GOAL Post 2012-3
GOAL Post 2012-3
Legislative Update from Olympia 20 January 2012
NEW BILL FILED
HB 1006 MAY BE RESURRECTED
PUBLIC HEARING ON SB 6123 RESCHEDULED)
PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED
PUBLIC TESTIMONY 101
MY LAST WORD ON HB 2202 AND SB 6123
LEGISLATOR CONTACT INFORMATION
(My apologies for the late distribution. I just got back from the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trades (SHOT) in Vegas. Busy times. But I spoke with a dozens of Washingtonians there, refugees from the snow, many of whom were WAC or WSR&PA members.)
The legislative schedule for the past week was turned upside down by the snow event.
The legislature has yet to publish the cut-off calendar on its web site. The first cut-off will occur at the end of the first week in February. Theoretically, all bills that have not passed out of their original policy committee are supposed to be considered dead for the remainder of the session. But there ARE exceptions.
Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45) has filed House Bill 2589 which appears to be a technical bill addressing illegal possession of a firearm -- technical in the sense that it rewords existing law. Unless someone can give us a good reason why this change is necessary, GOAL will go on record opposing the bill.
While at the SHOT show, I was talking with a few individuals from the Knife Rights organization (kniferights.org). One of them told me he was told HB 1006, a bill banning most knives with blades over 3.5" in length, may be resurrected during this session. We'll keep an eye out for it.
The public hearing scheduled for SB 6123 (NRA license plate) on 18 January was a casualty of the snow. It has been rescheduled for a hearing by the Senate Transportation Committee on 26 January at 3:30 p.m. in Senate Hearing Room 1.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bills 2347 (spring-blade knives), 2471 (firearm purchase) and 2589 (unlawful firearm possession) on 25 January at 8 a.m. in House Hearing Room "A." Interesting how they skipped over HBs 2098, 2099, 2137 and 2481, all good pro-gun bills. The committee chair has total control over which bills he chooses to hear.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 6179 (spring-blade knives), also on 25 January, at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Hearing Room 1.
The public is allowed, even encouraged, to attend public hearings and to volunteer to speak in support of or opposition to bills under consideration. A sign-in sheet is available on a table just inside the hearing room. You can sign in in support or opposition to a specific bill, and indicate whether or not you wish to testify. Keep in mind time is limited, and the committee chair has total discretion as to who he chooses to call on.
Public testimony should be limited to three minutes. Try and focus your comments on one or two points -- that keeps it short and sweet. If someone else has already made that point, move on. DO NOT criticize the motives of individuals on the other side of the bill. Keep in mind that while you are likely testifying for yourself as a private citizen (you can't speak for an organization unless that organization's officers have authorized it), your comments will reflect on the gun-owning community as a whole. Public hearings are recorded and aired live as well as being available for recall. And the mainstream media like nothing more than to show the world how "radical" and "extremist" gun owners are. Keep the camouflage for your hunting trips; you don't have to wear a suit, but attire should be clean, pressed and presentable.
(I typically use the royal "we" in GOAL Post, reflecting the PAC's observations and positions on bills. The following is my personal opinion, although several GOAL trustees agree with me.)
My (personal) comments about the two NRA license plate bills drew sharp attention from several GOAL listers last week. This will be addressed this one last time unless the bills move forward. If that occurs, we will reconsider our position. For the record, I have been a life member of the NRA for nearly four decades. I have worked with the NRA on a number of issues, including as Chairman of WeCARE, the political action committee formed in 1997 to SUCCESSFULLY oppose anti-gun Initiative 676. I am an NRA-certified firearm safety instructor and a former NRA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC). The NRA is the 900 pound gorilla in the fight to protect our right to bear arms, sharing that goal (pun intended) with several other organizations, national,. state and local. (At last count, I am a current life or annual member of 18 gun-rights organizations. And, for the record, I am a former paid employee of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and the former executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and currently serve as their legislative director. I am also a current or former elected official of five gun organizations, including the WSR&PA and WAC.)
While I have no problem with a dedicated NRA license plate in principle, I believe there is a better way to "show the flag" as it were. That is with a generic "Second Amendment" plate. First, it's harder for anti-gunners to vote against the Bill of Rights than it is to vote against one specific organization, especially the NRA, which many anti-gunners consider to be the devil (or worse). Second, I believe broadere support will be generated for a Bill of Rights/Second Amendment plate than for one recognizing a single organization. Third, I believe the revenues generated by a specialty plate could be better utilized keeping alive the Washington's unique self-defense reimbursement statute (the hunter education program is already supported by Pittman-Robertson funds and hunting license revenues). While at SHOT, I spoke with several NRA officials, one of whom told me he believed the revenues generated by NRA plates in the half-dozen or so states that have adopted such a plate go to the NRA Foundation.
The Second Amendment is what it's all about. It was there long before ANY of the other organizations came along, to include the NRA. ALL of them are committed to the preservation of the Second Amendment. And that's where I believe our focus should be. That's the last time I'll address this subject unless one of the bills moves forward.
Once again, here is the link to contact your elected legislators: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
Just type in your address and links to your State Senator and two State Representatives will be provided.
The following are ALL of the gun-related bills filed during the current 2012 regular session.
Bill # Subject Sponsor Status
HB 1006 Knife ban Appleton (D-23) H. Jud.
HB 1508 Range protection Takko (D-19) H. Jud.
HB 2067 Repeal of self defense restitution Hunter (D-48) H. W&M
HB 2098 Short barreled rifles Blake (D-19) H. Jud.
HB 2099 Short-barreled rifles and shotguns Blake (D-19) H. Jud.
HB 2137 Guns in vehicles Blake (D-19) H. Jud.
HB 2202 NRA license plate Takko (D-19) H. Trans.
HB 2347 Spring-blade knives Dammeier (R-25) H. Jud.
HB 2471 Firearm purchase Goodman (D-45) H. Jud.
HB 2481 CPL reciprocity Goodman (D-45) H. Jud.
HB 2589 Unlawful firearm possession Goodman (D-45) H. Jud.
SB 5697 State agency gun security devices Hargrove (D-24) S. Jud.
SB 6123 NRA license plate Hatfield (D-19) S. Trans.
SB 6179 Anti-switchblade knives Kastama (D-25) S. Jud.
SB 6272 Right to self-defense Stevens (R-39) S. Jud.
Key to abbreviations: HB = House Bill, SB = Senate Bill, Jud. = Judiciary, Trans = Transportation, W&M = Ways & Means
GOAL POSITION ON BILLS (see note in narrative)
HB 1006 OPPOSE
HB 1508 SUPPORT
HB 2067 OPPOSE
HB 2098 SUPPORT
HB 2099 SUPPORT
HB 2137 SUPPORT
HB 2202 SUPPORT IF AMENDED
HB 2347 SUPPORT
HB 2471 SUPPORT
HB 2481 SUPPORT
SB 5697 NEUTRAL
SB 6123 SUPPORT IF AMENDED
SB 6179 OPPOSE
SB 6272 SUPPORT
25 Jan HBs 2471, 2347, 2589 House Judiciary Committee
8:00 a.m. House Hearing Room “A” John L. O’Brien Building
25 Jan SB 6179 Senate Judiciary Committee
1:30 p.m. Senate Hearing Room 1 John A. Cherberg Building
26 Jan SB 6123 Senate Transportation Committee
3:30 p.m. Senate Hearing Room 1 John A. Cherberg Building
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 18-19 February
Puyallup 25-26 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
Copyright 2012 Gun Owners Action League of WA