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Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

On February 9th, the Washington state Senate passed Senate Bill 6298 to expand the category of persons stripped of their Second Amendment rights and it is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on February 21st at 8:00AM.  On February 14th, the state House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 5992 to ban certain firearm accessories and it now awaits a floor vote.

In addition, a pro-gun amendment offered by Representative Morgan Irwin (R-31) was passed on February 14th to allow active military members and honorably discharged veterans that at are at least 18 years of age to possess handguns and obtain a concealed pistol license.  The Irwin Amendment as part of House Bill 2519 will now head to the Senate where it has been scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on February 20th at 10:00AM.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee to OPPOSE SB 6298, your state Representative to OPPOSE SB 5992, and members of the Senate Law and Justice Committee to SUPPORT HB 2519 with the Irwin Amendment!  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact committee members and your Representative.

Senate Bill 6298 would expand the list of domestic violence offenses that prohibit firearm possession to also include “Harrassment.”  Domestic violence is a serious issue and those convicted of violent offenses should be addressed accordingly.  However, the definition of harassment under Washington state law is so broadly defined that it includes 37 other crimes, many of which involve no form of actual contact or threat of harm to a person.  Under this legislation, even the offenses of graffiti and trespass fall within this umbrella category that could result in a firearm prohibition.  Imposing an automatic, blanket ban on constitutional rights for these wildly varying offenses is excessive and unwarranted.  SB 6298 passed the Senate floor with a 34-13 vote and has been scheduled for a public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on February 21st at 8:00AM.

Senate Bill 5992 was originally introduced as a trigger modification device ban with broad, overreaching language that would have criminalized modifications commonly made to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Instead, the legislation was amended on the Senate floor to narrow down the definition of the ban to apply only to bump-fire stock attachments.  SB 5992 passed the House Judiciary Committee on February 15th with a 10-3 vote and will now await a floor vote.

House Bill 2519 with the Irwin Amendment will allow active duty military members and honorably discharged veterans that are at least 18 years of age to possess pistols and obtain a concealed pistol license.  Current law restricts CPLs to individuals that are 21 years of age or older, and only allows pistol possession for those between the ages of 18 and 21 to occur within their home or place of business.  As originally introduced, HB 2519 provides that a law enforcement agency may not return a CPL that has been surrendered or impounded until the agency determines the licensee meets CPL eligibility requirements.  This bill was amended on the floor by pro-gun legislators to also include the Irwin Amendment.  HB 2519 passed the House with a 94-4 vote and has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on February 20th at 10:00am.

In addition, February 14th marked the deadline for bills to be voted out of the house in which they originated.  Having failed to receive a vote, several anti-gun bills are now likely defeated for the year.  Thanks to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters for their continued involvement this session, the following bills are likely defeated for the year.

Substitute House Bill 1122 would have required the locking up of one’s firearms or else they would potentially face reckless endangerment charges.  This intrusive government legislation invades people’s homes and forces them to render their firearms useless in a self-defense situation by locking them up.  Failed to meet crossover deadline.

House Bill 1483 would have allowed for the destruction of all firearms confiscated by or forfeited to the Washington State Patrol.  Like other seized items, these firearms should be sold by law-enforcement to generate revenue instead of spending money to have them destroyed. Failed to meet crossover deadline.

Substitute Senate Bill 5441 would have imposed a 6-month firearm prohibition for any person who has been released from a 72-hour mental health evaluation.  Current law allows a person to be held for a limited time in order for a mental health professional to determine if the individual is in need of treatment or further commitment.  At the end of the evaluation, individuals that are not in need of treatment are released.  SB 5441 would nonetheless apply a blanket prohibition of firearm possession to all released individuals, and require the immediate surrender of all firearms and any concealed pistol license to law enforcement.  Failed to meet crossover deadline.

Again, please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee to OPPOSE SB 6298, your state Representative to OPPOSE SB 5992, and members of the Senate Law and Justice Committee to SUPPORT HB 2519 with the Irwin Amendment!

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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.