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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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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

Thursday, July 19, 2018

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to announce its endorsement of state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the 2018 Republican U.S. Senate Primary in Wisconsin.

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

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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.