GOAL Post 2020-1 Legislative Update from Olympia 10 January 2020

GOAL Post                                                                                             2020-1
Legislative Update from Olympia                                            10 January 2020














(This will be a long GOAL Post as I have to describe the environment and the processes involved for new readers.  Future issues will be shorter.  Also keep in mind that GOAL Post focuses on gun law only, we do not cover hunting issues.  The Hunters Heritage Council does that well.  I normally post GP on Friday evenings to summarize that week’s activities and provide a forecast for the next.)

First business first:  a gun rights rally will be held on the Capitol Campus next Friday, January 17th,.  It will begin at 9 a.m. and continue likely for an hour or more, with both outside and legislative speakers.  (Yes, it’s a Friday, and unlike the people bussed in to attend many liberal rallies, gunnies have to work.  Are your gun rights worth a day off?)  After the formal presentation, attendees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the campus layout (the Capitol, or “legislative” building where floor sessions are conducted, as well as the John L. O’Brien House Office Building, the John A. Cherberg Senate Office Building, and the Irv Newhouse Senate Office Building.  This is a great opportunity to locate your two representatives’ and one senator’s office and introduce yourself to their legislative aides.  Hopefully over the coming two months they’ll become familiar with your name and maybe even your face!  WE MUST FLEX OUR MUSCLES IN OLY EARLY ON.

A public hearing will be held on HB 1671 (confiscation of forfeited firearms) in House Civil Rights & Judiciary at 1000, Friday, right after the rally.  The hearing will be held in House Hearing Room “A” in the John L. O’Brien House Office Building.  The bill makes technical corrections to existing law.

The legislature convenes on Monday, January 13th, for its “short” (60 day) session.  This is a continuation of the 66th biennium, which started in January 2019.  If their work is not completed, they can be called back by the governor for a 30-day special session.

Democrats now hold clear majorities in both the Senate and House. Democrats  chair all of the committees in both House and Senate, and have at least a one (Senate Law & Justice) to three seat (House Civil Rights & Judiciary) majority in each committee.  And while a small handful of individual Democrat legislators are pro-gun, party policy is definitely anti-gun, anti-rights.

Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43) announced his resignation from the speakership last summer, after nearly 20 years as Speaker of the House.  He is keeping his House seat, however.  The new Speaker is former Civil Rights & Judiciary committee chair Laurie Jinkins. She will assume the speakership on the 13th.  The new Civil Rights & Judiciary committee chair is Christine Kilduff (D-28).  Neither Speaker Jinkins nor Chair Kilduff are friends of gun owners.

Because this is simply “part 2” of a two-year legislative period, all bills filed and not passed in last years’ session are up for play this year, as well as new bills filed.  Most old bills will not likely be touched (especially the pro-gun bills), but any or all COULD be brought into play.  A complete list of gun bills run last year may be found at https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsbytopic/Results.aspx?year=2019&subject=FIREARMS  I am not going to put them on the Bill List below unless they receive action this time around.

In addition, since early December several new gun-related bills have been filed for action this session.  In the House, SB 2196 (Walsh R-19) would make it more difficult to have a “red flag” protection order (gun confiscation order) issued; HB2202 (Klippert R-8) exempts law enforcement officers from training requirements for modern sporting rifle (semi-automatic assault rifles) training; HB2240 (Valdez D-46) bans magazines with a capacity over ten rounds, with exceptions; HB 2241 (Peterson (D-21) bans sale, possession of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, with exceptions.  In the Senate, SB 6076 (Kuderer, D-48) bans assault weapons and large capacity magazines) and SB 6078 (Kuderer D-48) bans large capacity magazines, with exceptions, SB 6161 (Dhingra D-45) excise tax on ammunition.

It is a common practice to file duplicate versions of a bill (“companion” bills) in the House and Senate.  Each will carry it’s own House (HB) or Senate (SB) bill number.  At least one version of the bill must pass both chambers before going to the governor.

New bills and active holdover bills from 2019 are included below in the “BILL STATUS” section.  It also contains the bill’s prime sponsor, the current status of the bill (committee location) and the GOAL position on the bill.  Committee abbreviations are provided at the bottom of that section.  As this is written, there are seven new bills awaiting action, plus any recalled from last year.  All active bills will be listed in the Bill List.

For those new to legislative affairs, here’s how the process works:  When a bill is filed in the House or Senate (or both, simultaneously, called “companion bills”) it is assigned to a policy committee.  Most gun-related bills go to the Senate Law & Justice Committee in the Senate.  In the House it’s a little more complicated, as it may be sent to House Civil Rights &Judiciary or House Public Safety (most will go to Civil Rights & Judiciary).  Public hearings may be held, after which the bill may (or may not) be voted out of committee.  If the bill has a fiscal impact (usually an expenditure of more than $50,000), it must then go to Senate Ways & Means or one of a couple of House fiscal committees.  The bill then goes to the Senate or House Rules Committee, where it must be voted on to pass out to the floor for a full vote.

After a bill passes the Senate or House floor vote, it then goes over to the opposite chamber (House or Senate), where the whole process starts ove r again.  If the bill passes the second chamber in the same form it passed the first, it goes to the governor for signature (or veto or partial veto).  If changes are made in the second chamber, it goes back to the first for concurrence.  It may also go to a conference committee from both chambers to resolve differences.  The final version must pass both chambers.

The bill then goes to the Governor, who may sign it into law, veto (kill) the bill, or sign a partial veto (killing just selected section(s) of the bill).  The governor may also allow a bill to become law without his signature.  Most signed bills take effect on 1 July, although bills with an “emergency clause” (considered immediately necessary for public safety) take effect upon signature by the governor.

One of the first items of business in each session is the adoption of the session calendar, identifying dates by which bills must clear various hurdles.  Essentially, it tells you how fast the train will move – and in a short session year, that’s pretty fast.  A bill that fails to clear the policy committee or chamber floor by the designated date is generally considered dead for the year, although they may be “resurrected” by parliamentary procedure.  I’ll post the cut-off dates for the 2020 session in the next issue of GOAL Post.

The following links can be used to contact legislators:



Legislative e-mail addresses are available at http://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx

The link contains a quick tutorial on providing testimony at public hearings on bills under consideration.  I would urge you to read it and consider visiting Olympia to let YOUR voice be heard.  http://leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Testify.aspx

A few points on public testimony: keep your comments brief, typically three minutes or less; limit it to two or three main points; do not attack or insult opponent testimony or question others’ motives; it helps to have a written copy of your testimony prepared and drop off with committee staff in the event you are not called on to testify (committee chair has complete control over who is called to testify and time is limited – they are typically very even-handed).  As with letters or e-mail to your legislators, always be polite and courteous.

Public hearings are committee meetings open to the public, where the public is allowed to testify on bills, to give their views on the bill.  But all votes on bills taken by a committee are conducted in what are called “executive sessions.”  They are typically part of a public session, with a few minutes set aside to vote on bills previously heard by the committee.  Public testimony is just that, open to the public for comment.  On the other have, no public input is allowed during executive session.  You are welcome to sit there, and to count votes, but silence from the public is the rule.  Just FYI for those of you who have not attended legislative public meetings before.

At this time, no gun bills are scheduled to be heard the first week of the session.

Legislative committee schedules are posted on the legislative web site on Wednesday evenings for the coming week.. Beware, sometimes unscheduled bills pop up the night before.  Semper vigilans!

Whatever I didn’t cover here can be found at leg.wa.gov   The legislative web site is extremely helpful and easy to use (even for this 73 year old Marine!).

A public hearing will be conducted on Friday, 17 Jan at 10:00 a.m. in House Civil Rights & Judiciary on HB 1671 (confiscation of forfeited firearms).  The bill makes technical changes only.,

(FYI: I am not able to respond to individual messages.)


(Bill committee assignments will be made on session day 1.)

HB 1671   Confiscation of firearms                                 Dolan (D-22)       NEUTRAL  H. CR&J
HB 2196   Raise standard for issue of a “red flag” order   Walsh (R-19)       SUPPORT
HB 2202   Exempts law enforcement from a/w training     Klippert (R-8)      OPPOSE  H.PubSaf
HB 2240   Bans high capacity magazines                        Valdez (D-43)      OPPOSE
HB 2241   Bans assault weapons and magazines             Peterson (D-21)    OPPOSE

SB 6075   Bans assault weapons and hi cap magazines    Kuderer (D-48)     OPPOSE
SB 6076   Bans high capacity magazines                         Kuderer (D-48)     OPPOSE
SB 6161   Excise tax on ammunition                               Dhingra (D-45)     OPPOSE

HB = House bill, SB = Senate bill.  L&J = Law & Justice, CR&J = Civil Rights & Judiciary, PubSaf = Public Safety, HC = Health Care, H. K-12 = House Early education, Aprop = Appropriations, Fin = Finance, W&M = Ways & Means  “S” before a bill number indicates Substitute (amended).


17 Jan              House Civil Rights & Judiciary, House Hearing Rm “A”
10:00 a.m.       HB 1671

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.

GET THE WORD OUT:  If you want to subscribe to the GOAL Post by e-mail, send a message to “[email protected] “.  Please pass GOAL Post on to anyone you believe may 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.

If you believe you have received this e-mail in error, please e-mail me at “[email protected]” with the words “Unsubscribe GOAL Post” in the subject line.  I will remove your name immediately.  Keep in mind GOAL Post is also published on several gun lists.  If you received GP via a list, you must contact that list’s admin to unsubscribe.

Upcoming WAC gun show(s):

Puyallup              01-02 February
Monroe               28-29 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 2020 Gun Owners Action League of WA

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