THE OTHER WASHINGTON
UN ATT HEADED FOR A VOTE
Activity has been slow in Olympia this week. There were no surprises in the three public hearings conducted this week. As a space filler, I’m adding material on developments in D.C. and at the United Nations. SSB 5282 passed out of House Judiciary and now sits in House Rules awaiting a floor vote.
Next Wednesday is the second chamber policy committee cut-off. Bills that don’t make it out of their policy committee are considered dead for the remainder of the session, although budgetary bills can always move.
I’m adding SB 5865 to the list. I should have included it earlier. The bill, by our own Senator Pam Roach (R-31) exempts the use tax now required from fund raising activities by not-for-profit organizations such as the Friends of NRA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, etc. (And probably Washington Ceasefire, too.) The bill was heard in the Senate Ways & Means committee this week and may be voted on next week. This is one of those budget bill exceptions to the cut-off.
Three and a half months since the Newtown shooting incident. Poll numbers in support of additional gun control continue to decline (administration probably wishes it had acted more quickly).
Congress is halfway through a two week Easter recess… it returns 8 April.
The focus remains the Senate.
President Obama was back on television Thursday surrounded by sycophants and victims (i.e. dancing once again in the blood of the victims) whining about the lack of action. We can expect a full bore gun control PR campaign from the White House for the foreseeable future.
New York City Mayor Michael “I was a Democrat before I was a Republican before I was an Independent” Bloomberg has pledged $12 MILLION for an advertising campaign targeted to swing states to get the votes to pass the Senate bill. Two of the ads feature a rural-looking “hunter” who says he has no objections to background checks. They don’t ask his opinion of gun registration.
Reid has elected to build one omnibus gun bill (S. 649) to take to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill carries the innocent sounding title “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013.” The full text of the bill is available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113s649pcs/pdf/BILLS-113s649pcs.pdf
The bill runs 44 pages and contains a number of things on the wish list of gun control advocates. It requires ALL transfers of a firearm to be conducted by an FFL, with full record-keeping as required by current law. It DOES allow direct gifts to immediate family members without the check, the “loan” of such firearm for a period of up to seven days — PROVIDED the firearm does not leave the lender’s property, and the loan of a firearm at a range or for the purpose of shooting in a match, or while hunting, again with restrictions. The bill authorizes the Attorney General to set an unspecified transfer fee for FFL processing.
To address “gun trafficking, the bill requires reporting “lost or stolen” firearms to both the Attorney General and local law enforcement with 24 hours of discovery of the loss. The trafficking section also expands the definition of “strawman sale,” increases penalties to 15 and 25 years in federal prison for violations, adds forfeiture of any property related to trafficking and ties money laundering and racketeering (RICO) statutes to trafficking crimes.
One good section of the bill: it prohibits “Fast & Furious”-style operations by Department of Justice agencies (but not OTHER federal agencies such as CIA or other Homeland Security elements) UNLESS permission is granted by the Attorney General or his/her designee.
As filed, the bill NOT contain an “assault weapon” or magazine ban, but Reid will allow votes on separate amendments to accomplish the same. Without doubt several other amendments, good and bad, will be offered.
And let there be no doubt in your mind that this “universal background check” language opens the door to firearm registration. The data is all there on the dealers records: buyer identification information and a full description of the firearm. Retired (out of business) FFL records are ALREADY in a federal data base (NOT a “gun registration” data base, a “tracing” data base — maybe someone can explain the difference). Current FFL records could be automated almost overnight — the mechanism is already there.
Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and James Imhofe (R-OK) have sent a letter to Majority Leader Reid saying they will “oppose” ANY gun control bill in the Senate. Whether this opposition amounts to a filibuster remains to be seen. Several Republicans have expressed an interest in S.649.
Arm-twisting, by Majority Leader Reid AND by the White House has already begun, with threats, with promises of “protection” to red-state Democrats, with offers of “favorable” amendments to Republicans to get them to vote the bill forward. If you liked the way Obamacare was shoved down Senators’ and Representatives’ throats, you LOVE the upcoming gun bill(s). Another “we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it” moment (if THAT’S not an impeachable statement by a Speaker of the House, I don’t know what is).
The United Nations General Assembly is expected to debate and pass it’s long awaited Arms Trade Treaty in the next week or two. Originally, the U.S. demanded consensus (agreement by all nations) on the language of the bill. The U.S. withdrew that demand last week. Like many treaties, it’s full of generalizations and passages subject to interpretation. Like the Inter-American Arms Treaty (CIFTA) of 1999, the treaty is SUPPOSED to control INTERNATIONAL trade in arms from warships, combat aircraft, tanks, armored vehicles (like the ones DHS is passing out to the states) down to small arms and ammunition (including “sporting arms”).
It clearly opens another door to full firearms registration. One section reads, “Each State Party (nation) shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list, in order to implement the provisions of this Treaty.” There is language included that implies nothing in the treaty will infringe on national laws and customs, but that’s all eyewash.
Should ATT be ratified (there is no question the US will vote FOR it in the UN General Assembly and President Obama will sign it), the door is wide open to almost any gun control regulation supporters can dream up.
President Clinton signed a similar but narrower treaty, the Inter-American Arms Treaty (CIFTA) in 1999. The U.S. Senate has yet to vote on that one, despite a request by President Obama for a ratification vote in 2009.
It’s interesting that supporters CLAIM the major effect of the UN ATT is to protect countries from arms transfers to rebel groups within their own borders. All the talk of “2,000 deaths per day” by all of these weapons ignores the fact that most of the 2,000 are THEIR OWN CITIZENS, being MURDERED BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS.
But we have nothing to worry about… DHS has more than 1 BILLION rounds of ammunition and 2,700 armored vehicles on hand to protect us and defend U.S. sovereignty.
KEEP IN MIND WE’RE ONE MASS SHOOTING OR OTHER HIGHLY VISIBLE SHOOTING INCIDENT AWAY FROM BROAD AND EXTREME GUN CONTROL MEASURES AT ALL LEVELS FEDERAL AND/OR STATE. AS LONG AS THEY’RE IN SESSION, WE’RE AT RISK.
The following bills remain under consideration in the 2013 session
|Bill #||Subject||Sponsor||Status||Goal Position|
|SHB 1383||Stalking protection orders||Goodman (D-45)||S. HS&C||Concerns|
|SHB 1612||Firearm offender registry||Hope (R-44)||S. L&J||Concerns|
|SHB 1840||Firearms/restraining orders||Goodman (D-45)||S. L&J||Oppose|
|SSB 5282||DSHS/WSP info exchange||Carrell<(R-28)||H. Rules||Support|
|SSB 5452||Stalking protection orders||Conway (D-29)||H. Jud||Concerns|
|SB 5865||Use tax exemption for non-profits||Roach (R-31)||S. W&M||Support|
SHB 1612 Senate Law & Justice Senate Hearing Room “1”
2 April 5:30 p.m. John A. Cherberg Bldg
LEGISLATIVE HOT LINE: You may reach your Representatives and Senator by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Toll free!!! The hearing impaired may obtain TDD access at 1-800-635-9993. Also toll free!!!
1-800-562-6000 TDD 1-800-635-9993
OTHER DATA: Copies of pending legislation (bills), legislative schedules and other information are available on the legislature’s web site at “www.leg.wa.gov“. Bills are available in Acrobat (.pdf) format. You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe’s web site (http://www.adobe.com). You may also obtain hard copy bills, initiatives, etc, in the mail from the Legislative Bill Room FREE OF CHARGE by calling 1-360-786-7573. Copies of bills may also be ordered toll free by calling the Legislative Hotline at (800) 562-6000. You may also hear floor and committee hearing action live at http://www.tvw.org/ (you need “RealAudio” to do this, available free at the TVW web site).
By reading the House and Senate “bill reports” (hbr, sbr) for each bill, you can see how individual committee members voted. By reading the “roll call” for each bill, you can see how the entire House or Senate voted on any bill. The beauty of the web site is that ALL this information is available, on line, to any citizen.
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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Monroe 6-7 April
Puyallup 27-28 April
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
Article 1, Section 24
Constitution of the State of Washington
Copyright 2013 Gun Owners Action League of WA