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
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:
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.
The following 28 bills filed in 2013 remain under consideration in the 2014 session:
|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 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
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 “firstname.lastname@example.org” or to “email@example.com.”. 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 “firstname.lastname@example.org” 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