GOAL Post 2017-Special 5
Legislative Update from Olympia 23 June 2017
THREE STRIKES, YOU’RE OUT! THIRD SPECIAL SESSION
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IMMINENT — MAYBE
IMPACT ON GUN OWNERS
The THIRD special session of the legislature started on Wednesday, 21 June. They’re still hung up on the state operating budget. All bills that have not been passed to date go back to their original chamber (House bills to House, Senate bills to Senate).
This is similar to 2013 and 2015, when the legislature required multiple special sessions to pass the required operating budget by June 30th and the governor had to sign it at the last minute to keep state agencies operating. 30 June is next Friday. This is all about the Governor and Democrats demanding more tax revenue.
The House and Senate convene every other day or so, them immediately shut down for a couple more days while the budget conferees continue to disagree.
Should the budget not pass by 1 July, many state agencies will shut down or go on reduced operations. Some, mostly those with public safety functions, (e.g police, fire, medical, etc.), will remain fully or partly functional. How this will impact gun owners remains to be seen. Rumors are floating around that this will shut down gun shops, or at least gun sales/transfers. Not quite. Background checks for long guns are sent straight to the FBI’s NICS system, so that’s transparent to the state. But handgun checks are local. The state operating budget has little impact on local agencies, although access to data bases such as DSHS for mental health checks is problematic.
The problem with all of these background check systems is they rely on government living up to its obligation to allow people to exercise fundamental rights without hindrance or delay. By inserting the government into the middle of what should be private business between two individuals, they can effectively and arbitrarily shut down a constitutional right. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “A right delayed is a right denied.” (Under federal law, if a NICS check cannot be completed within three days, the sale/transfer may go forward. But NICS isn’t the problem in this scenario.)
BILL STATUS/GOAL POSITION:
Nothing to report.
PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED:
Contact information for your Representatives may be found at http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder or at http://leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/MembersByDistrict.aspx. 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). Each bill’s web page contains a link to any public hearing at the bottom of the page.
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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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Puyallup 3-4 June
Puyallup 12-13 August
“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 2017 Gun Owners Action League of WA