GOAL Post 2015-7: Legislative Update from Olympia 20 February 2015

GOAL Post

2015-7

Legislative Update from Olympia

20 February 2015

NEW BILLS

PUBLIC HEARINGS HELD

PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED

POLICY COMMITTEE CUT-OFF, BILLS DIE

NEXT CUT-OFF DATE FISCAL COMMITTEES

WHO DECIDES WHICH BILLS MOVE, WHICH DIE?

ATF PLAN TO BAN M855 AMMUNITION

Rep. Matt Shea (R-4) and 41 other House members (40 Republicans and two Democrats) filed HB 2164, a bill that would exempt almost everyone from the background check provisions of I-594.  The bill exempts, among others, law enforcement, corrections and security officers, CPL holders, active duty military, honorably retired military, members of a variety of veterans organizations, all certified firearm safety instructors, etc, etc.  The bill was assigned for action to the House Judiciary Committee, where it can be considered dead on arrival.  Bills like this (and many others filed this session) make nice statements of principal, but stand almost no chance of passage, or even of serious consideration.  Recall it takes a 2/3 vote of each chamber of the legislature to pass any bill amending a newly-passed initiative.

Public hearings were held this week, a few of which then passed out of committee.  It’s crunch time as bills had to pass their policy committee Friday.  The most critical bill to pass were SBs 5381 out of Senate Law & Justice and HB 1857 passed out of House Judiciary and sits in House Rules.  Both bills deal with taking guns away from dangerous persons (who could oppose that?), and establish criteria for the (possible) return of such guns when the period of danger has passed.  SB 5381 was cleaned up quite a bit prior to its passage from committee, although it still bears watching.

HB 1857 (extreme risk protection orders) is far broader, and allows seizure of weapons based on the complaint of a family member who consider a gun owner “dangerous.”  Those of you who have dealt with family law situations know all about false accusations as a soon-to-be-ex spouse or significant other looks for ways to hurt the other party.  The order is effective for ONE YEAR, and a hearing may be held by telephone!  It’s interesting to note that SB 5381 was passed by a unanimous vote of the Senate Law & Justice Committee, while HB 1857 was passed on a strict party-line vote.  All Republicans dissenting and all Democrats voting “:aye.”  Hint:  they DO want your guns.

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, 2/23 at 1:30 p.m. on SB 6015, a bill that creates an “NRA” license plate to help fund the state’s hunter education program.  The hearing will be held in Senate Transportation, Senate Hearing Room 1.  A thoroughly commendable cause, but why not simply a “Second Amendment” license plate?  The NRA is without doubt the 900 pound gorilla in the fight to preserve our rights, but it is by no means the only organization.  There are two national gun rights advocacy groups headquartered right here in Washington, at this time the only organization to file suit over I-594.  Add to that earlier lawsuits expanding the scope of the Second Amendment nationwide (McDonald v Chicago), Mance v Holder, overturning the federal ban on interstate handgun sales, Palmer v D.C. that forced the District of Columbia to issue CPLs, and dozens more.  Visit www.saf.org to see a partial list of SAF victories in defending the Second Amendment.  (Disclosure: I am a former SAF employee.)

Friday, 20 February is the cut-off date for bills to pass out of their original policy committee.  This is the first major culling of bills for the 2015 session.  As can be seen in the “BILL STATUS” column below, 2/3 of the firearm-related bills (and most of the other 2,000 bills filed this year) nominally died today.  I say nominally because theoretically a bill can be revived, but such action is unusual.  And bills that have price tags attached (that spend taxpayer money) that require fiscal committee attention have an additional week (2/27) to identify funding source and pass one of the fiscal committees.

An interesting observation:  Fourteen gun-related bills were filed in the Senate, of which nine remain alive, eight moving forward at this point.  Of the 25 gun related bills filed in the House (most of which were sent to the House Judiciary Committee), 21 died.  Most of the 21 were pro-gun bills, and never even got a public hearing.  Recall I mentioned the fact that the committee chair has total control over which bills he or she hears.  So much for the “democratic” process!

Late last week the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) announced it was rewriting the framework by which ammunition could be prohibited under the 1986 Law Enforcement Officers Protective Act (LEOPA), banning so-called “cop killer” bullets.  LEOPA is supposed to be applied only to ammunition primarily intended for use in handguns — most rifle ammunition will penetrate the soft body armor (mostly Kevlar) used by police officers.  The first load in their sights is M855 ball ammunition, a subset of the original FN-developed “SS 109” bullet.  This ammunition has a steel “penetrator” in front of the lead core, but heretofore had NOT been considered “armor piercing.”  It does NOT meet the DOD or NATO definition of AP ammunition.  And 99% of M855 ammo is fired in rifles, not the small number of AR-derived handguns out there.  This is essentially BATFE adopting the Obama tactic:  I’ll use my pen to create laws if I need to.  The industry and gun rights advocacy groups are fighting this, but I wouldn’t expect a favorable outcome.  Whether you use M855 or not, the question to ask is where does this stop?  Arbitrary and unilateral action by regulatory agencies.

(Just for the record, the Vietnam-era M193 ball — 55 grain FMJ bullet — remains the most popular .223 load out there, and is perfectly satisfactory out to 300 yards or so.)

BILL STATUS:

Bill #  Subject  Prime sponsor Status
HB 1119
OPPOSE
Hunter education issues Blake (D-17) Died
SHB 1131
OPPOSE
Prohibits sale/transfer of ivory Pettigrew (D-37) Died
SHB 1191
SUPPORT
CPL renewal notices Taylor (R-15) H. Approp
HB 1193
SUPPORT
Prohibiting gun owner data base Taylor (R-15) Died
HB 1245
SUPPORT
Repeals I-594 Shea (R-4) Died
HB 1324
SUPPORT
Codifies castle doctrine and stand your ground  Shea (R-4) Shea (R-4) Died
HB 1433
SUPPORT
Modifies Gun Free School Zone law Scott (R-38) Died
HB 1442
SUPPORT
Exp. economic development via firearms/ammo G. Hunt (R-2) Died
HB 1474
SUPPORT
Defense against animal attack Taylor (R-15) Died
HB 1506
SUPPORT
Exempts security guard transfers from I-594 Kirby (D-29) Died
HB 1521
SUPPORT
Returns NICS “delay” to three days (I-594) Taylor (R-15) Died
HB 1533
SUPPORT
Exempts guns loaned to museums from I-594 Van Werven (R-42) Died
HB 1535
SUPPORT
Exempts active LEOs from waiting period Klippert (R-8) Died
HB 1594
OPPOSE
Imitation firearms Wylie (D-49)  Died
HB 1692
OPPOSE
Imitation firearms Wylie (D-49)  Died
*HB 1713
OPPOSE
Mental health/guns Cody (D-34) H. Rules
HB 1722
SUPPORT
Short barreled rifles Hayes (R-10) Died
HB 1731
OPPOSE
Return of firearms held by law enforcement Ormsby (D-3) Died
HB 1747
OPPOSE
Safe storage of firearms Kagi (D-32) Died
*HB 1857
OPPOSE
Extreme protective orders Jinkins (D-27)  H. Rules
HB 1886
SUPPORT
Repeals I-594 by popular vote Hunt (R-2) Died
HB 2031
SUPPORT
Tax exemption for firearm safety device Harmsworth (R-44)  Died
HB 2088
SUPPORT
Lowers age for CPL from 21 to 18 Shea (R-4)  Died
HB 2089
SUPPORT
Expands CPL reciprocity; lowers age to 18 Shea (R-4) Died
HB 2164
SUPPORT
594 Repair Bill Shea (R-4) Died
SB 5036
NEUTRAL
Penalizes criminal misuse of body armor O’Ban (R-28) S. Rules
SB 5241
OPPOSE
Prohibits sale/transfer of ivory Litzow (R-41) Died
*SSB 5381
OPPOSE
Return of firearms held by law enforcement Billig (D-3) S. Rules
SB 5476
SUPPORT
Exempts active LEOs from waiting period Dammeier (R-25) Died
SB 5500
SUPPORT
Allows retired LEOs to carry on school grounds Roach (R-31) S. Rules
SB 5539
SUPPORT
Exempts LEO’s from three day waiting period Roach (R-31) S. Rules
SB 5579
SUPPORT
Exempts licensed security guards from b/g checks Dammeier (R-25) S. Rules
SB 5615
SUPPORT
Exempts military members from b/g checks Benton (R-17) S. Rules
SB 5643
OPPOSE
Mental health/guns O’Ban (R-28) Died
SB 5658
NEUTRAL
Reporting of mental health commitment Dansel (R-7) S. Rules
SB 5727
OPPOSE
Extreme protective orders Frockt (D-46) Died
SB 5789
OPPOSE
Safe storage of firearms Kohl-Welles (D-36) Died
*SB 5831
Support
Restoration of firearm rights Honeyford (R-15) S. Rules
SB 6015
Support
NRA License Plate Roach (R-31) S. Trans.

* indicates change in status this week

SHB/SSB = Substitute Bill (bill amended in committee), HB = House Bill, SB = Senate Bill, H. Aprop = House Appropriations, H. Jud. = House Judiciary, S. L&J = Senate Law & Justice, H. Ag/NatRes = House Agriculture & Natural Resources, S. NatRes/Parks = Senate Natural Resources & Parks, S. Hum Ser = Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing, H. GenGov = House General Government & Info Technology, S. Trans = Senate Transportation

HEARINGS SCHEDULED:

SB 6015   Senate Trans SHR “1  John A. Cherberg Building
23 Feb  1:30 p.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.

GET THE WORD OUT:  If you want to subscribe to the GOAL Post by e-mail, send a message to “[email protected]“.  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 “[email protected]” 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.

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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):

Puyallup                     21-22 February

Puyallup                     21-22 March

“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 2015 Gun Owners Action League of WA

Posted by: GOAL <[email protected]>

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