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Saddling Citizens With “All Hat, No Cattle” Laws

Friday, October 21, 2016

Saddling Citizens With “All Hat, No Cattle” Laws

Our Texas friends have a saying about big talk but no substance: “all hat but no cattle.” 

Many of you will recall that the Washington State’s “background check” initiative, I-594, in 2013 was touted as closing a “gap” in the law that legally allowed criminals and other dangerous people to go to private sellers to acquire guns “with no background check and no questions asked.” I-594, proponents argued, was an effective and easy way to keep “firearms out of dangerous hands” and would make “a huge difference when it comes to the rate of gun violence in a state.” 

The NRA opposed I-594 on the grounds that the law wouldn’t stop criminals from obtaining guns and instead would create “a huge, unenforceable regulatory scheme which disproportionately burdens” law-abiding citizens and gun owners.

Almost two years since the initiative law took effect on December 4th, 2014, it appears that the first charges for violating the law have now been filed. According to news reports, prosecutors have charged Mark A. Mercado with “unlawful transfer of a firearm.” The allegations are that he transferred or sold a gun to David Nunez, Jr. on November 9, 2015. Nunez apparently transferred the gun to his friend, who used it to kill 17-year-old John Skyler Johnson a day or so later, in a dispute over a car being impounded. Early this year, Nunez and others – not Mercado –were convicted and sentenced for their part in the senseless murder.

This is a tragic illustration of the shortcomings of this initiative law. This law did nothing to stop criminals from getting a gun. No one apart from Mercado appears to have been charged with a crime for violating the initiative law, despite the later “transfer” of the gun by and from Nunez without complying with the background check requirements. And after almost two years, this is the first prosecution that has materialized under this law. In fact, the most significant impact of I-594 remains the burden it places on law-abiding private individuals, saddling them with additional fees, regulatory and paperwork requirements, and with making sense out of the limited and bizarre exemptions in the initiative law.

And yet, gun control groups continue to advocate and sponsor these measures as a viable solution to the “gun violence epidemic.” The proponents of the I-594 failed legislative scheme, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), are now pushing a new “common sense” initiative in Washington State. Like its predecessor, I-1491 is being talked up big as addressing yet another of the “gaps in our law that make it hard to keep guns away from people threatening violence against themselves or others.” Voters in two other states – Maine and Nevada – will decide in November whether to adopt comparable legislation in their states. In addition to their similarity in substance to I-594, the Maine and Nevada proposals, like I-594, are based on initiatives funded by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown gun-control group. 

Voters need to inform themselves about these initiatives and the extent to which the underlying promises and allegations are just another means by which gun control proponents are attempting to restrict firearm possession by law-abiding citizens while offering no real chance of impacting public safety in the short or long run.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

California: Governor Brown Signs Remaining Anti-Gun Bill

Yesterday, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 424, the remaining anti-gun bill on his desk. 

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” – Latest Ninth Circuit decision proclaims “selling firearms is not part or parcel of the right to keep and bear arms”

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Friday, October 13, 2017

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” – Latest Ninth Circuit decision proclaims “selling firearms is not part or parcel of the right to keep and bear arms”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, lower courts across the country have expressed their disagreement with – or downright hostility to ...

Alleged Sexual Predator and Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein Threatens NRA (Again)

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Alleged Sexual Predator and Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein Threatens NRA (Again)

On October 5, the New York Times published an article titled, “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.” The piece detailed allegations that the mogul used his position of influence to make unwanted ...

Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again

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Friday, October 13, 2017

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What happens to the 400 million or so firearms already in private hands? How does society actually benefit from his plan? Stephens doesn’t say. He apparently just trusts that things would eventually work themselves out ...

California: Governor Vetoes Dealer Storage Bill and Signs Open Carry Ban

Saturday, October 14, 2017

California: Governor Vetoes Dealer Storage Bill and Signs Open Carry Ban

Yesterday, Governor Brown took action on two of the remaining three anti-gun bills by vetoing Senate Bill 464 and signing Assembly Bill 7. 

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Spokane Police To Use Suppressors To Protect Hearing

The Spokane PD has 181 service rifles in its inventory; using suppressors on them has the potential to reduce workers compensation claims and lawsuits from bystanders.

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Illinois: Urgent Action Needed – Numerous Anti-Gun Bills Readied for Consideration Next Week

Today, multiple gun control bills were released by the House Rules Committee and have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing.

Media Consumers Beware: Watchdogs Warn of Bias, Politics, and Influence Tainting the “News”

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Friday, October 13, 2017

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Project Veritas’s “American Pravda” series has focused on the media itself, with prior releases including segments on CNN producers and personalities casting doubt on the network’s own narrative about Russian influence in the U.S. presidential ...

Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming Soon to the Nation’s Capital!

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Friday, October 13, 2017

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California: San Jose City Council to Consider Mandatory Locked Storage Ordinance

Monday, October 16, 2017

California: San Jose City Council to Consider Mandatory Locked Storage Ordinance

On Tuesday, October 17, the San Jose City Council will be discussing a proposed firearms ordinance that will require any person who possesses a firearm in their residence to store the firearm in a locked ...

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NRA ILA

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.