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Proposed Washington Bill Violates Gun Owners’ Due Process Rights

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Please Contact Your State Legislators Today!

Legislation has been introduced in Washington State that puts the due process rights of gun owners in jeopardy.  House Bill 2778 is being touted as a bill that would bring Washington into compliance with Federal law.  In actuality, it is much broader.  It expands both the types of relationships that qualify as “domestic” and the types of offenses for which firearms rights are lost.  It would also bar “ownership” of firearms while a qualifying restraining order was in effect, whereas a person under federal law loses possessory but not property rights.

HB2778 would require the subject of a final or temporary protective order to surrender his or her firearms to law enforcement until the order expires. Unlike federal law, which allows a person to find other places to dispose of his firearms while an order is in effect, these bills would require law enforcement to seize someone’s firearms, even if the subject of the order had no opportunity to participate in the hearing.

T
hough domestic abuse is undeniably tragic and deplorable, this bill is an unnecessary and unfair overreaction. Under this legislation, a victim of false allegations who had no opportunity to contest those charges in court cannot defend himself at home or simply possess his own guns for any other lawful purpose. 

While domestic violence is a deplorable and despicable crime, this bill tramples upon Washingtonians’ due process rights.  Please contact your state legislators TODAY at
800-562-6000 and respectfully urge them to remove the firearm provision in HB2778 or to oppose the bill entirely.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.