Gun rights under attack in the ‘Great Northwest’

Anti-gunners in Washington State are busy pushing lots of gun control legislation. (Dave Workman)

Evergreen State Second Amendment activists are once again facing a battle over gun rights now that the Legislature is under full Democrat control, and party anti-gunners are wasting no time throwing all kinds of gun control legislation at the Capitol walls to see what sticks.

To counter this, activists are planning to gather on the Capitol steps this Friday morning at 9 a.m. for a gun rights rally, after which they will visit their state senators and district representatives. The event is being organized by veteran activist Rick Halle, and will feature remarks by several lawmakers, possibly including a handful of maverick Democrats who don’t agree with their Seattle-centric colleagues about firearms.

Timing is everything, and Friday’s event will be followed up 72 hours later with hearings on Monday over some of the proposed gun control measures. Gun owner frustration is best illustrated by a letter to the editor of the Centralia Chronicle.

One of the bills that is high on the agenda of gun prohibition lobbyists is House Bill 1134, sponsored by more than a dozen Democrats and requested by Democrat state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. He’s the fellow who has sued the Trump administration over immigration issues. His critics have dubbed him “Sideshow Bob.”

The companion legislation in the Senate is SB 5050.

If passed, this legislation would ban the sale of so-called “assault weapons” and original capacity magazines.

That’s not the only threat. For more than 30 years, Washington has regulated firearms the same from one border to the other under a state preemption law that has stood the test of time and been upheld in a significant court case involving the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Washington Arms Collectors, Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association and five private citizens. The case, known as Chan v. City of Seattle, blocked the City of Seattle from banning firearms in city park facilities.

But now comes SB 6146, sponsored by five anti-gun Democrats, which would begin dismantling the statute, which placed sole authority for firearms regulation in the hands of the Legislature. Take this law down and it will throw the door open for municipalities to return to the days of checkerboard gun regulation, what gun owners recall as a “patchwork quilt” of confusing and often contradictory local ordinances that seemed designed more to entrap law abiding citizens than to stop the criminal misuse of guns.

After voters passed Initiative 594, the “universal background check” requirement that has apparently not prevented a single violent crime – including the murder of a Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy Sunday night – more than 1,000 angry gun owners descended on the Capitol Campus vowing to defy the law. There is no evidence the law has kept guns out of the wrong hands, and plenty of anecdotal evidence that it hasn’t.

At the Washington Arms Collectors’ monthly gun show in Puyallup last month, many gun owners contended that Washington used to be a great state for gun laws. Now, they complained, their rights are under attack, and all it took was for liberal Democrats to take control in Olympia.