From: GOAL WA [email@example.com
Sent: Fri 1/25/2013 7:57 PM
GOAL Post 2013-2
Legislative Update from Olympia 25 January 2013
(There was no GOAL Post published last week as I was at the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, back home for 20 hours, then back to Washington to visit Olympia. Tomorrow I’m in Orlando for the annual meeting of the Florida Sport Shooting Association. Then things slow down a bit after that!)
PRO-GUN RALLIES NATIONWIDE
LEGISLATIVE CUT-OFF DATES ADOPTED
HB 1012 DISAPPEARS!
PUBLIC HEARING HELD ON HB 1096
NEW GUN BILLS FILED
NO NEW PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED
THE OTHER WASHINGTON
REID WEAKENS FILIBUSTER
LEGISLATOR CONTACT INFO
I’m taking an unusual opportunity for an editorial (opinion) statement on what is going on – or may go on – in Olympia. Those of you who know me, or have worked with me in the past, know that I tend to take a “cup half empty” view… of just about everything! That’s my background in intelligence work: I’ll tell you the worst that can happen, then if things turn out better, we can all smile.
I just spent several days in Olympia, talking with legislators in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle. Most were generally optimistic that – with pro-gun Republicans and Democrats working together -- we can block bad gun bills from moving forward. The numbers SEEM to be on our side. But the NRA just released a very pessimistic statement about the potential for disaster in Olympia. Who is correct? Everyone. But as the NRA notes, it’s going to take work on EVERYONE’S part to stop bad things from happening.
That means TALK TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. Call, write, e-mail… it doesn’t matter, But let them know – politely and courteously – where you stand on bills. No really bad bills have been filed yet, but rest assured they are coming. And when they’re filed, expect a full court press to pass them – IN BOTH WASHINGTONS. The President is already pumping up his 2012 campaign team to push for HIS gun control agenda.
(And don’t believe the hype about surveys indicating significant gun owner support for various gun control schemes. They’re lying, using “self-identified” gun owners. Right. In 1997, Washington Ceasefire claimed their polling showed 65% support for Initiative 676. On elevtion day, the only poll that counts, it was 71% -- AGAINST.)
On Saturday, 19 January, tens (hundreds?) of thousands of gun owners rallied in state capitols and elsewhere from Olympia, Washington to Tallahassee, Florida to show support for the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self defense. Estimates of the Olympia rally run around 2,000-2,500, but one State Patrol officer who was there said it was closer to 4,000. Contrast that with the 200 or so who attended Washington Ceasefire’s “assault weapon ban” rally in Seattle the Sunday before! The turnout in Olympia would have been significantly higher, but 11,000 people attended the Washington Arms Collectors show in Puyallup the same weekend. That’s a WAC record!!! I guess we can thank President Obama for that.
One of the first orders of business for the legislature is adopting internal controls called “cut-off dates.” These cut-offs force action on bills or allow them to die for the session. If a bill fails to pass the specified cut-off, it is nominally dead for the session (subject to revival if the chamber – House or Senate – want it). The cut-off dates for the 2013 session:
February 22 Bills must pass original policy committee
March 1 Bills with fiscal impact must pass first chamber fiscal committee
March 13 Bills must pass original chamber (House bills out of House, Senate bills out of Senate)
April 3 Bills must pass second chamber policy committee
April 9 Bills with fiscal impact must pass second chamber fiscal committee
April 17 Bills must pass second chamber
April 28 Legislature adjourns
In the first GOAL Post I reported the filing of HB 1012, a bill that would have limited self defense and required retreat. Several people e-mailed back to say that HB 1012 was another bill entirely. I was right – and THEY are right. Typically when a bill is filed, that bill number is taken and not reissued. If a bill dies, it dies with that number. Apparently by withdrawing a pre-filed bill (filed before the legislature convenes), the number is released. You learn something new every session!
A public hearing was held on HB 1096, a bill that would strengthen penalties against juveniles illegally possessing a firearm under a variety of circumstances. While the intent of the bill is legitimate, by closing or reducing flexibility (i.e. “loophole”) in existing law, the occasional “good guy” may be trapped into a stiffer sentence than he or she deserves. The NRA has drafted an amendment which will be offered for the bill next week. Please ask your legislators to support the AMENDED VERSION of the bill, not the original draft.
Several new firearm-related bills were filed in Olympia this week. Like HB 1096, HB 1147 (Goodman, D-45) also addresses juvenile possession of firearms. I haven’t had time to do a line-by-line analysis of the bill at this time. HB 1184 (Takko, D-19) is a bill intended to protect shooting ranges from malicious lawsuits resulting from alleged noise violations. The bill is narrowly crafted in the hope that it will pass this time around. Previous range protection bills have either been vetoed by the Governor or failed to pass the legislature. HB 1318 (Taylor, R-15) is our second attempt at getting the legislature to require DOL to mail a renewal notice to CPL holders approximately 90 days prior to license expiration. HB 1371 (Taylor, R-15) is titled the Washington State Firearms Freedom Act. Like its counterpart in Montana and other states, the FFA declares that firearms and accessories made solely within the state of Washington, for use by Washington residents only, are not subject to federal regulation, as no “interstate commerce” was involved. It’s a great statement of principle, and in that sense worthy of passage, but the ATF takes a dim view of these laws. HB 1381 (Goodman, D-45) creates a new class of protection orders for the crime of stalking. It’s a long bill and I haven’t had time to thoroughly digest it yet. Next week. SB 5242 would direct DSHS to share limited mental health information with the Washington State Patrol that would assist in identifying potential threatening behavior.
There are no new public hearings scheduled for next week on any of the gun bills currently filed. Remember under the cut-off calendar they have more than three weeks left to consider bills.
I normally do not cover “the other Washington” in GOAL Post, but given the level of activity and media hype, I will cover it briefly. Several anti- and a few pro-gun bills have been filed in Congress so far this year. The ones of big interest are HR 138 (McCarthy, D-NY), a normal capacity magazine ban bill, a similar counterpart bill (duplicate) by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s infamous “assault weapon ban” bill. The McCarthy/Lautenberg magazine ban bill allegedly grandfathers existing magazines. It also EXEMPTS retired law enforcement officers from the ban (a tactic employed to eliminate law enforcement objections to the bill; most gun laws exempt cops for exactly that reason). The final language on the Feinstein bill has not been posted as of Friday night. Her bill allegedly grandfathers existing “assault weapons,” but requires their registration under the National Firearms Act, just like REAL machines, together with the six month background check, fingerprinting and photographing of owners, etc. It’s not clear yet whether the Feinstein language allows future transfer of existing “assault weapons” (it bans future manufacture) – with the $200 federal transfer tax – or require surrender upon the death of the registered owner.
The filibuster is a long-standing Congressional procedure used to block or slow certain legislation. In modern history, it is most commonly practiced in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to move a bill forward for a vote, while only a simple majority is needed to pass the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) earlier this week attempted to get the Senate to exercise the “nuclear option” to effectively eliminate the filibuster. While that effort failed, he did get Senators to agree to weaken the proves, making it easier to get bills to the Senate floor for a vote. This bodes ill for gun owners, as the filibuster was an effective way to block bad legislation.
The Legislature has published new telephone and office directories for the 2013 session. The following links can be used to identify direct contact information:http://www.leg.wa.gov/Senate/Senators/http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Representatives/
House Bill numbering begins with 1000; Senate Bills with 5000. The following bills have been filed so far in the 2013-14 biennium:
|HB 1096||Juvenile illegal firearm possession||Hurst (D 31)||H. Jud|
|HB 1147||1st degree juvenile unlawful possession||Goodman (D45)||H. Jud|
|HB 1184||Range protection||Takko (D-19)||H. Jud|
|HB 1318||CPL renewal notice||Taylor (-15)||H. Jud|
|HB 1371||WA Firearms Freedom Act||Taylor (R-15)||H. Jud|
|HB 1381||Stalking protection orders||Goodman (D-45)||H. Jud|
|SB 5282||DSHS/WSP info exchange||Carrell (R-28)||S. L&J|
Key to abbreviations: SB = Senate Bill, HB = House Bill, Jud = Judiciary, L&J = Law & Justice, Fish/Ecol = Fisheries, Ecology & Parks, JuvJust = Juvenile Justice, Educ = Education, LocGov = Local Government, NatRes = Natural Resources, Ecology & Parks, PubSaf = Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness, W&M = Ways and Means
GOAL POSITION ON BILLS
HB 1096 SUPPORT IF AMENDED
HB 1147 UNDER REVIEW
HB 1184 SUPPORT
HB 1318 SUPPORT
HB 1371 SUPPORT
HB 1383 UNDER REVIEW
SB 5282 SUPPORT
HEARING(S) SCHEDULED: None
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):
Monroe 16-17 February
Puyallup 23-24 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
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