Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It didn't take long for the 2017 session to get under way before gun control advocates began to introduce legislation that would chip away at the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
An assault on law-abiding citizens by the state Attorney General
One of the first and WORST pieces of legislation, House Bill 1134, was introduced at the request of Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The bill would ban the possession, purchase, sale or transfer of an “assault weapon,” including semi-automatic weapons, such as the AR-15, and any large-capacity magazine (LCM) that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
A second measure, House Bill 1387, introduced on behalf of Ferguson, would impose a registration-licensing system and enhanced background check for assault weapons and LCMs. Under the bill, every person who possesses, transports, manufactures, purchases or sells an assault weapon or LCM must have an annual state-issued license, with an updated license required every time there is a change in the possession of the gun or LCM. Like the first bill, the second mandates that relinquished guns and LCMs must be destroyed.
We are strongly against both of these measures, and agree with the National Rifle Association which said, “These bills have less to do with meaningful reforms for public safety and reducing crime than they do with moving the incremental process of stigmatizing guns and eliminating firearm possession by law-abiding citizens” in Washington.
If you share our concerns, we recommend you call the Attorney General's office and ask that these bills be rescinded. His number is (360) 753-6200 or go here for other ways to contact him.
Other bills very concerning to us that seek to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens who own guns include:
- House Bill 1122 – Creates penalties for those who do not “safely” store firearms. Also requires firearms dealers to offer to sell or give the purchaser a locked box, a lock or device that prevents the firearm from discharging.
- House Bill 1384 – Would make sexual assault protection orders permanent, rather than the existing two-year maximum. This means gun owners could indefinitely lose their rights to own a firearm for life, with no recourse or due process.
Public hearings on House Bill 1387 and House Bill 1122 have been scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2, at 1:30 p.m. in the House Judiciary Committee – House Hearing Room A, John L. O'Brien Building, Olympia. The committee is also scheduled to vote during that date/time on House Bill 1384. We encourage you to click on the links individually and then click on “Comment on this bill” on the bill page where you can state your views to the committee.
We will be watching each of these bills closely and doing all we can to oppose further erosion of our state and national constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
Protecting and enhancing our rights
Fortunately, there are legislators like ourselves in Olympia, who understand the importance of gun ownership and the ability to defend oneself. Here are some bills that would help to protect our rights. Click on the bill number to get further details:
- House Bill 1004 – Use of firearms during emergency;
- House Bill 1015 – Allowing concealed carry in stadiums, public facilities;
- House Bill 1181 – Prohibiting a database of pistol sales/transfers;
- House Bill 1190 – Prohibiting a database of gun ownership;
- House Bill 1380 – Repealing background checks from Initiative 594;
- House Bill 1100 – Conceal carry renewal; and
- House Bill 1381 – Increasing reciprocity for concealed pistol licenses (CPL).
- House Bill 1725 – Sponsored by Rep. John Koster – Exempts background checks on the sale or transfer of a firearm when the seller/transferor and the purchaser/transferee both possess a valid concealed pistol license.
These bills have each been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. House Bill 1100 passed the committee unanimously on Jan. 26. The chair has not yet scheduled public hearings on the other measures.
Join us for a telephone town hall!
We will be holding a telephone town hall together on Tuesday, Feb 21, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. To join the community conversation, please call (425) 616-1855. Similar to a call-in radio show, the format allows you to ask questions, participate in poll questions, or just listen in throughout the hour. We hope you can join us!
With gun control measures coming before the Legislature, we plan to remain vigilant. We invite you to contact our offices and let us know your comments and questions on these issues. Here is our contact information:
Rep. Dan Kristiansen
335C Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Phone: (360) 786-7967
Rep. John Koster
122F Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Phone: (360) 786-7816