Three major gun rights organizations have focused their attention on the Washington State Legislature, where the House Judiciary Committee will reportedly be considering two gun control measures during a possible executive session on Thursday.
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.
But the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are encouraging 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.
“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.’”
And CCRKBA weighed in today, warned that HB 1387 “turns a right into a government-regulated privilege.”
About HB 1122, the NRA said it “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.”
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.”
Why is this important to anyone outside of the Evergreen State? All one needs to answer that question is to look at Nevada, Oregon and Maine. 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, Initiative 594 – a so-called “universal background check” measure – was passed by a public vote.
In Oregon, the Democrat-controlled legislature passed a similar law the following year. Last year in Nevada and Maine, similar initiatives were on the ballots in both states. Nevada’s was passed but in Maine the measure failed by a thin margin.
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.
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Washington, like California, appears to have become a petri dish for anti-gunners to try out their schemes where there is a large far left voting bloc – in this case Seattle – that will reflexively support any liberal cause. It has occasionally been joked that Charles Manson could win the popular vote in Seattle if he ran as a Democrat.
That’s why people in other states, and major national gun organizations, are watching Washington. What happens there now could be in the future for other states where high dollars and low information voters have become putty for the gun prohibition movement.