- Joined 2008
- Posts 212
- Location WA, USA
Posted: 11/30/2011 12:34:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/31/2013 1:15:46 PM EST by Ranb]
Now is the time to start talking to your Representatives in Olympia about the SBS / SBR bills. Hearings are being scheduled and we do not want to miss the opportunity to get our bill into committee and passed along for a vote. In 2010 there were 4700 bills sponsored, almost 1000 of them were allowed a vote on the House and Senate floors with greater than 90% passing.
Knowing this, a committee chairman is not going to give any bill a hearing unless he is told it is a priority and thinks it will pass a vote on the House and Senate floor. Pedersen was very blunt about this when I discussed the silencer bill with him a few years ago. Senator Kline is just as picky when it comes to what bills are allowed a hearing also. When we write to these men we must be brief, factual, polite and precise.
Here are the bills; 2099 (SBS and SBR) http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2099&year=2011 and 2098 (SBR’s only) http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2098&year=2011
Here are bill SBS bill sponsors;
Representatives Blake, Kretz, Hurst, Liias, Orcutt, Dunshee, Taylor, Van De Wege, Shea, Kirby, Short, Takko, Moscoso, Tharinger, Finn, Seaquist, Schmick, Sells, Ahern, Condotta, McCoy, Hope, Moeller, Goodman, McCune
Find your Rep here; http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx Here are the Representatives pages; http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/Pages/default.aspx
If your Representative is a sponsor, write and thank them for their support. If your Representative is not on this list then they will most likely need to be educated about the merits of the bills.
Back in 1994 WA State passed their own version of the crime bill just as the federal government did. But unlike the feds, Olympia deleted the AWB portion of the 97 page bill. Like the 1994 federal crime bill, Washington State’s crime bill (2319-1994) contained provisions for increased spending and law enforcement intended reduce crime. It had a lengthy portion called the “legislative intent” which described the reasons why the bill was needed. The bill claimed that the media reported gun crime as “epidemic”. Bill 2319 did not mention SBS and SBR except to say that they were legal at the federal level and that they were not banned by state law. Nowhere did the bill claim that SBS/SBR’s were involved in any violent crime at all.
As you should know, all legally possessed SBS and SBR are registered, including those owned by the police and military. Therefore the only SBS and SBR owned in WA were registered in accordance with federal law. The law as it was amended only affected people who wished to own registered SBS and SBR in Washington State in the future and those who already owned them and wished to sell them to other unlicensed WA residents. It had little effect on criminals who owned unregistered sawed off rifles and shotguns. Using them to commit a crime was already illegal and if the state wanted to prosecute a criminal for possession of an unregistered sawed off shotgun, all they had to do was turn them over to the feds.
In other words, bill 2319 only targeted the law abiding person who paid the $200 tax and passed the FBI background check prior to making or buying his SBS or SBR.
Here is why bill 2098 should be passed into law.
The bill only eliminates the July 1, 1994 registration deadline; possession of unregistered SBS and SBR will still remain illegal.
This will bring state law into line with federal law.
Possession of an unregistered SBS and SBR has been prohibited at the federal level since 1934.
Short barreled shotguns and rifles are just as useful to the sportsman as their full sized counterparts.
Small businesses will benefit by increased sales to residents as authorized by the BATFE.
There is very little crime associated with sawed off shotguns and short barreled rifles in WA compared to other firearms
Most of the illegal unregistered SBS and SBR seized by the police were not involved in a violent crime.
There are no evidence that any legally owned and registered SBS or SBR are involved in any violent crime in Washington State.
Chances are that your Democrat Representative will say this is a Republican issue, but is it not. Some of the bill sponsors are Democrats.
If they do not come out in support of the bill, ask them for a meeting to discuss the merits of the bill. While meeting a Rep or Senator can be a bit daunting the first time you do it, it is actually an easy thing to do. I am willing to go with anyone to a meeting within 100 miles of Seattle. I have met with Representatives Pedersen, Haigh and Finn in person and talked to Senator Sheldon on the phone. While I am not an expert lobbyist, I know how to educate a person on firearms. A face to face meeting can mean the difference between a “I’ll think about it” response from a Rep and them becoming a bill sponsor. A face to face meeting is worth 100 letters and 1000 e-mails.
Here are the legislators that voted in favor on the SBS SBR ban back in 1994.
Senator Tracey Eide (While in House of Representatives)
Senator Tim Sheldon
Senator Lisa Brown (While in House of Representatives)
Senator Paull Shin
Senator Karen Fraser
Senator Jim Hargrove
Senator Rosemary McAuliffe
Senator Margarita Prentice
I wrote to all of them to ask why they supported the ban. Only Senator Sheldon responded. He gave me the answer I completely expected to hear. He had no idea why the ban was included in the bill. As the bill was a very lengthy document, it is not surprising that a few "unacceptable" provisions were allowed to remain as to allow passage of a bill they felt was needed very badly.
Senator Sheldon also said he supported the bills that would allow possession of SBS and SBR's. As the other Senators were not in my district, I was not expecting a reply, and I did not get any.
For those of you who are in their districts, please write to them. When you do, ask them to tell you what they hoped to gain by banning possession of registered SBS and SBR by those who would otherwise be able to obtain BATFE authorization to own them. Ask if they were aware of any crimes committed by the legal owners of these firearms; chances are they have never heard of any crimes associated with legally possessed SBS and SBR. Ask them how keeping future purchases of registered SBS and SBR illegal will help WA if they are still allowed to be possessed by those who owned them prior to July 1, 1994.
Chances are that they will have no idea why SBS and SBR were banned back in 1994. But it would be interesting to see their replies to the other questions. If they give you a BS reply like "those are illegal in the USA" or “only criminals use them", ask them for evidence to support their claims.
You do not need to be interested in short barreled shotguns or short barreled rifles to be affected by this bill. Convincing Olympia that all legal firearms in the country should be permitted in our state will go a long way towards establishing gun owners as a force to be reckoned with. Thank you
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