Washington State gun rights activists will rally Thursday morning on the Capitol steps in Olympia for what is billed as “Gun Rights Lobby Day,” which will be a timely event as the Senate Ways & Means Committee is scheduled to hold an executive session conference on Senate Bill 5078 on Friday.
SB 5078 is the bill that would “hold the gun industry accountable” for crimes committed with firearms. It would allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers for the actions of third party gun users over whom industry has no control. Critics say the measure, if passed, would violate the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m.
Thursday’s rally is scheduled to run from 10:30 a.m.to 1 p.m., after which gun owners will fan out to meet their state lawmakers. Their main concerns are new gun control proposals now making their way through the legislature. Not only is there an effort to pass SB 5078, there is also legislation to require a permit to purchase a firearm (House Bill 1143), which includes a training requirement prior to getting the permit from a local police agency. Opponents of the measure have been reminding lawmakers no other constitutionally-protected fundamental right requires getting permission from police in order to exercise that right.
As reported by Ammoland, a third controversial bill—House Bill 1240—is also still very much alive. This bill seeks to ban so-called “assault rifles,” a longtime goal of Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Critics say such a ban would violate both the federal and state constitutions, and if it passes, it will be challenged in federal court.
By some estimates there are between 1.5 and 2 million gun owners in Washington, and nearly 700,000 of them are licensed to carry concealed handguns. This makes for some interesting political posturing, especially in King County, which encompasses Seattle, the state’s liberal bastion and headquarters of the billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobby.
Recently, KOMO reporter Hannah Knowles posted the results of a survey asking viewers if they believe the city of Seattle is safe, and the results were overwhelmingly negative.
KOMO PULSE POLL: What would you say is the current state of public safety in the City of Seattle?
— Hannah Knowles (@HannahknowlesTV) February 21, 2023
Less than 12 percent of respondents think the city is safe, while 14 percent think it is unsafe “but improving” and 73.9 percent believe the city is not safe and is getting worse. There are more than 111,000 active carry licenses just in King County, according to the state Department of Licensing.
The Gun Rights Lobby Day is sponsored by organizer Rick Halle and the Gun Rights Coalition.