You want to take your over 18 year old child hunting or shooting. Hand him (“Transfer”) a gun to use and you are both felons. You want to take your best buddy to go shooting and teach safe gun handling. Hand him (“Transfer”) your gun and you both are felons. You are in your home and want to show off your new firearm to a friend. Hand him (“Transfer”) your firearm and you are both felons. In all of these cases both parties would need to go to a dealer and get a background check and pay a tax just to even share, loan or look at a firearm. Sounds ridiculous right? Well it is true. If I-594 passes this fall the simple act of sharing your firearm without a background check and taxes paid to the state will result in a criminal offense. Proof that the writers of Initiative I-594 have no clue what they wrote in the 18 page Bill that will seriously affect every single law abiding gun owner in the state of Washington including me.
Initiative I-594. I-594 proposes universal background checks on all private sales and “transfers” ( I will explain “transfers” fine print shortly). The media and the anti-gun advocates want you to believe it is a simple law that will not hurt gun owners and will make our streets safer from gun violence. They claim it will close the gun show and internet sales loopholes. The Seattle Times has even endorsed it with an article awhile back with incomplete facts. The Seattle Times Article, reads as though the writer took the language right out of the voter’s pamphlet and did not actually do any research on the facts they were stating. Another Times columnist also endorsed I-594 using Chicago as an example as to why more gun control was needed. There were 80 plus shootings in Chicago over one weekend recently. Does he not realize that Chicago has the most aggressive gun restrictions in the country? And that the crime rate goes up there every year? I-594 has very harmful language in the bill and it will be very harmful to the law abiding gun owners of Washington St. This law if passed will make yours truly, 30calgal, as well as all law-abiding gun owners of this state in to criminals.
I-594 is financed by local and out of state billionaires. People who can afford to hire their own private armed security or buy their own military tank for fun. But they do not want to allow citizens to share an American past time or easily arm themselves for self-defense without complicated and harmful laws. Currently, by law, if someone tries to purchase a gun at a dealer and does not pass the background check they are supposed to be arrested. The agent on the phone doing the background check is supposed to alert the authorities and send someone to the store to detain or arrest that individual. That never happens. That person just walks out of the store. That is a problem. Convicted felons found with guns are not punished to the full extent of the law. This is not the guns fault! We have laws in place that are not enforced. So you think adding more restrictions is going to change anything more? Again, look at the states and cities with the strictest gun control. Their crime rates are out of control. Think of the paper work and worse yet, bureaucracy we can’t afford, needed If 594 passes. This also is a fast track to gun registration. Gun registration is a four letter word for us. Look at California, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, New York and yes even Hitler’s Germany. New Zealand, Australia and the UK all have confiscated their citizen’s firearms after registration. Not sure if you have been to London lately but the violent crime rate is out of hand. Have they had any mass shootings lately? Norway’s Anders Breivik killed 77 people on the island retreat. Look how long it took for authorities to get to the island! Mass shootings of this type here in the US and else where are so rare. The only way for I-594 to work would require registration.
Let me back up to the article in the Seattle Times. I quote from the article, “The same quick, familiar background screening done by gun dealers for retail sales would be applied to purchases at gun shows, and for online sales and private transactions.” I personally invite any Times staffer or Bill Gates or Bloomberg to join me at any of our state gun shows and to join me at my computer as I buy a gun online. The two major gun shows in our state are put on by the Washington Arms Collectors, or the WAC. This is a members only organization. To be a member of the WAC you must fill out paper work and pass a federal background check. Yes, the same one done at retail dealers. Guests can go to the show but must sign in at the door and wear a guest badge. Vendors are NOT allowed to sell guns to non-members. You must provide your membership card and your ID to purchase a firearm. So do you get it? There is no loop hole. You must be a member that passed a background check to purchase a gun at a Wa. St gun show. There is security at the door that check everyone again as they are leaving the building. Now to buy a gun online. Take a look at Brianenos.com or GunBroker.com or similar sites that have classified sections of citizens selling their guns. They are member policed sites and have rating systems. To sell guns the seller and buyer are required to work together to provide an FFL to ship the gun to. An FFL is a dealer or retail store that is licensed by the ATF to buy and sell and take transfers of firearms. You can’t just pop the gun in a box and ship it off to the buyer. You will go to jail bud. And the lucky state of the FFL dealer the buyer picks the gun up from gets the lovely taxes on the sale. Which leads me to the private sales and transfers of guns section.
If 594 were to pass the state requires that a tax be paid every time a gun is sold in a private sale. This will also lead to taxes on transfers. There is no way to avoid it. The 594 campaign will deny that. But that is the next step. Sounds like no big deal right? I am not sure about you but I get annoyed that every time my new car that I bought and paid huge taxes on already will be taxed again and again when it is sold to the next 1-10 people. It is a way for the state to take money. Can you imagine having to go to the car dealership every time you let someone drive your car and pay a fee? Or to even sit in it? I think you would be outraged. But the tax part is actually the least of my concerns at this moment. I-594 has some vicious language in the law that even the proponents of admit would be inconvenient and difficult to enforce without requiring registration! I-594 wants a universal background check on all private sales and “transfers” of firearms.
The word “transfer” required some fine print by the proponents of I-594. I have extracted a section of text directly from the 18 page bill that shows how devastating this law would be to law abiding gun owners if passed. You know, people like me, that make my career in this industry, compete and train and coach others? Law abiding gun owner! Below, my comments are in red within the copied text from the I-594 bill. This is text about when the “transfer” is exempt from a background check from a dealer. As you will see, these “exemptions” are not possible to enforce without making every single law abiding gun owner in this state a criminal. Myself included.
“(ii) if the temporary transfer occurs, and the firearm is kept at all times, at an established shooting range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located; As of now, there is no such thing as an authorized established shooting range. Who gets to authorize it? Our state govt? The same one that manages the VA, IRS and international affairs? No thanks. Can you imagine the red tape of making that happen? The new bureaucracy needed to set up such established ranges? Not to mention it would shut down every range in the country with “rules” that would be impossible to comply with at ranges that have been around for over 50 years. Let’s hope “kept at all times” does not mean held in a locker at the risk of the range. (iii) if the temporary transfer occurs and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively at a lawful organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or while participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the performance; This “temporary transfer” is the frightening language in this bill. Temporary transfer” is also know as, a loan or sharing. One person loaning a firearm to someone else. But only at a lawful organized competition and location? What about sharing my gun with a friend to go target shooting? What about training or coaching someone in safe gun handling? I have to share or loan my gun to them. I do this all of the time! When coaching new competitors and juniors we loan and share our equipment. That act of handing my gun outside of this so called organized competition or authorized range to that person makes me a criminal. How about loaning my shotgun to a friend to go hunting? How many ways can I say this? This means I cannot share or loan a firearm at all without driving me and my friend to a dealer to wait on a background check and pay a fee for this act. To just touch my firearm! I or we will have committed a criminal act if we don’t. The days of taking a buddy to go shooting and sharing your guns would be over. Can you say felon? 30CalGal would be a felon. Please visit me in jail would you? (iv) to a person who is under eighteen years of age for lawful hunting, sporting, or educational purposes while under the direct supervision and control of a responsible adult who is not prohibited from possessing firearms; Not shown in this paragraph is that they say it is legal to let your under age child borrow your gun under your supervision but you would not be able to loan your over 18 child a firearm for hunting or any shooting sport. Make sense? No. Again, dad becomes a criminal. or (v) while hunting if the hunting is legal in all places where the person to whom the firearm is transferred possesses the firearm and the person to whom the firearm is transferred has completed all training and holds all licenses or permits required for such hunting,…” Your hunting buddy, to whom you loaned your firearm, had better have his tag with him at all times and not be caught in an area that is not a legal hunting area. i.e. – Everywhere. So he/she needs to grow wings and fly over any land to transport himself and gun to the hunting location. Because if caught with it on the way there he/she would be thrown in jail. And exactly how would the police even be able to know if this gun is his or a loaner? It would require registration, that is how.
I find it difficult to understand why gun control advocates do not see the statistics. More restrictions of guns and gun parts and “stronger” background checks do not make our streets safer. What does “better” background checks mean anyway? I hear that all of the time. Even our US Dept of Justice put out a report that crimes do not decrease with gun control. I repeat, 80 plus shootings in Chicago in one weekend. The strictest gun control city in the country. If I hear one more time from someone “Well we have to do something!” I will punch them in the face. Oops, that was in my out loud voice.
The media likes to omit a salient fact about the individuals that commit mass shootings. In all of them the suspects either, bought their guns legally from a dealer and passed the background checks or they stole the guns. Enforcing a background check on private sales is not going to keep Joe gang banger from buying or stealing a gun or going through a straw purchase. You think they follow the laws now? No of course not. You think they will follow this law if passed? No of course not. Unless you confiscate every single gun in the entire world you will never keep the crazies and bad guys from using a weapon of any sort to harm others. We are not going to save a life by this law. Not even one. There is no physical proof a restriction of any kind can do that. The guns are not the cause of violence. The world is full of people who abuse their freedom of speech. Are we going to start restricting this or worse yet threaten to remove the 1st Amendment? We already have when companies like Facebook shuts down anything too gun like. People cause violence. We can’t stop crazy. We have many laws in place to put people in jail for doing bad things. Whether it is stealing, drug dealing, drunk driving or murder we have laws against these acts. Have any of these acts ever stopped? No. Will they ever? No. If you vote for this terribly written Initiative you will only punish law abiding citizens like myself and my family. There are better ways to write a Bill and better ways to protect our society. This is not one of them. I urge my fellow Washingtonians to vote NO on I-594.