A new gun control effort launched earlier this week by a county councilman in Washington’s most populous county reveals what many Evergreen State gun owners have suspected, that the purpose of Councilman Joe McDermott’s is to challenge, and ultimately repeal, the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute, and ban guns.
“The Washington State Legislature enacted a preemptive ban on local jurisdictions from making laws that might limit the sale or possession of firearms in our state.
“If the state preemption law is repealed, the King County Gun Safety Action Plan will immediately:
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- Ban semi-automatic, high velocity weapons: Ban the sale and possession of semi-automatic, high velocity weapons
- Ban high capacity ammunition magazines: Ban the sale and possession of high capacity ammunition magazines
- Raise the minimum age to 21: For all firearm purchases and possession laws
Impose a waiting period: Establish a waiting period before taking possession of a firearm after purchase
- Require safety training: Require firearm safety training before taking possession of a firearm after purchase
This is the gun prohibition lobby’s agenda, and it is especially revealing that McDermott apparently agrees with repeal of the preemption statute.
McDermott, a liberal Democrat, served ten years in the Washington Legislature, seven in the House of Representatives and three more as a state senator. When he unveiled his proposals earlier in the week, requiring so-called “safe storage” of guns and the posting of signs in every gun store that warn of alleged hazards of gun ownership, it was immediately clear to people like Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, that this was a deliberate challenge of the preemption law. McDermott’s “Gun Safety Action Plan” makes that plain. Gottlieb has already vowed to sue the county if it adopts McDermott’s scheme.
Second Amendment activists argue that this has nothing to do with “gun safety” but is instead pure “gun control.”
McDermott also wants the county to mandate that privately owned firearms be locked up when not in use. The signs he wants posted would read:
“Warning: The presence of a firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of suicide, homicide, death during domestic violence disputes, and unintentional deaths to children, household members and others.”
But when challenged by KVI’s John Carlson on the air Thursday morning why other signs noting that guns are used in self-defense an estimated 2 million times annually, McDermott seemed evasive. McDermott would also not answer whether he owns a firearm.
Another tenet of the “action plan” is to have the King County Executive’s office to “establish a work group that develops gun safety and gun violence prevention strategies based on proven public health models.” Who would be appointed to that “work group?” If it doesn’t include firearms instructors and dealers, gun range operators and representatives from local gun owner groups and clubs, it might be nothing but a gun control façade financed by county government; that is, gun-owning taxpayers helping to pay for work by a group whose goal is to erode their Second Amendment rights.
This could lead to a lot of political fireworks in a county where liberal ideologues seem determined to tangle with citizens living in every other part of the state.