Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Washington State Gun Control Advocates Unveil 2024 Legislative Plan

Proponents of gun control in Washington state, backed by wealthy individuals, have unveiled their legislative agenda for 2024, drawing immediate attention and opposition from Second Amendment advocates gearing up for a confrontation.

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The state legislature is set to convene on January 8 for a 60-day session in an election year.

New gun control measures that came into effect on January 1 include a 10-day waiting period for all gun purchases and a requirement for buyers to show completion of a firearm safety course within the last five years. State House and Senate Democrats, who are part of this movement, seem eager to expand these measures, putting gun owners' rights at risk.

Key items on their agenda include:

1. Ending State Preemption: Empowering local authorities to enact gun safety measures tailored to their communities by repealing state preemption. This move aims to facilitate gun violence prevention at all government levels, as seen in House Bill 1178.

2. Limiting Bulk Firearm Purchases: Proposing a restriction of one firearm purchase per month to combat gun trafficking, outlined in House Bill 2054.

3. Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Firearms: This measure, encapsulated in House Bill 1903, mandates that gun owners report missing or stolen firearms to law enforcement to curb illegal gun trafficking.

4. Enforcing Dealer Responsibility: Establishing stringent standards for firearms dealers in Washington State to ensure safe storage, prevent straw purchases, and maintain accurate records, thereby emphasizing public safety.

Washington's preemption law, a model for many other states, has been targeted for repeal since its inception in 1983 and strengthening in 1985.

Regarding constitutional concerns, Washington Democrats seem undeterred by the recent developments in Oregon, where a permit-to-purchase measure was deemed unconstitutional. Legal challenges to similar measures are currently under review by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Gun rights activists, like Aaron Lyons, have expressed their concerns on social media, suggesting that the Democrats' ultimate goal is disarmament and preventing future generations from acquiring firearms.

In Washington, there are an estimated 1.5 million gun owners, with over 693,000 active concealed pistol licenses reported at the end of 2023. However, mobilizing these individuals to vote remains a challenge, with many expressing skepticism about mail-in ballots and preferring in-person voting with voter identification.

With a busy legislative session anticipated, Washington residents are expected to actively use the toll-free Legislative Hotline (800-562-6000) and email to communicate with their state senators and representatives.

Despite these measures, crime statistics, including homicide rates, have not shown a decline, with Seattle reporting 73 homicides in the past year.

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