Five Washington State House Democrats are pushing legislation, requested by anti-gun Attorney General Bob Ferguson, to require background checks for ammunition purchases, despite what amounted to an administrative and public relations train wreck with a similar requirement in California.
The California experience was reported by Liberty Park Press here several days ago. As noted then, an Op-Ed published in the Sacramento Bee revealed a fiasco that prevented 101 ammunition purchases by prohibited persons, while reportedly blocking 62,000 purchases by people who were not prohibited, including some law enforcement officers.
House Bill 2519 is sponsored by Democrats Amy Walen, Javier Valdez, Tina Orwall, Christine Kilduff and My-Linh Thai, all from districts in the central Puget Sound region. It’s part of a legislative frontal assault on gun owners, who are expected to gather in Olympia this Friday, starting on the Capitol steps and then splitting up to meet with their representatives.
Over in the Senate, several more pieces of gun control legislation are also in the works, including one that will require training to qualify for a concealed pistol license, something never before required by the Evergreen State, where the state constitution protects the “right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state…”
BULLETIN: The National Rifle Association is alerting members in Washington State about Senate Bill 5434, sponsored by Senator Claire Wilson (D-30). This legislation seeks to expand so-called “gun-free zones.”
Veteran gun rights lobbyist Joe Waldron suggested via email that one motive behind this legislation is “ammo registration,” which is a backdoor way for the state to know who has what firearms. He indicated this bill set off alarms. Another measure sure to ignite fireworks is House Bill 1374, which would undo state preemption.
Washington may have as many as 2 million gun owners, including hunters, shooting competitors, recreational shooters and those interested in self-defense and home protection. As reported recently, Washington now has more than 646,000 active CPLs in circulation. All of those citizens presumably purchase ammunition, and the contention is that background checks on ammunition purchases treats them like criminals, or at the very least, like second-class citizens.
Speaking of those armed citizens, Senate Bill 6294 mandates training for CPL holders and applicants (both first time and renewals) to show they have taken training sometime during the past five years. That measure appears to critics to be some effort to discourage applications and renewals. It might also be portrayed as an unconstitutional “impairment” of the right to bear arms in the form of a “literacy test,” which is also unconstitutional.
A hearing is scheduled Monday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. before the Senate Law & Justice Committee on SB 6294 and on SB 6077, to ban magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. It will be in Senate Hearing Room 4.
Friday’s turnout of rights activists comes as Virginia gun owners have descended on their state capitol in Richmond to oppose a slew of gun control proposals now being hastily moved by the new Democrat majority. After anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund dumped $2.5 million into the Virginia campaign last fall to help flip the General Assembly to Democrats, they started talking about gun control on the day after the November election.
More than 100 Virginia counties, cities and towns declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries,” igniting a controversy over whether local governments can defy state gun laws.
In response, and allegedly to “prevent violence,” anti-gun Gov. Ralph Northam, another Democrat, has declared a “temporary emergency” that bans firearms from Capitol Square, where a “massive demonstration” of gun owners is anticipated next week, according to U.S. News. This comes just days after guns were banned inside the Capitol building and legislative office building in Richmond.
It amounts to a deliberate insult of law-abiding gun owners who are planning what appears to be a peaceful, though likely firm, discussion with lawmakers about gun control proposals.
However, this move by Northam, and the legislation now faced by Washington gun owners, reveal the depth of dislike among at least some Democrats towards their gun owning constituents.