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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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Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Earlier today, the Washington state Senate Law & Justice Committee passed Senate Bill 5992 out of committee with a 4-3 vote. As drafted, this legislation has overreaching language that would ban modifications commonly made to ...

Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Friday, January 19, 2018

Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed Substitute House Bill 1122 out of committee on a 7-6 vote.  This bill, which would require gun owners to lock up their firearms or potentially face criminal charges, will ...

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

On Friday, January 12, several amicus briefs were filed in the NRA and CRPA supported lawsuit challenging California’s restrictions against magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The lawsuit, titled Duncan v. Becerra, challenges California’s ...

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

On Thursday, January 25th at 1:30PM, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear several sweeping gun control bills.  NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to attend the committee hearing to voice your opposition ...

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

News  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

Gun control groups are fond of describing preemption as a doctrine whereby a state has stripped local governments of their power to regulate guns.

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Today, Senator Karl Rhoads (D-13) introduced legislation that would ban modifications commonly made to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  SB 2046 is currently pending a committee referral.  Please contact your Senator today and urge them to OPPOSE this ...

Democrats' Exciting New Hope Adheres to Tired Old Anti-Gun Dogma

News  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Democrats' Exciting New Hope Adheres to Tired Old Anti-Gun Dogma

Democrats searching for a standard-bearer in the 2020 presidential election lit on long-time entertainment, media, and publishing figure Oprah Winfrey this week, following a speech Winfrey gave at a televised Hollywood extravaganza.

Washington: CPL Permit Confidentiality Bill Introduced

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Washington: CPL Permit Confidentiality Bill Introduced

Last week, Washington legislators introduced an NRA-backed bill to protect the private, personal information of Washington's concealed pistol license holders from public records requests.  Senate Bill 6173, sponsored by Senator Dean Takko (D-19), and House Bill ...

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

News  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

The sorry state of gun politics in Australia was put into stark relief recently, after Liberal National Party (LNP) Queensland Legislative Assembly MP Anthony Perrett took a principled stand in favor of his constituents’ gun rights.

Indiana: Gun Bills Filed

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Indiana: Gun Bills Filed

With the 2018 Indiana legislative session underway, a number of bills affecting your Second Amendment and hunting rights have been filed.

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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.