate District, please be sure to contact Senator Rasmussen and tell her there is no workable compromise. The ONLY alternative is to defeat any restrictions on private firearm transactions!
Senator Esser (R-48), on the other hand, represents a very moderate, swing suburban district. He shares our philosophy that these kinds of restrictions will only impact law-abiding citizens. But because of the make-up of his district and the fact that he is up for election this year, he needs to hear from firearm owners in the 48th Senate District. Thank him for always standing up for the rights of law-abiding citizens and urge him to hold the line on this horrible bill!
Contact information for the Senate Judiciary Committee is as follows:
Senator Adam Kline (D-41),Chairman
Phone: (360) 786-7688
Senator Marilyn Rasmussen (D-2)
Phone: (360) 786-7602
Senator Luke Esser (R-48)
Phone: (360) 786-7694
Senator Mike Carrell (R-28)
Phone: (360) 786-7654
Senator James Hargrove (D-24)
Phone: (360) 786-7646
Senator Stephen Johnson (R-47)
Phone: (360) 786-7692
Senator Bob McCaslin (R-4)
Phone: (360) 786-7606
Senator Pat Thibaudeau (D-43)
Phone: (360) 786-7628
Senator Brian Weinstein (D-41)
Phone: (360) 786-7641
Please make these critical contacts TODAY!
OPPOSE Senate Bill 5343!