GOAL Post 2013-UPDATE 1
Legislative Update from Olympia 26 July 2013
NO ACTION IN D.C.
ZIMMERMAN VERDICT REACTION
STAND-YOUR-GROUND UNDER ATTACK
AUGUST 6 PRIMARY ELECTION
SAF SUES SEATTLE
CPL TRAINING REQUIREMENT?
There has been no action on S. 649 or any other anti-gun legislation on Capitol Hill since the last GOAL Post. Congress begins its 30-day summer recess in a week (in other words, a vacation, where many members fly around the world — at taxpayer expense — on “fact-finding” trips). Some meetings may be held during the recess.
The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin has generated outrage from the left. From the President and Attorney General on down, “Trayvon” has become the latest god in the pantheon of the left, with generally — but not entirely — non-violent rallies all across the country. By finding George Zimmerman not guilty by reason of self defense, the jury in effect indicted Martin for aggravated assault — thus justifying Zimmerman’s use of lethal force.. But the mainstream media has yet to make that connection. Just as they haven’t bothered to delve into Trayvon’s school disciplinary record, or his diversion into a non-criminal program when he was allegedly found in possession of burglary tools and stolen jewelry.
(Retired police officer, gun writer, frequent “expert witness” on gun issues — and SAF board member — Massad Ayoob has written a series of blogs analyzing the Zimmerman case. They’re published in Backwoods Home magazine. Next update I’ll try to include links to all of his coverage of the issue.)
Some vocal African-American leaders (or those who claim to speak for African-Americans) immediately started a crusade against stand-your-ground laws, claiming they are racist (especially interesting, given that in Florida at least, African-American defendants use stand-your-ground as a defense much more frequently than do whites; proportionately, and they have a higher acquittal rate with that defense). President Obama and Attorney General Holder jumped on the “pile-on-stand-your-ground” bandwagon as well, and the Congressional Black Caucus (their name, not mine) has started hearings about this evil, evil law. .(Meanwhile totally ignoring the fact that Zimmerman did NOT invoke stand-your-ground, nor did the prosecutor raise it at trial.)
The Black Congressional Caucus also conveniently ignores the fact that stand-your-ground is STATE LAW, not federal. Congress doesn’t write — or repeal — state law. I guess they pick and choose “facts” to suit their current agenda.
Just as President Obama conveniently forgot the fact that when he was a state Senator in Illinois, in 2004, he signed on as a co-sponsor to SB 2386, an EXPANSION of Illinois’ stand-your-ground law. And the Illinois Senate passed it UNANIMOUSLY, while the House had two dissenting votes of 116 Representatives voting. I guess President Obama was “FOR it before he was AGAINST it” (where have I heard that before?).
August 6th is primary day in Washington. As an off-year election, most activity centers on local races, but there are a couple of races that need our attention. Representative Jan Angel (R) is running against appointed Senator Nathan Schlicher (D) in the 26th District. At the county level, 9th District King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn (R) has been solid on the gun issue since he was first elected several years ago. (Please note that those names will only appear on ballots of those who reside in the 26th Legislative District or District 9, King County.
Signature gathering for Initiative 591 (I-591) is progressing well. More than 50,000 signatures have been gathered to date, of the 246,000 required before January 4, 2014. I-591 simply prohibits firearm confiscation without due process, and prohibits the state from adopting a background check standard more stringent than the current federal standard (as I-594 will do, if passed). Additional information about I-591, to include requests for blank petitions, may be obtained at http://protectourgunrights.net/ Blank petitions may also be found at WAC gun shows in Puyallup and Monroe. Protect Our Gun Rights also has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/protectourgunrights.
Last week the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court against the City of Seattle, alleging that the City failed to turn over complete records requested under state public disclosure law. The records involved the gun buyback program conducted by Seattle last January. In the suit, SAF claims the city withheld some documentation and only learned of its existence when it was quoted in an on-line Seattle P-I article and severely redacted (blacked out sections of) others. The original document request was fulfilled when Seattle turned over a disk containing selected documents to SAF, then charging them 10 cents per “page” for the disc. The documents sought include internal communications between city employees and with outside gun control advocates and/or organizations.
A western Washington gun club has distributed a flyer offering classes to qualify an individual to apply for a concealed carry license issued by the State of Utah. There are three states that issue licenses to non-residents that offer the greatest variety of reciprocal carry states: Arizona, Florida and Utah. Of those, Utah is the only one that requires a state-unique training class. The training requirements for Arizona and Florida may be satisfied with a variety of courses or by proof of military service. My principal reason in bringing this up is the notice at the bottom of the flyer: “Washington is moving towards a training requirement for the Washington Concealed Pistol License. Get ahead of the curve by taking this highly respected concealed firearm training. !!!”
To the best of my knowledge, based on 20 years lobbying on the gun issue in Olympia, that statement is not true. The last time the legislature attempted to add a training requirement to obtain a CPL was in 1994. It was defeated. No bills nor amendments have been offered since to force that issue. There is no legislation currently under consideration that would require such training. Studies have demonstrated that there is no difference in “bad” shootings in states that do not have a training requirement versus those that do.
For the record, I am an NRA-certified firearm safety instructor. I firmly believe that if an individual chooses to keep a firearm, and especially if he or she chooses to carry one in public, they assume a moral obligation to obtain the best training they can afford. But I am totally opposed to allowing the state to determine what that training might be. A test to exercise the fundamental right of self defense is the same as a poll test, and the Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional decades ago. (I would add that, in my opinion, ignorant voters cause far greater harm to society than do ignorant gun owners.)
BILL STATUS, BILL POSITION and PUBLIC HEARING SECTIONS DELETED UNTIL THE LEGISLATURE RESUMES ACTION.
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Puyallup 3-4 August
Monroe 14-15 September
“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