GOAL Post 2014-7
Legislative Update from Olympia 21 February 2014
CHAMBER CUT-OFF PASSES; BILLS DIE
TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED
NEXT HURDLE NEXT FRIDAY
DEAD BILLS DELETED FROM “BILL STATUS” LIST
BACKGROUND CHECKS USED FOR CONFISCATION?
Tuesday, 18 February was chamber cut-off day, the day when all House bills must move out of the House or die, and all Senate Bills out of the Senate (with a limited exception for fiscal/budget bills). Then the whole process starts over again, with House bills in the Senate and Senate bills in the House. The number of bills to be processed has shrunk significantly, though. Only those bills that passed out of their original chamber will be considered in the other. Of the nearly three thousand bills filed over the biennium, only a few hundred remain in play. And from 46 gun bills, we’re down to five. Legislators have until next Friday to pass bills from the opposite chamber out of their policy committee. The train is moving pretty fast now, but it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.
A couple of bills that passed their original chamber were quickly scheduled for a public hearing that I missed on the weekly round-up. At this point, two of the five remaining bills is scheduled for a public hearing next week: SB 5956 (short-barreled rifles) in House Judiciary and HB 1840 (restraining orders), in Senate Law & Justice, both on Wednesday, 26 February. HB 2164 (juvenile firearm possession), and SBs 6025 (use of body armor) and 6199 (incendiary devices) had public hearings yesterday or today, and will be voted on in committee next week.
Next cut-off: second chamber policy committee, next Friday, 28 February.
As I reported previously, I’ve cleaned up the “Bill Status” section to reflect only those bills still under consideration. To paraphrase Matthew 22:14, For many are filed, but few are chosen. Typically in a biennium, three to four thousand bills are filed. Most of these never even get a hearing. Some of these are “hero” bills, bills that make the individual sponsoring the bill look good in the home district, or to keep a promise to a constituent or a group. Others are bills with good policy ideas, but are not in line with what leadership wants, or what the party in power likes (many good gun bills fall in this category). Bills with good policy ideas that have consensus across party lines are typically the bills that move. This is true at both the state and federal levels. Congress is much the same, although with 535 total members, more bills get filed! And most go nowhere.
A little drama is underway in Connecticut right now regarding newly-banned “assault weapons.” Under the new law, sales or transfers are banned, but individuals who already own such firearms are grandfathered and allowed to keep them — PROVIDED they register them with the state. The registration date passed with very limited compliance, so the Hartford Courant, Connecticut’s newspaper of record, opined that the state has a crisis on its hands that can only be met with confiscation of the firearms in question. And they suggest “Authorities should use the background check database as a way to find assault weapon purchasers who might not have registered those guns in compliance with the new law.“ (The editorial closes with, “If you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.” And what about those, including elected officials, who choose to disobey the Constitution?)
I’ve already heard from gun owners who have no problem with background checks, and who characterize linkage between background checks and gun confiscation as irresponsible scare-mongering. I myself am not particularly concerned about background checks… in and of themselves. I’ve held the highest security clearances, hold concealed carry licenses from five states… I’ve even offered legislators ways to conduct background checks WITH NO RECORD KEEPING (they rejected it, as I knew they would). It’s about what ELSE might be done with the records created, especially with federally mandated dealers’ records.
|*HB 1840||Firearms/restraining orders||Goodman (D-45)||S. L&J||Neutral|
|*HB 2164||Juvenile firearm possession||Orwall (D-33)||S. HS &C||Support|
|*HB 2459||Ensuring Hunter Safety||Blake (D-19)||Died H. Rules||Support|
|SSB 5452||Stalking protection orders||Conway (D-29)||Died S. Rules||Concerns|
|SB 5956||Short-barreled rifles||Hatfield (D-19)||H. Jud.||Support|
|SB 6025||Use of Body Armor||O’ban (R-28)||H. Pub Safety||Neutral|
|SB 6199||Addressing wildfires caused by incendiary devices.||Braun (R-20)
|SB 6245||Surrender of CPL.||Dansel (R-7)
|SB 6281||Ensuring an effective hunter education program||Roach (R-31)
|*SB 6416||Delivery to Peace Officers||Hatfield(D-19)||Died
|I-591||Protect Gun Rights||H. Jud & Senate L&J||Support|
|I-594||Universal background checks/registration||H. Jud & Senate L&J||Oppose|
Key to abbreviations: S. = Senate, H. = House, Ag/NatRes = Agriculture/Natural Resources, HS&C = Human Services & Corrections, Jud = Judiciary, L&J = Law & Justice, , W&M = Ways and Means
* = status change this past week
|SB 5956||House Judiciary Committee
House Hearing Room “A”
John L. O’Brien House Office Building
|HB 1840||Senate Law & Justice Committee
Senate Hearing Room 1
John A. Cherberg Senate Office Bldg
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
You can also use the direct link available on each bill’s web page to contact your legislators by clicking on “Comment on this bill.”
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.
GET THE WORD OUT: If you want to subscribe to the GOAL Post by e-mail, send a message to “[email protected]” or to “[email protected]”. Please pass GOAL Post on to anyone you believe m ay have an interest in protecting our rights. Better yet, make a couple of copies of this message, post it on your gun club’s bulletin board, and leave copies with your local gun shop(s).
PERMISSION IS HEREBY GRANTED TO DUPLICATE OR REDISTRIBUTE GOAL POST PROVIDED IT IS REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY WITHOUT TEXTUAL MODIFICATION AND CREDIT IS GIVEN TO GOAL. I can be reached at “[email protected]” or by telephone at (425) 985-4867. Unfortunately, I am unable to mail hard copy GOAL Post to individuals. Limited numbers of hard copies MAY be available at the Second Amendment Foundation book table at WAC gun shows.
Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Puyallup 22-23 February
Puyallup 22-23 March
“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 2014 Gun Owners Action League of WA