GOAL Post 2014-1

GOAL Post                                                                                             2014-1
Legislative Update from Olympia                                                           10 January 2014

LEGISLATURE CONVENES MONDAY, 13 JANUARY

HANDFUL OF NEW MEMBERS IN EACH CHAMBER

POSSIBLE ELECTION YEAR INFLUENCE ON LEGISLATION

29 BILLS HELD OVER FROM 2013 SESSION

TWO NEW PRE-FILED BILLS

INITIATIVES

LEGISLATIVE TUTORIAL

LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR

LEGISLATOR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBERS

LATE PUBLICATION NEXT WEEK

The second regular session of the 63rd (biennial) Washington state legislature convenes Monday, January 13th for its short (60 day) session.  Control of the legislature remains split, with Democrats controlling the House of Representatives with 55 seats, while the minority Republicans have 43.  From a gun owners perspective, this view is skewed by the f act that a small handful of Democrats side solidly with gun owners on those issues.  The Senate remains controlled by a Majority Coalition of 24 Republicans and two Democrats.  From a standpoint of stopping bad bills, we should be all right, but it will be difficult to move pro-gun legislation forward.

Due to resignations and “promotions” (elections to higher or other office), there are six new faces in the House and six in the Senate.  The ones with the greatest potential impact on gun owners are election of Jan Angel (R-26) to the Senate, giving the Majority Coalition 26-23 control, and Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27) taking over House Judiciary from now-Senator Jamie Pedersen (D-43).  Jinkins’ background is in public health issues, so I don’t expect any change in philosophy in House Judiciary.  Senator Adam Kline (D-37) has announced he will not run for reelection this year, but he will be with us for this session.

Mid-term elections will be conducted in November.  To a limited degree, that might influence how elected officials vote on controversial issues.  (Guns?  Controversial?  Nah, it’s clearly protected in BOTH federal and state constitutions… but apparently some people can’t read.)

As this is the second year of the biennium, bills that were filed last year and not passed by the legislature remain available for consideration.  29 firearm-related bills, good and bad, from 2013 are still in the hopper (see list below).  In addition, two additional gun-related bills were pre-filed before the session started.  HB 2164, by Rep. Tina Orwall, would require juveniles adjudicated or convicted of firearm possession offenses participate in “aggression replacement training, “family therapy” or some other approved therapy sessions, and SB 5956 by Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-19) would reopen the door to legal possession of short-barreled rifles.

The “battle of the initiatives” is about to formally kick off later this month.  I-594 backers turned in approximately 345,000 signatures, well over the 246,000 needed for consideration.  I-591 backers (Protect our Gun Rights) turned in about 349,000 signatures.  The signature petitions must be validated by the Secretary of State before they are officially presented to the legislature.  That process is expected to take about two weeks.  Interesting, in their public statement on the initiatives, the Secretary of State’s office referred to I-594 as a “gun control” measure and to I-591 as a “gun-related” measure (an accurate characterization as I-591 PROTECTS gun rights and limits background checks to those required by federal law).  I-594 broadly expands the requirement for background checks on ALL firearm transfers, retail and private, to include loans of guns in many cases.  I-594 would also prevent gun safety classes being given outside recognized shooting ranges (such as those classes conducted at WAC gun shows).  More on these later.

For those new to legislative affairs, here’s how the process works:  When a bill is filed in the House or Senate (or both, simultaneously, called “companion bills”) it is assigned to a policy committee.  Most gun-related bills go to the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Senate.  In the House it’s a little more complicated, as it may be sent to House Judiciary, House Public Safety, or House Juvenile Justice.  Public hearings may be held, after which the bill may (or may not) be voted out of committee.  If the bill has a fiscal impact (usually an expenditure of more than $50,000), it must then go to Senate Ways & Means or one of a couple of House fiscal committees.  The bill then goes to the Senate or House Rules Committee, where it must be voted on to pass out to the floor for a full vote.

After a bill passes the Senate or House, it then goes over to the opposite chamber (House or Senate), where the whole process starts over again.  If the bill passes the second chamber in the same form it passed the first, it goes to the governor for signature (or veto or partial veto).  If changes are made in the second chamber, it goes back to the first for concurrence.  It may also go to a conference committee from both chambers to resolve differences.  The final version must pass both chambers.

The bill then goes to the Governor, who may sign it into law, veto (kill) the bill, or sign a partial veto (killing just selected section(s) of the bill).  The governor may also allow a bill to become law without her (or his) signature.  Most signed bills take effect on 1 July, although bills with an “emergency clause” (considered immediately necessary for public safety) take effect upon signature by the governor.

One of the first items of business in each session is the adoption of the session calendar, identifying dates by which bills must clear various hurdles.  A bill that fails to clear the policy committee or chamber floor by the designated date is generally considered dead for the year, although they may be “resurrected” by parliamentary procedure.  I’ll post the cut-off dates for the 2009 session in the next issue of GOAL Post.

The Democrat caucus has extended its reach from urban and suburban areas to rural areas.  In these districts, the enthusiasm for gun control is diluted.  If the Democrats expect to hold these rural districts in the next election, they will have to tread carefully on the gun issue.  If you live in a rural or even suburban district with Democrat Representatives or a Democrat Senator, it is important that you call their office and express concern about your gun rights.  Ask them to keep you informed of any gun-related legislation.  This lets them know that you are watching them on this issue.

The Legislature has not yet published new telephone and office directories because legislators are not sworn in until Monday, 13 January.  The following links can be used at that time to identify direct contact information:

http://www.leg.wa.gov/Senate/Senators/

http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Representatives/

I’ll be attending the annual SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trades) trade show 14-17 January and won’t return until the 18th (Saturday).  I’ll probably get the next GOAL Post out Saturday night or Sunday.

BILL STATUS:

The following 28 bills filed in 2013 remain under consideration in the 2014 session:

Bill #

Subject

Sponsor

Status

GOAL Position

HB 1096 Juvi illegal firearm possession Hurst (D-31) H. Rules Concerns
HB 1147 1st degree juvenile unlawful possession Goodman (D-45) H. Jud Concerns
HB 1184 Range protection Takko (D-19) H. Jud Support
HB 1318 CPL renewal notice Taylor (R-15) H. Jud Support
HB 1371 WA Firearms Freedom Act Taylor (R-15) H.Jud Support
HB 1561 Short barreled rifles Blake (D-19) H. Jud Support
SHB 1588 Background checks Pedersen (D-43) H. Rules Oppose
HB 1612 Concerns
HB 1676 Mandatory safe storage Kagi (D-32) H. Jud Oppose
HB 1703 Gun “safety” training and tax Jinkins (D-27)  H. Jud Oppose
HB 1729 Street gangs Warnick (R-13) H. Jud Support
HB 1788 Firearms/school employees Pike (R-18)  H. Jud Support
SHB 1839 Background checks Goodman (D-45) H. Rules Support
HB 1840 Firearms/restraining orders Goodman (D-45) H. Rules Oppose
HB 1908 Firearms on school property Scott (R-39)  H. Jud Support
HB 2020 Firearms-related jobs Shea (R-4) H. Jud Support
HB 2164 Juvenile firearm possession Orwall (D-33) H. Jud Evaluating
SB 5376 Juvenile illegal firearm possession Kline (D-37)  S. W&M Concerns
SSB 5452 Stalking protection orders Conway (D-29) S. Rules Concerns
SB 5478 Firearms/mental health court Keiser (D-33) S. L&J Concerns
SB 5479 Safekeeping of firearms Keiser (D-33)  S. L&J Oppose
SB 5485 Mandatory safe storage Kline (D-37)  S. L&J Oppose
SB 5604 NRA license plates Hatfield (D-19)  S. Trans Neutral
HB 5625 Background checks Kline (D-37)  S. L&J Oppose
SB 5635 Restoration of firearm rights Kline (D-37)  S. L&J Oppose
SB 5660 Firearm safety education Chase (D-32)  S. K-12 Support
SB 5710 Mandatory safe storage Kohl-Welles (D-46)  S. L&J Oppose
SB 5711 Background checks Kline (D-37)  S. L&J Oppose
SB 5737 Ban on sale of “assault weapons” Murray (D-43) S. L&J Oppose
SB 5739 Ban on guns in parks Murray (D-43) S. L&J Oppose
SB 5831 Prohibits double tax on clay pigeons Rivers (R-18) S. Rules Support
SB 5956 Short-barreled rifles Hatfield (D-19) S. L&J Support

Key to abbreviations:  S. = Senate, H. = House, Jud = Judiciary, K-12 = Education, L&J = Law & Justice, Trans = Transportation, W&M = Ways and Means

HEARING SCHEDULED:

14 January       HB 2164          House Judiciary Committee
1:30 p.m.                               House Hearing Room “A”
John L. O’Brien Bldg (JLOB)

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.

GET THE WORD OUT:  If you want to subscribe to the GOAL Post by e-mail, send a message to “jwaldron@halcyon.com” or to “goalwa@cox.net.”.  Please pass GOAL Post on to anyone you believe may have an interest in protecting our rights.  Better yet, make a couple of copies of this message, post it on your gun club’s bulletin board, and leave copies with your local gun shop(s).  PERMISSION IS HEREBY GRANTED TO DUPLICATE OR REDISTRIBUTE GOAL POST PROVIDED IT IS REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY WITHOUT TEXTUAL MODIFICATION AND CREDIT IS GIVEN TO GOAL.  I can be reached at “jwaldron@halcyon.com” or by telephone at (425) 985-4867.  Unfortunately, I am unable to mail hard copy GOAL Post to individuals.  Limited numbers of hard copies MAY be available at the Second Amendment Foundation book table at WAC gun shows.

Upcoming WAC gun show(s):

Monroe                  11-12 January

Puyallup                18-19 January

“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 2009 Gun Owners Action League of WA

Support the I-591 campaign!  Donate now at: www.wagunrights.org

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