GOAL Post 2015-2
Legislative Update from Olympia 16 January 2015
RALLY A SUCCESS
FEDERAL LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST I-594
WHY GOAL POST DOES NOT ADDRESS PURELY HUNTING ISSUES
NO CUT-OFF CALENDAR YET
GUN BILLS FILED
PUBLIC HEARING(S) SCHEDULED
PUBLIC HEARINGS 101
LEGISLATOR CONTACT INFORMATION POSTED
A “Rally for your rights” was held on the Legislative Building steps on Thursday. Turnout was “several hundred,” significantly fewer than the “I will not comply” rally conducted last month — but that rally was held on the weekend, with no legislators present, while this one was on a work day, with all legislators present and available to hear from their constituents.
As reported by SAF’s Dave Workman, one attendee noted, “Most of our people are at work, so they can pay taxes and support other people who come down here to restrict our rights.” About two dozen individuals from the “I will not comply” group were present, and reportedly some heckled lawmakers. That does not help. And why did they even bother? At last month’s rally they claimed they had already nullified I-594 by their civil disobedience, so why did they bother to come? (There’s nothing wrong with civil disobedience… in its place, as it was in December.). (BTW, those who chose to open carry inside the legislature after the rally may have provoked a move to ban such carry. There’s a time and a place for everything.)
A lawsuit was filed last week in federal district court in Tacoma challenging many provisions of I-594, mostly dealing with various forms of “transfer.” Plaintiffs include several individual citizens, both Washingtonians and non-residents of Washington, firearms training facilities, private security/investigative services, and others. Each category of plaintiff has been negatively impacted by I-594, in different ways.
We have been asked why I-594 was not simply challenged as a whole on constitutional grounds. The simple answer is, the suit would be dismissed almost immediately. Both the Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010) decisions by the Supreme Court upholding the right of the individual citizens to keep and bear arms allowed for various restrictions to remain in place. At this point, a piecemeal, provision by provision, challenge to 594 offers the greatest likelihood of success. Additional information may be found at http://www.saf.org/?p=4877
The focus of the GOAL Post is on firearms-related legislation (90% of which is contained in RCW 9.41). We do not address Title 77 (hunting code) unless it impacts firearms directly. We will address bills having an impact on self defense and/or the use of lethal force (typically in RCW 9A.16 or 9A.36). The Hunters Heritage Council DOES track most Title 77 issues.
The session cut-off calendar has yet to be published. The cut-off calendar contains all the dates by which bills must clear their policy committee or their chamber (House or Senate). Bills that fail to clear these hurdles are nominally dead for the remainder of the session, although exceptions can be made.
Note that HB 1245, by Rep. Matt Shea (R-4) would repeal all provisions of I-594. (Recognize that for a two year period following adoption, it takes a 2/3 vote of the legislature to amend in any way an initiative passed by the people. HB 1245 is unlikely to gain that level of support, but Rep. Shea is making an important statement by filing the bill. Other action is current under way — both legislative and through litigation — to limit the impact of I-594.)
Public hearings have been scheduled for next week for SB 5036 and HB 1119. The purpose of a public hearing is to gather information from the bill’s sponsor(s), other stakeholders (individuals or organizations with a direct interest in the bill), and members of the public. See the commentary below on how to participate in a public hearing. Most public hearings are two hours in length, with the time divided among several bills under consideration and other committee business to be addressed. Thus the time spent on each bill is limited. Keep in mind, too, that the committee chair has full discretion as to who is called to testify and who is not. SB 5036 will be heard in Senate Law & Justice on Monday, 19 January (the legislature does NOT close for holidays; both MLK Day and Presidents’ Birthday are legislative work days.). HB 1113 will be heard in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee on 20 January. The hearing schedule appears below.
As the name implies, public hearings on bills are open to the public. A sign-in sheet will typically be found on a table just inside or outside the hearing room. Attendees are not required to sign in, but may do so. If you wish to speak on a bill, or take a position on the bill (“pro” or “con”), you must sign in. If called upon to testify, there is usually a three minute limit on comments. You should keep it short and sweet, preferably no more than one or two points. If someone before you already made that point, do not repeat it. No personal attacks or attacks on the motives of other speakers are allowed. Just make a positive or negative statement about the content of the bill in question. You do not have to wear a coat and tie or business attire to attend or speak at a hearing, but you should dress neatly. Your appearance says a lot about YOU.
The legislative web site is found at leg.wa.gov. Additional information is available at the following sites:
House member info: http://leg.wa.gov/House/Representatives/Pages/default.aspx
Senate member info: http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Senators/Pages/default.aspx
Combined House and Senate e-mail addresses: http://app.leg.wa.gov/memberemail/Default.aspx
(Next week’s GOAL Post may run a day or so late as I will be at the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trades (SHOT) show in Las Vegas. If I can’t send it out from my hotel room,. I’ll get it out when I get home.)
|HB 1119||Clarifying and streamlining various provisions of the existing Washington state Hunter Education Program||Blake (D-19)||AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES||Pending|
|HB 1191||Mandating a renewal notice be mailed to CPL holders 90 days prior to license expiration||Taylor (R-15)||H Judiciary||Support|
|HB 1193||Eliminates the state pistol registry and prohibit the state from maintaining any data base of handgun purchasers||Taylor (R-15)||H. Judiciary||Support|
|HB 1245||Repealing Initiative Measure No. 594.||Shea (R-4)||H. Judiciary||Support|
|SB 5036||Creating a sentence enhancement for body armor.||O’ban (R-28)||S. Law & Justice||Neutral|
Key to abbreviations: S. = Senate, H. = House, Ag/NatRes = Agriculture/Natural Resources, HS&C = Human Services & Corrections, Jud = Judiciary, L&J = Law & Justice, , W&M = Ways and Means
* = status change this past week
SB 5036 Senate L&J SHR 1.
John A. Cherberg Building 19 Jan 1:30 p.m.
HB 1119 House Ag/NatRes HHR
John L. O’Brien Building 20 Jan 10:00 a.m.
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):
Puyallup 17-18 January
Monroe 14-15 February
“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