Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More on Washington's I-594

Quite possibly the worst gun bill ever, possibly second only to bills with the word "ban" in the title.

Source: NRA's page
From Lee Williams at the Herald-Tribune:
You're at the range.

A longtime friend comes over and asks if he could try your handgun, as he's contemplating buying one.

Of course you agree. That's what gun owners do.

If this scenario occurs in Washington State after the passage of Initiative 594, both of you have broken the law.

Initiative 594 would classify this as a transfer -- something that would require paperwork, fees, a waiting period and if it involves a handgun, government registration.
There's been a lot of misinformation about this bill, but make no mistake: it's a bad one for gun rights. Mr. Williams calls it "ill-conceived" and "poorly thought out", but I think he's being too generous; there's no way something this damaging is an accident.

Its supporters tout it as a simple background check bill on firearm sales/purchases with no registration.

The reality? The bill is 18 pages (what 18-page law is "simple"?) and specifically names transfers (broadly defined with very few exemptions), not "sales". As for registration ... I-594 doesn't need it; if passed, it will piggy-back on an existing-but-little-known Washington law requiring that people purchasing handgun sales through dealers undergo a background check and submit paperwork for Washington's handgun registry.

Yes, Washington has a handgun registry.

And I-594 would require that nearly all handgun "transfers" (broadly defined, remember?) go through a dealer's background check, which means nearly every handgun transferred in Washington will be required to be registered, including "private" sales and temporary loans. In the case of temporary loans, the paperwork must be filled out, background check passed, fees paid, and handgun re-registered, on both sides: when you loan the gun, and when you get it back.

If you're in Washington State -- or even if you're not but you know people in Washington -- please help spread the word. Read Lee Williams' article (it's short), check out the NRA's Vote No on 594 page, and if you like, print off their "pocket guide" (PDF warning) for a handy-dandy list of talking points and dispelled myths.

And while you're chatting with Washington folks, do what you can to promote SAF's Initiative 591. It's a half-page, two sentence measure -- supported by law enforcement groups and nine (and counting) individual county Sheriffs -- that provides that a) background checks in Washington comply with a uniform national standard (a.k.a. the FBI's NICS check), and b) firearms cannot be confiscated or seized by law enforcement without due process.

If I-594 passes, you can expect similar ballot initiatives to come to your area, and be funded by billionaires trying to buy your local elections and your rights. We need to shove this in their faces and make it clear this tactic is a waste of their money.

[UPDATED TO ADD:] Dave Workman weighs in (again):
"Gun prohibitionists continue to portray themselves as underdogs when they have a $7 million advantage, and are asking $1,000 to co-host the [Seattle Mayor Ed] Murray event, $500 to sponsor it and $250 to support it.

Nobody is asking for money to attend the [pro-gun] Westlake Center Park rally. This is grassroots possibly at its finest...."
Just so we're all clear on which side has the monetary advantage, and which side is being honest about who has the monetary advantage. [/UPDATE]

(Hat tip: Herschel at The Captain's Journal)

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