WA gun control lobby will target preemption, magazines, open carry

The Seattle-based gun control lobby has announced its Washington State legislative priorities for 2019, and among them are state preemption, possession of so-called “high-capacity magazines,” and open carry, according to a news release.

Anti-gunners in Washington State have revealed their 2019 legislative wish list. (Dave Workman)

This comes on the heels of passage of Initiative 1639, the restrictive gun legislation that strips 18-20-year-olds of their rights to own a semiautomatic firearm, and classifies virtually every semi-auto rifle in the state as a “semiautomatic assault rifle.” The initiative is being challenged in federal court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, two firearms retailers and private citizens.

In addition, the police chief in Republic, Ferry County has declared he will not enforce the measure, and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has also announced its deputies will not actively enforce provisions of the law when it takes effect next year, according to MyNorthwest.com.

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But here’s part of what the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the billionaire-backed lobbying group, revealed on its website:

“For over 30 years, our local towns, cities, and counties have been blocked from taking action to prevent gun violence own their own because of the statewide preemption law. Local leaders are best positioned to know how best to protect their communities. We should restore their ability to limit firearm access and the open carrying of firearms in certain public places—like crowded events, public parks and libraries where kids play and learn.”

State preemption, adopted in 1983 and strengthened in 1985, has been a political thorn in the side of anti-rights mayors and city councils since it became law. The statute has been a model for similar laws in other states, placing sole authority for firearms regulation in the hands of the state legislature. The principle was and remains simple: Uniformity of gun laws from one end of the state to the other. Preemption eliminated a patchwork of confusing and sometimes contradictory gun regulations. But municipal anti-gunners want to create their own laws, thus creating an environment that discourages the exercise of state and federal constitutional rights, say Second Amendment activists.

In its news release, the Alliance—emboldened by its third straight win by citizen initiative—says these goals are in its sights:

  • Community and victim safety legislation which will provide law enforcement with the ability to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence arrest
  • Expanding factors which a judge may consider when issuing an Extreme Risk Protection Order to include hate-based threats
  • Restoring local authority to keep communities safe by limiting firearms in crowded public events or places like parks and libraries where our kids play and learn, and allowing them to limit the open carry of firearms
  • Restricting access to high-capacity magazines

The complete agenda also reveals that they want to require training to obtain a concealed pistol license. According to the state Department of Licensing, there are now more than 605,000 active CPLs in the state. Data from the agency shows that in November more than 2,900 CPLs were added. Since January, the total increase in CPLs as of Nov. 30 was 14,467.

“Washingtonians did their part at the ballot, now it is time for our legislators to do their part,” said Renee Hopkins, Alliance CEO, in a Wednesday news release. “Our statewide coalition — including community leaders, survivors, advocates, public health experts and law enforcement — created the most robust agenda we have ever put forward.”

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