Democrat lawmakers in Washington state are pushing restrictions on concealed carry. (Dave Workman)
Apparently feeling their oats, Democrats in the Washington Legislature are mounting a multi-pronged attack on the state’s long-standing concealed carry system, first by proposing a new training requirement, and more recently by introducing legislation that essentially repeals the waiting period waiver for people who possess active concealed pistol licenses for the delivery of a handgun.
Critics note that CPL holders have already undergone a background check in order to obtain their five-year carry license. Under House Bill 1465, sponsored by Reps. Roger Goodman, Laurie Jinkins and Sharon Tomiko Santos, language in existing state law that allowed a dealer to accept a valid CPL as evidence that the handgun buyer has passed a background check.
The bill includes this language: “This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions…”
House Bill 1315, which mandates the training requirement – which has not been considered necessary since the state began issuing licenses in 1935 – says that the Washington State Patrol will “establish minimum standards for handgun proficiency and examinations to measure handgun proficiency.” The course of instruction shall include “Techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to manage a violent confrontation, including conflict resolution.”
That reads as though the sponsors of this bill honestly believe an intended violent crime victim might be able to “resolve” a conflict by negotiating with their attacker.
As earlier reported, HB 1315 is sponsored by Democrats John Lovick, Amy Walen, Steve Bergquist, Lauren Davis, Roger Goodman, Laurie Jinkins, Christine Kilduff, Shelley Kloba, Gerry Pollet, Cindy Ryu, Tana Senn and Derek Stanford. Contact information for all of these lawmakers may be found here.
Firearms experts uniformly support the notion that gun owners should seek competent instruction, but requiring such training in order to exercise a constitutionally enumerated right – Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution, adopted Nov. 11, 1889 when Washington achieved statehood – might be an impairment. Here’s what the state right-to-bear-arms says:
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
Some rights activists are already comparing the training requirement to an unconstitutional “literacy test” in order to exercise a constitutionally-protected right.
As of Thursday morning, there were more than 612,000 active CPLs in Washington State, according to the Department of Licensing. Anti-gun Democrats apparently want to dramatically reduce that number by adding a layer of red tape to the process, and by essentially disregarding the background check necessary to obtain a CPL as evidence of eligibility for buying a handgun.