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Washington: Three Firearm-Related Measures Move Forward

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Last night, House Bill 1508, legislation relating to shooting ranges, was amended and passed in the state House by a 93 to 5 vote.  This morning, House Bill 2471, a background check reform bill, passed in the state House by a 96 to 2 vote.  Additionally, Senate Bill 6123, an NRA special license plate bill, passed in the state Senate this morning by a 36 to 13 vote.

Introduced by state Representatives Dean Takko (D-19), Tim Probst (D-17) and Kevin Van De Wege (D-24), House Bill 1508 would have originally ensured that existing shooting ranges were broadly protected against civil liability and criminal charges related to noise pollution.  However, this bill was amended and significantly weakened in the state House Judiciary Committee, leaving it as a measure that would no longer provide an adequate level of protection for shooting ranges.

HB 1508 was amended on the state House floor.  The NRA is in the process of analyzing the adopted amendment to determine whether adequate provisions have been restored, or if there is more work to be done in the state Senate.  We will keep you informed on this issue.

On a positive note, we were able fight off amendments aimed at weakening House Bill 2471, so it passed the state House in its original form and now goes to the state Senate for its consideration.  Sponsored by seven state Representatives, HB 2471 would exempt CPL holders, whose licenses were issued on or after July 22, 2011, from having to undergo any sort of background check when purchasing a pistol.  Additionally, this bill would require only the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check for CPL holders whose permits were issued prior to July 22, 2011. 

Lastly, Senate Bill 6123, sponsored by nineteen state Senators, would create a special NRA license plate, with revenue going to fund firearm safety and education as part of the hunter education training program.  SB 6123 now goes to the state House for its consideration.

We will communicate with you again in the near future and give you direction to contact your state legislators when it is timely and appropriate.  Thank you for your continued vigilance!

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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.