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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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The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

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Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

Last week, we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on ...

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

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Gun Laws  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights

On March 16, 2017, the Seattle Times reported that Seattle city officials were reluctant to release data on the revenue generated by the city’s firearms and ammunition tax, citing taxpayer confidentiality concerns. Less than a ...

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

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Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserted during his confirmation hearings this week that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of ...

More Firearms, More Firearms Owners, Fewer Fatal Accidents

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Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

More Firearms, More Firearms Owners, Fewer Fatal Accidents

The National Safety Council released the 2017 edition of its annual Injury Facts report this week, and it contains welcome news about firearm safety. 

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Monday, March 27, 2017

Virginia Action Needed: Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Self-Defense Bills

Following their passage in the Virginia General Assembly, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed multiple self-defense bills; Senate Bill 1299, Senate Bill 1300, House Bill 1852, and House Bill 1853. 

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

Friday, March 24, 2017

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

This week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed multiple pro-gun bills, including House Bill 1721, House Bill 2323, and House Bill 2322. 

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Continuing to Fight in California

Friday, March 24, 2017

Continuing to Fight in California

We are excited to inform you of our new California specific webpage – Stand and Fight California.   On this page you will find State Legislation, Legal Updates, and How to Get Involved, among other California ...

News  

Monday, March 27, 2017

NRA Applauds Texas State Senate for Passing SB 16

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action applauds the Texas Senate today for passing Senate Bill 16, legislation that substantially reduces License To Carry fees in the Lone Star state.

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

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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.