The Washington State House Judiciary Committee will reportedly be considering two gun control measures during an executive session on Thursday, and Second Amendment activists are already flooding Olympia with messages of opposition.
One of the bills is aimed at licensing and registration of so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines,” and the other measure would mandate so-called “safe storage” so that guns could not fall into the wrong hands.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have been encouraging Evergreen State gun owners to contact members of the Judiciary Committee in hopes of derailing the bills. NSSF is specifically opposed to the “assault weapons” licensing scheme, HB 1387, while NRA and CCRKBA are opposed to both bills. The storage legislation is HB 1122.
CCRKBA warned in an alert to its members that HB 1387 “turns a right into a government-regulated privilege.”
“The legislation echoes earlier California licensing and registration schemes,” the NSSF warned in its alert this week.
The NRA said HB 1387 “would impose an annual registration and licensing system on the most popular and commonly owned semi-automatic firearms sold today by classifying them as ‘assault weapons.’ In addition, it would prohibit the sale and transfer of standard capacity ammunition magazines labeling them as ‘large-capacity magazines.’”
CCRKBA, which is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., called HB 1122 “attempt to micro-manage every gun owner in the state with a storage mandate that could criminalize anyone who does not comply.”
The NRA said HB 1122 “is vaguely written and could potentially subject law-abiding gun owners to gross misdemeanor penalties, including huge fees and potential imprisonment, if they don’t lock their firearms up and render them useless for any self-defense scenario.”
What happens with these measures is important to gun owners outside of the Evergreen State. Recent history shows that Nevada, Oregon and Maine have followed what happened in Washington with its so-called “universal background check” measure, Initiative 594. Three years ago, with more than $10 million contributed by anti-gun elitists including Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Nick Hanauer, and several other wealthy Seattle-area donors, I-594 was passed by a public vote.
The Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature passed a similar law the following year. Last year in Nevada and Maine, similar measures were on the ballots in both states. Nevada’s was passed but Maine voters narrowly rejected their initiative.
Currently, similar legislation is under consideration in New Mexico, where there is no citizen initiative process. The entire New Mexico Sheriff’s Association has come out in opposition to the bill.
The Washington State Legislative Hotline toll-free (in-state) telephone number is 800-562-6000.