GOAL Post 2013-12

GOAL Post                                                                                          2013-12
Legislative Update from Olympia                                                          5 April 2013

SECOND POLICY COMMITTEE CUT-OFF PASSES

BILLS PASS COMMITTEE

28 DAYS LEFT IN SESSION

UN ATT PASSES

SHOWDOWN ON CAPITOL HILL

GRASSROOTS TRAINING EVENT 30 APRIL

Another milestone passed Wednesday evening with the second chamber policy committee cutoff.  No bills on our tracking list were affected.

Of the six bills still on the list, four (SHBs 1383 and 1840, SSBs 5282 and 5452) are in their respective Rules Committee, awaiting a floor vote.  Two (SHB 1612 and SB 5865) are sitting in Senate Ways & Means for funding approval.  SHB 1840 was amended in Senate Law & Justice to remove offending portions.  There is no reason to oppose the bill at this point.

There are 28 days left in the 2013 regular legislative session.  Per the state constitution, the legislature must adjourn by midnight, Sunday, 28 April, the end of the 105-day long session.

On Tuesday, 2 April, the United Nations General Assembly passed the Arms Trade Treaty (UN ATT) that has been under development for a decade.  Supporters of the treaty continue to claim it will have no impact on gun control within member states and will not infringe on the Second Amendment within the U.S.  The United States voted FOR the treaty, and there is no doubt President Obama will sign it when it is presented to him.  The stumbling block for full U.S. implementation of the treaty’s provisions will be ratification by 2/3 of the U.S. Senate — unlikely at this time (the Senate has yet to vote on ratification of the Inter-American Arms Trade Treaty passed in the 1990s and signed by President Clinton in 1999).

As always, the devil is in the details.  And therein lies the problem.  The treaty in many cases speaks in generalities, addressing various forms of arms control.  There is no doubt that it applies to “small arms” (including “sporting” arms), and there is no doubt it seeks to limit not only INTERNATIONAL trafficking in arms of all kind, but imposing necessary INTERNAL controls to ensure no weapons “leak” into the international market (can you say “Fast & Furious?”).  That covers just about everything a gun control advocate could put on his or her Christmas list:  bans, registration, the whole gun control ball of wax.  One passage reads, “Each State Party (nation) shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list, in order to implement the provisions of this Treaty.”  The treaty also has the potential to restrict U.S. arms support to our allies around the world.

Next week the U.S. Senate will take up S. 649, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s omnibus gun control bill.  While the bill language has been posted on the Congressional web site (www.thomas.loc.gov), the only sure thing is what you see on the Congressional web site right now will not be the version finally voted on at the end of floor action.  I gave a detailed description of the first draft of the bill in last week’s GOAL Post.

Despite sequester-driven cash shortages, President Obama has embarked on a nationwide tour to try and generate public pressure on Senators to pass S. 649.  Sunday evening, 60 Minutes will bring out Newtown/Sandy Hook family survivors in an attempt to generate further support.  The administration is pulling out all the stops to push as restrictive a bill as they can get through the system.

Reportedly Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Manchin (D-WV) and considering watering down the bill to try and get more Republican votes.  Illinois “Republican” Mark Kirk, a long time gun control advocate, has already agreed to vote for the bill, no matter what it contains.  Schumer/Manchin are hoping they can lure maverick Republicans like John McCain (R-AZ) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to roll over as well.

The bottom line is that “universal background checks” is code for “universal gun registration.”  Once the data is collected, the reason for its collection is irrelevant.  They know who you are and what you own.  And while gun registration doesn’t automatically lead to confiscation, it is a necessary precursor to any effective confiscation program  A few years ago, the California Rifle & Pistol Association ran billboards promoting concealed carry with the message, “Society is safer when criminals don’t know who is armed.”  Society is also safer when GOVERNMENT doesn’t know who is armed.

The Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Gun Owners Action League are joining with the Leadership Institute to conduct a grassroots training program at the Pierce County Library in Tacoma on Tuesday, 30 April.  The evening event will focus on several topics to include the legislative process, persuasive communications, traditional citizen (grassroots) lobbying and “new generation lobbying” — employing social media and other new methods of outreach.

Cost to attend is $10 and additional information may be obtained from Phil Watson, Special Projects Director at the Second Amendment Foundation, (425) 454-7012.  You may also register directly at https://www.leadershipinstitute.org/Training/register.cfm?ID=22877

BILL STATUS:

The following bills remain under consideration in the 2013 session

Bill # Subject Sponsor Status Goal Position
SHB 1383 Stalking protection orders Goodman (D-45) S. HS&C Concerns
SHB 1612 Firearm offender registry Hope (R-44) S. W&M Concerns
SHB 1840 Firearms/restraining orders Goodman (D-45) S. Rules Support
SSB 5282 DSHS/WSP info exchange Carrell<(R-28) H. Rules Support
SSB 5452 Stalking protection orders Conway (D-29) H. Rules Concerns
SB 5865 Use tax exemption for non-profits Roach (R-31) S. W&M Support

Key to abbreviations:  SB = Senate Bill, HB = House Bill, Jud = Judiciary, L&J = Law & Justice, HS&C = Human Services & Corrections, Trans = Transportation, Approp = Appropriations, Early Learn = Early Learning and K-12 Education, W&M = Ways & Means

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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