Last Thursday, February 19, the House Committee on Judiciary passed House Bill 1857, sponsored by state Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27), with an amendment by a narrow 7 to 6 vote. This bill has since been referred to the House Committee on General Government and Information Technology and has been scheduled for executive action on Wednesday, February 25, at 8:00 am.
As previously reported, HB 1857 would allow a family or “household member” or police officer to apply for an order that does one thing and one thing only: deprive someone else of his or her Second Amendment rights.
Under current law, people who pose a danger to themselves or others may be dealt with in a number of ways, depending on the circumstances. They can be arrested for a crime and subject to bail conditions or pretrial detention. They can have a restraining order or other protective order issued against them. They can be held for a mental health evaluation and committed to a mental institution. Any of those things can lead to a prohibition on firearm possession under current law. All of them require some type of judicial process, so people are not arbitrarily deprived of their liberty or their rights.
HB 1857 seeks to make the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment subject to summary judicial cancellation by allowing virtually anybody to call for the confiscation of anybody’s firearms. No other fundamental right is subject to such infringement and HB 1857 has a high potential for abuse. Supposed indications in the bill of what qualifies as “dangerousness” include ordinary things people have a legal right to do, including buying firearms and consuming alcohol.
It is critical that HB 1857 does not make it through the House Committee on General Government and Information Technology. Please contact the members of this committee TODAY and urge them to oppose this bill. Contact information for committee members is provided below:
House General Government and Information Technology Committee:
Representative Zack Hudgins (D-11), Chair
Phone: (360) 786-7956
Representative Tana Senn (D-41), Vice Chair
Phone: (360) 786-7894
Representative Drew MacEwen (R-35), Ranking Minority Member
Phone: (360) 786-7902
Representative Michelle Caldier (R-26)
Phone: (360) 786-7802
Representative Gina McCabe, (R-14)
Phone: (360) 786-7856
Representative Jeff Morris (D-40)
Phone: (360) 786-7970
Representative Dean Takko (D-19)
Phone: (360) 786-7806