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Posted: 1/23/2006 9:55:22 PM EDT
Dear Senator ,

I am writing to ask that you vote against SB 5343, legislation which
is claimed to be a "reasonable step" in regulating guns. In fact,
this law has some very nasty parts details embedded in it which could
serve to shut down gun shows in Washington state. That does not
sound like a "reasonable" step to me and I hope that it does not to
you either. Responsible gun ownership is a right, not a privilege.

Gun shows in Washington have been policing themselves along the lines
stated as the intent in this bill for quite a few years now. For an
attendee to purchase a firearm at a Washington Arms Collectors show,
for example, he or she must be a member of WAC. Membership in WAC
entails successful completion of a background check, and so the
check that is the stated goal of this law has already been accomplished
without government intevention. Enacting a "poison pill" law such as
this seems like a poor way to reward those responsible organizations
which are already performing background checks.

Furthermore, less than 1% of guns recovered from crime scenes have
been traced to gun show transactions. Most were purchased with
background checks in illegal dealer "strawman" purchases. Taking
steps to curtail such sales would yield much better results in
hindering the efforts of criminals to obtain guns.

I am against SB 5343 because it is unnecessary and it also imposes
regulatory burdens on gun show organizations which are likely to shut
them down. For example, this law appears to make gun shows liable
for enforcing the law in any nearby locale where they would
"reasonably know" people will park while attending the show. It
appears to me that it would require gun show orgs to post signs
and prevent private sales within a reasonable walking distance of
the show. And if show representatives do spot people on a nearby
street examining a legally owned firearm, what authority would they
have to prevent this on property not rented by them for the actual
purposes of the show?

I oppose enacting legislation based on a hyperbolic misstatement
of the facts. There is no "gun show loophole": there are dealer
sales and private sales and talk of a loophole is clearly intended
not to disarm criminals but to begin curtailing the situations
where private sales of firearms can occur. If a sincere attempt
was being made to restrict the law to reasonable restrictions,
the gun rights community would have had their concerns solicited
and addressed prior to drafting this bill. Why did this not

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Link Posted: 1/23/2006 9:58:31 PM EDT
Found one typo "intevention" should be "intervention".
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:31:01 AM EDT
Do not use abbreviations. This is a formal letter.

You use “orgs” for organizations.

You have fallen into a trap (yes I just said “It’s a trap”). You state that “Responsible gun ownership is a right, not a privilege.” Gun ownership is a right, not a privilege. There is nothing about being responsible. When you use that term you are giving the other side a place to put a wedge to pry your rights away.

Not all gun shows police themselves. WAC does. By stating that all do you have lied which gives the senator a reason to dismiss your letter.

Less than 1% of firearms have been tracked to gun show sales. You admit there is a problem. Other than voting no on this legislation do you have a solution?

You have pointed out that the language of the law is subjective "reasonably know". That is very good. Again is the solution in your mind to say within 50 yards of the front door, only within the structures, etc.

A great question about why the organizer is responsible for enforcing the law. We have law enforcement for this job. How come they are not being tasked with enforcement?

A sincere attempt is being made to address everyone concerns. Public hearings are being held, the public is being given an opportunity to testify. You are not being shut out of the system. This law has not been added in at midnight to some must pass bill.

You are doing a great job in writing and sending these letters. Keep it up. Remember when you send a letter through the postal system it is given more weight than emails, phone calls, and faxes.
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