GOAL Post 2006-4
Legislative Update from Olympia 27 January 2006
PUBLIC HEARING HELD ON SB 5343 (GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE)
INTERESTING REVELATIONS FROM WASPC – SLIPPERY SLOPE
AUDIO RECORD OF HEARING “LOST”
PUBLIC HEARINGS HELD ON SB 6358, SB 6598, SB 6616, HB 2622
HB 2622 (CPL RECIPROCITY TECHNICAL FIX) PASSES JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED FOR HB 2835
HB 3221, REWRITING THE ALIEN FIREARMS LICENSING STATUTE FILED
NEXT FRIDAY, 3 FEB, IS COMMITTEE CUT-OFF DAY
A public hearing on SB 5343 (“gun show loophole”) was held on 24
January. The official count of attendees signing in shows 29 in favor,
79 opposed. An additional 29 people signed in but failed to indicate a
position on the bill. One hour was given to that bill alone. After
committee staff, the bill’s Senate sponsor (Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles)
and the House counterpart (HB 2861) bill’s sponsor (Rep. Brendan
Williams) were allowed to speak, committee chair Senator Adam Kline
selected a panel of three representatives from WASPC (WA Assn of
Sheriffs and Police Chiefs) to speak.
WASPC executive director Don Pierce, Centralia police chief Bob Berg and
Mountlake Terrace chief Scott Smith were the panelists. When asked by
Senator Jim Hargrove (D-24) what the difference was between private
sales at gun shows and anywhere else, Don Pierce responded, “Nothing.”
Hargrove then asked if WASPC wanted to stop ALL private sales of
firearms (as is the law in California), and Pierce responded, “Yes.” And
yet they claim there is no slippery slope to gun control! (In 1997, Don
Pierce was the Bellingham police chief who assisted Washington Ceasefire
in promoting I-676, the handgun owner licensing initiative, with
television ads and public appearances.)
They were also asked if there was any documented record of a gun being
bought at a gun show and then used in a crime. The response (I believe
also from Don Pierce) was, “I’m sure there are.” That was met with
laughter by the audience. The role of public officials in providing
testimony at legislative hearings is to provide facts available based on
their expertise and public records. And yet all WASPC could do was
provide opinion. One would have thought that with more than a year to
prepare, WASPC could have documented at least ONE case where a gun was
bought by a felon at a gun show, then used in a crime. Not so. WASPC may
have rolled out its big guns, but they were firing blanks.
The second panel was composed of Joe Waldron (CCRKBA, GOAL, WAC, WSR&PA
and WCW), Brian Judy (NRA-ILA) and Dave Reynard. Factual information was
presented about gun shows in general, with amplifying information about
how the Washington Arms Collectors conducts its shows. A letter was also
submitted from the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors
Association (WSLEFIA) stating their opposition to SB 5343.
Another pro-5343 panel was seated with Natalie Rieber (executive
director of Washington Ceasefire), Ralph Fascitelli (Washington
Ceasefire president) and Diana Madriata (Brady Campaign, west coast
office). Fascitelli discarded his prepared comments and went on a rant
about how he had visited a gun show recently, where he found “assault
weapons” and “.50 caliber rifles with six inch bullets” for sale.
The final three-person panel consisted of WAC member Merton Cooper and
two other individuals whose names I did not catch. Unfortunately the
audio archive of the hearing is unavailable (see below).
TVWashington conducts live audio coverage of all legislative hearings.
The audio coverage is then available in archive form at TVW’s web site
(http://www.tvw.org <http://www.tvw.org/>). Interestingly, the first
hour of audio coverage of Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary hearing is missing
– the hour devoted to SB 5343. Supposedly a technical glitch involving
remodeling activity in the Cherberg Building is to blame. But the one
hour that was lost is the hour when WASPC admitted it wants to close all
private firearm transfers in the state and acknowledged it has no hard
evidence of guns bought at gun shows being used in crimes. Coming on the
heels of last week’s failure to give five full-days notice of the
hearing (except for Washington Ceasefire, who appeared to have advance
notice), one wonders just what is going on here. If anyone who was at
the hearing was able to tape it, please e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> or call me during the
workday at (425) 454-4911.
Public hearings were also conducted on several hunting-related bills (SB
6598, restricting hunting on county-owned lands in Island County; SB
6616, banning hunting within one mile of a pre-school-12 school; and SB
6358, hunter ed requirement waiver for active duty military). A public
hearing was held by the House Judiciary Committee on HB 2622, a limited
CPL reciprocity technical bill. HB 2622 was then passed out of the
Judiciary Committee to House Rules. Next stop: a House floor vote.
(Note: GOAL’s legislative focus is on the firearms issue and bills
directly impacting the acquisition, possession and use of firearms.
While we try to cover hunting-related bills of interest, time
constraints may preclude thorough coverage.)
The only gun-related bill scheduled for a public hearing at this time is
on HB 2835, a bill to regulate projectile stun guns (e.g. Tasers and
Stingers). In addition to requiring background checks of purchasers, it
would allow cities and counties to ban projectile stun guns. We are
opposed to this bill. The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Tuesday
morning, 31 January, in House Hearing Room “B.”
Rep. Jim Moeller (D-49) has filed HB 3221, a bill that would repeal the
current Alien Firearms License statute and enact a new, more restrictive
Next Friday, 3 February, is policy committee cut-off day. Bills that
have not passed out of their policy committee by the end of business
Friday are nominally dead for the remainder of the session. However
(there’s always a “however”), procedural measures may be used to “pull”
a bill to the floor for a vote – an unusual occurrence, but it does
happen. Another way of resurrecting a bill is to lift the language and
amend it into a bill that is still going through the process. It’s still
way too early to let our guard down.
Bills currently under consideration:
Bill # Subject Sponsor Status
SB 5343 Gun show loophole Kohl-Welles (D-36) S. Jud.
SB 6139 Justifiable homicide Stevens (R-39) S. Jud.
SB 6258 School/guns penalty increase Delvin (R-8) S. Jud.
SB 6358 Hunter ed waiver for G.I.s Morton (R-7) S. NatRes
SB 6426 CPL reciprocity amendment Schoesler (R-9) S. Jud.
SB 6598 Restricting hunting on county lands Haugen (D-10) S. NatRes
SB 6616 Restricting hunting near schools Haugen (D-10) S. NatRes
HB 2622 CPL reciprocity amendment Blake (D-19) H. Rules
HB 2824 Threats with a firearm/schools Lovick (D-44) H. Jud.
HB 2835 Projectile stun gun restrictions Lovick (D-44) H. Jud.
HB 2861 Gun show “loophole” Williams (D-22) H. Jud.
HB 2930 Eliminates exceptions to guns/schools Jarrett (R-41) H. Jud.
HB 2958 Illegal use of non-toxic shot/penalty Sullivan (D-22) H. NatRes
HB 3092 CPL late fee waiver…………………….Morrell (D-25) H. Jud.
HB 3221 Alien firearms licenses Moeller (D-49) H. Jud.
Key to abbreviations: S. = Senate, H. = House, Jud = Judiciary, CJ&J =
Criminal Justice & Corrections, JuvJust = Juvenile Justice, Educ =
Education, LocGov = Local Government, NatRes = Natural Resources, Parks
& Shorelines (senate), Natural Resources, Ecology & Parks (House); W&M =
Ways and Means
GOAL POSITION ON BILLS:
SB 5343 Oppose
SB 6139 Support
SB 6258 Oppose (needs more work in the interim)
SB 6358 Support
SB 6426 Support
SB 6598 Oppose
SB 6616 Oppose
HB 2622 Support
HB 2824 Neutral
HB 2835 Oppose
HB 2861 Oppose (needs more work in the interim)
HB 2930 Oppose
HB 2958 Support
HB 3092 Support
HB 3221 Oppose
PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED:
31 Jan House Judiciary Committee House Hearing Room “B”
10:00 a.m. HB 2835 (projectile stun guns) imposes background check
and weakens preemption by allowing municipalities to ban stun guns.
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". It's available in two versions: text (.txt) file or
Acrobat (.pdf) file. The "Acrobat" version is preferred as it is easier
to read and is an exact copy of the hard copy format the legislators
use. You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat from Adobe's web
site. 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.