Two anti-gun bills are scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, February 13. This hearing will begin at 8:00 a.m. in House Hearing Room A of the John L. O’Brien Building in Olympia. Please attend and express your opposition to the following bills:
House Bill 1588, sponsored by state Representatives Jamie Pederson (D-43), Mike Hope (R-44) and thirty-six other state Representatives, would criminalize the private sale of firearms. HB 1588 is nothing more than a regulatory scheme which would create a huge burden for law-abiding citizens. It would require that anytime you sell any firearm to a family member or friend, you will have to go through a gun dealer or law enforcement agency and pay a $20 fee (tax), with no guarantee of timely processing. Additionally, while Concealed Pistol License (CPL) holders are currently exempt from having to undergo a background check when purchasing a firearm from a dealer, there is no provision in HB 1588 that extends the CPL exemption to private sales. For more information on this misguided measure, please see our previous report.
House Bill 1676, sponsored by state Representative Ruth Kagi (D-32) and thirteen other state Representatives, is a so-called “child access prevention” bill which would single out the storage of firearms for criminalization under certain circumstances.
Today, fatal firearms accidents are at an all-time low. Firearm storage legislation ignores the fact that Washington firearm owners are extremely responsible with their firearms and that firearms are involved in a disproportionately low number of fatal accidents among children.
Not only is HB 1676 misguided in that it is demonizes firearms, it is also unwarranted. Washington’s current reckless endangerment statute already provides a remedy to address the rare incident of negligent storage. More significant, however, is the civil remedy available which provides for civil action by the parents of a minor child who is injured or killed. The prospect of losing your own child, or facing civil litigation brought by the parents of a young victim, should serve as greater motivation to store firearms responsibly than the criminal penalty provided in this legislation.
Another recently introduced attack on our freedom is House Bill 1703, sponsored by state Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27) and sixteen other state Representatives. This bill would create a $25 tax on all retail gun sales to create a “firearm-related injury and death prevention program.” It would also tax ammunition purchases!
HB 1703 would serve no effective purpose other than penalizing law-abiding citizens in order to expand bureaucratic power. This horribly misguided bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
Also introduced this week is Senate Bill 5625, by “F-rated” state Senator Adam Kline (D-37). SB 5625 is a companion measure to HB 1588. This bill has been referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Please contact your state Senator TODAY and express your opposition to this onerous bill.
It is critical that you contact your state Representative TODAY and express your opposition to HB 1588, HB 1676 and HB 1703.
It is especially important for you to contact your state Representative if they serve on the House Judiciary Committee. To find your elected officials and their contact information, please click here. Contact information for members of the House Judiciary Committee is provided below. You may also contact your state Senator and Representative by calling the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
House Judiciary Committee:
Representative Jamie Pedersen (D-43), Chairman
Representative Drew Hansen (D-23), Vice Chairman
Representative Jay Rodne (R-5)
Representative Steve O'Ban (R-28)
Representative Roger Goodman (D-45)
Representative Mike Hope (R-44)
Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27)
Representative Steve Kirby (D-29)
Representative Brad Klippert (R-8)
Representative Terry Nealey (R-16)
Representative Tina Orwall (D-33)
Representative Mary Helen Roberts (D-21)
Representative Matt Shea (R-4)