On Tuesday, January 28, Washington citizens will get their first opportunity to testify on Initiative-594, a major gun control bill being falsely promoted as a “Universal Background Check” measure. The House Judiciary Committee will take I-594 up at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room A in the John L. O’Brien House building on the Capitol campus in Olympia. The Senate Law & Justice Committee will take I-594 up the following day, Wednesday, January 29, at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room 1 in the John A. Cherberg Senate Building.
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!
It is critical that you contact your state legislators, especially if they are members on one of these committees, NOW! Respectfully urge them to OPPOSE Initiative-594! It is also critical that NRA members attend the hearings next week to show strong opposition to this misdirected proposal. The media will be there watching and reporting who shows up. We know that anti-gun extremists are working overtime to pack these hearings with people who would like to see your name in a government database!
Contact information for the House Judiciary Committee can be found here.
Contact information for the Senate Law & Justice Committee can be found here.
Please also contact your state Representatives by calling the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.