The annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show opens today in Las Vegas, and a stroll through the “miles of aisles” where guns, ammunition and shooting and hunting gear are on display could give some Washington State lawmakers serious cardiac problems.
Actually, gun rights activists across the country should be paying close attention to the gun prohibition activities in Washington, which used to have gun laws that were amenable to both the state and federal constitutional right-to-keep-and-bear-arms provisions. But anti-gun Democrats backed by the billionaire-funded Alliance for Gun Responsibility are working feverishly to change that.
According to the National Rifle Association, anti-gun state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is now pushing legislation to “outright ban” possession of semi-auto firearms, of which there are thousands on display in Las Vegas this week. Democrat State Sen. Patty Kuderer (48th District) is sponsoring SB 5340 and its companion piece, House Bill 1286 is sponsored by Democrat State Rep. Strom Petersen (21st District).
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There were public hearings Monday and there are more scheduled for Tuesday morning on gun control legislation.
The SHOT Show has drawn retailers from across Washington, and the entire nation, to the Sands Convention Center. Tens of thousands of firearms wholesalers and dealers, parts manufacturers, law enforcement buyers and firearms journalists are here.
Last Friday, Republican State Rep. Matt Shea from the Spokane area spoke to activists on the Capitol steps. He said the state should have a gun “behind every blade of grass,” according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Shea is among the state’s most stalwart rights defenders, and he reportedly blasted the “tyranny” now at work in the Evergreen State that is eroding the Second Amendment rights of an estimated 2 million Washington gun owners. More than 608,000 are licensed to carry concealed, and during an impromptu conversation Monday with a delegation from WaGuns.org at a shooting range outside of Las Vegas, there was a serious discussion about energizing those armed citizens into activism.
What is happening in Washington appears to be fulfilling a prophesy that rights activists have been warning about for decades: The dismantling of Second Amendment and state constitutional protections for guns and the citizens who own them.
For years, those concerns have been dismissed as “gun nut paranoia,” but one look at what has happened in Washington over the past four years, and in California, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut and a handful of other states over the past generation belies the sneering cynicism.
With a state attorney general and Democrat majority in Washington State advocating exactly the kinds of things rights activists have been warning about, Second Amendment advocates gathered here agree that the warnings were not fantasy but fact.