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I-594 passes

I-594 passes

My heart sank last night as I was leaning over the shoulder of a Second Amendment Foundation employee staring at the computer screen. It was 8:12 and the preliminary results of I-591 and I-594 were finally showing up. I expected 594 to pass so I was not surprised. I was surprised however at how much it passed by. At first the 591 results were in our favor. About 5 minutes later the numbers turned drastically. We were down 45%. It stayed that way the entire evening. As of this morning the final results for 591 are not in. It is too close to call. As of last night there were still about 300,000 votes to count and 10% of those were from King County. Which means the other 90% are from outside counties which usually vote for gun rights. But are those counties on the edge of King or other side of the state? We will see. Well, now what?

If 591 fails we are in big trouble. Of course there are statements that 594stateSAF will take 594 to court. They have a very successful track record of overturning laws in many states. But Bloomberg’s Wa Alliance For Gun Responsibility has bottomless funding and is already anticipating a fight. I am more concerned about how many gun owners voted for 594. Did we not just see that the horrible tragedy in Marysville would not have been prevented even with this law? Gabby Gifford’s attacker bought his gun legally. The Sandy Hook guns were stolen. Almost every single one of the “mass shootings” suspects bought guns passing background checks or stole the guns. This law would not have prevented any single one of those. Now for those of us law abiding gun owners in Washington it is we that are screwed here. There are so many “unintended consequences” in this bill it makes the Health Care bill seem manageable. It is so narrow that LE and Military are barley exempt. It is so narrow that even in the gun store the employee can’t hand me a gun to look at. Forget about my livelihood and my hobbies.

The rifles the we as coaches loan out to the new junior shooters and new competitors will have to be returned. We will have to shut down the program. No more coaching. The parents and their kids who wanted to get involved in a shooting sport and can’t afford the gear yet are hosed. Sorry to all of my friends that wanted me to teach them safe gun handling and go recreational shooting. We will be criminals now. Sorry to any over 18 year old family member or friend that wants to go hunting with me and needs to borrow a gun. We will be criminals now. Sorry family members that I was planning on giving you a gift for self-defense or sport. We will be criminals now. Welcome to registration of your firearms. How else will they keep track of this stuff. Did you know that BC spent over $2 billion dollars over several years to implement this exact same law and they finally stopped it because it did not work and cost too much? It will not work! How many ways can I say that this is the most stupid and damaging and unenforceable law in the history of gun laws. There is a reason they are calling this the strictest gun law in the country. Because of the 18 pages of BS that only hurt citizens and not help with safety.

I can only pray our state supreme court has a brain left in them to see that this law is crap. Can you tell I am upset this morning? Sorry, this is my space to rant and vent. And I am not done. The fight begins.


56 Responses to “Washington State Now Has Strictest Gun Laws in the Country”

  1. jack

    I hope you prevail in court. I cannot imagine how bad you must feel and I too wonder how many firearm owners voted for this bill.

    jack in AZ.

  2. Colin

    Fellow Washington state resident here. While I agree this is a step backwards for gun rights in our state, I think the title of your article is a bit misleading. As much as it sucks, if I had to choose, I’d much rather be living under something like 594(which I did vote against, I voted for 591) than something like the safe act. If you make it harder for me to buy and sell guns I see it as an inconvenience, but when you start trying to legislate AWBs and mag capacity limits is when I will be really pissed off. I didn’t think we’d be able to make SBRs legal here but we did it. We can fight this too.

    • 30calgal

      Hi Colin, Every report out there calls this the strictest rules. Only because of the vague definition of Transfer. People think I don’t believe in background checks. That is not the case. But this law makes every day functions I do a criminal act.

    • linda

      This will do absolutely NOTHING (594) to stop criminals from getting guns. It only hurts the rest of us who do the right thing. I had to pass a background check to get my CCP, they check if I buy a gun and gun shows run checks. 594 is a BAD piece of legislation no matter how you slice it. And what about ballots being counted that had not yet shown up? Are they invalid because they may have been mailed YESTERDAY??? Also would like to know how many dead bodies and illegals voted. We already know that King County, for starters, produces extra ballots to get their way the rest of the state be damned. Time to consider leaving this f’d up state. Liberal, tree hugging bastion.

  3. Phil

    Hi Anette, First off congrats on your runs at the Brownell’s Lady’s 3-Gun. It was great to see you there. I’m sorry to see those laws pass in Washington State for sure. As a Canadian, I know first had the folly of these systems. They only – by definition – limit legitimate transferees. Illegal transactions are just that – illegal, and those who want to beat the system will continue to. Hopefully the Courts will eventually overturn this massive infringement. Take care and hope to see you come north again, and maybe north east!

  4. Woodswalker

    Its going to cost me nearly 10K a YEAR. And NOT introduce 40-60 new shooters a YEAR to shooting Been doing that over the last 18 years, do the math)…we have yet to see how it effects Hunter Ed (where i have added probably 3600 new hunters to the mix) . I can’t WAIT for an inspection law in the next legislature….I’ll be finding holes…literally to bury things. I cannot BELIEVE that 591 is going down. Low information folks SUCK!

  5. Tony

    Ok I still don’t get it. I am a staunch believer that the second amendment was written by me who just won a war for independence, and only did so because most Americans at the time owned their own guns. It was written to protect their rights to own them. Nothing here takes that away. It just makes sure all gun purchases are handled the same way. I have no problem with background checks. Hell, personally I think they should be required to pass a test given some of the stupid things that happen. But I see nothing impinging on the ownership here.

    • 30calgal

      Hi Tony, Who says I am against background checks? But the fact that I can’t even hand my gun over to a student or friend or hunter or junior in the Wa St Junior shooting program without a background check is a mess. Whether for 3 seconds or 3 months we have to go together to a dealer and do a background check every singe hand off! And can’t be enforced without registration. Neither did the writers of our Constitution predict that we would have printing presses, typewriters, computers and FB. An Amendment is an Amendment until taken away.

    • William

      Tony, the problem with 594 was that it was NOT just about background checks. Did it change the background check process? NO. Did it enhance the background check process? NO. I am all for keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people but 594 ONLY affects the law abiding.

    • Barron Barnett

      Anette, it’s even worse than just that. Technically as the law is written and with the very narrow exceptions. My wife cannot pick up a firearm that I bought and is “mine” and vice versa. The only exemption is if I give her a firearm and it’s a “bonafied” gift. In which case I can now no longer pick it up.

      No longer can we share guns or can she ask me to clean her guns because there is no exemption under 594. Each case is a transfer requiring a background check and a payment of use tax.

      So tell me again Tony how this isn’t an infringement and doesn’t have a chilling effect on educating new shooters. I know numerous instructors who are now quitting because this law makes training shooters a felony. There is no exemption for training, there is for during a competition at a “sanctioned range” and for practice “by a group for a public performance (aka drill team).” Find me the exact verbiage that exempts an instructor who travels with his own weapons to use. Because the only way it gets close is they must be permanently stored at the range. With such verbiage there is no exemption for service.

      Cite how these issues aren’t issues please.

    • Silas

      It doesn’t hurt you yet, but it is just one more slow step in getting to taking your rights away. They will get around to taking your rights eventually. Just one ‘harmless’ step at a time!

    • concerned daughter

      I am concerned about the guns I am going to inherit. I have a concealed permit but I don’t understand what will happen to me and my kids when it’s time for me to get these family guns. How can I go to self defense class and try out the pistols to see what one I want to purchase. …… people need to think! This has created so much turmoil for my family. Hope we can fix it! All theses 4-H and FFA kids well nite have to drop out pour go broke trying to buy guns for competitive shooting.

    • Brian

      You might want to spend some time reading the new law. It appears that you as well as many others voted without really understanding the law.

    • tim

      Yet another yahoo who voted solely off, the commercials tbey watched and didnt actually read the pourly scrambled written law. Thanks buddy

  6. Praveen

    Hi Anette,
    One of the things that really bothered me is the very low voter turnout from a lot of eastern and central Washington counties. Although king county voter turnout wasn’t huge either, they make up for it in sheer numbers. It is pretty idiotic that people won’t even vote for something that concerns them. In any case, it was a lost cause from the beginning. With enough money, it is very easy to spin a PR campaign about ‘loopholes’, ‘children’ and ‘background checks’.
    It is a sad day for WA.

  7. Justin Hayes

    One paragraph says I can transfer a gun to my wife freely, later in the paragraph I can only do so at a range for purposes of shooting at that range only… If you read the law as well, it now states that only someone over the age of 18 can hunt alone.

  8. T

    30calgal, your not the only one who’s pissed! But I was listening and spoke with John Carlson on his show and he made some good points that this is a wake up call to gun owners in the state. Most likely they well try this crap again and we as gun owners must be united to fight against the restriction of our rights in this state. Now i’m more determined to fight! How about the rest of you?!

  9. Mark

    Seems you are overracting a bit:

    Reasonable Exceptions – background checks are not required for:
    Gifts between immediate family members
    Antiques and relics
    Temporary transfers for self-defense
    Loans for lawful hunting or sporting activities

    • 30calgal

      What if I want to shoot on my own property or legal dnr land? Not covered. Even certified instructors can’t loan guns to their students. Not covered. And this can only be enforced with registration of guns. If a spouse dies and the survivor does not claim all transfers within 90 days she/he is a criminal. Who has wits them for those details? God forbid the person borrowing the gun to go hunting be caught driving to and from hunting location and owner without paper work. Read deeper.

    • 30calgal

      Also, is there a hotline to call when my friend needs a temporary transfer for self-defense? I am getting approval from some state employee whether or not they feel it is legit?

    • Praveen

      Background checks are required between family members if the transfer is not a bonafide gift. Even between spouses.
      Background checks are also required for all temporary loans (and returns) except if somebody is in imminent danger. (How do you figure that out is anybody’s guess.
      Practically, such a situation can arise only when multiple family members are faced with an intruder and one of them passes a gun to another… which also means that all other cases of handing over a gun to another family member is disallowed.

      When I teach new people, I invite them over so that I can explain firearm safety and safe handling of the particular firearms they will be shooting at the range. Only then do I take somebody to a range. All that is now illegal.
      Since I don’t gift my guns to my wife on an hourly basis and she knows the combination of my safe, yes, in 30 days, we are going to be both felons… for no crime.
      My friend comes over to Seattle from Spokane and we go shoot trap at Kenmore. While he is here, he stores his gun at my place because I have a safe and he doesn’t feel comfortable leaving it in the car. This is actually a good thing as far as firearm safety is concerned. I-594 just made that illegal. The only recourse is to go through two background checks every time he is here or don’t go shooting. And thats what people who framed this wanted.

    • Ed Mobley

      Allow me to share a real life (not hypothetical) example of why 594 is a bad law:

      I live on 10 acres next to a wilderness area and have my own 100 yard range. It is private property. Each year the local Boy Scout troop comes by and I lend out a couple of rifles so they can get their marksmanship badges – I am present at all times. I also enjoy bringing over friends who have never shot a gun and letting them have some trigger time. They always leave with a positive impression of the shooting sports.

      I read the entire law and I would be in technical violation since I am on private property. While the likelihood of being prosecuted is near zero, I don’t want to live my life having to rely on the discretion of law enforcement or the local prosecutor.

      However, I see some light at the end of the tunnel. I believe the same legislature that legalized SBRs and Suppressors will address the problem areas of the law. Even California has provisions to address temporary transfers. The voters voted for background checks and not a framework of laws to ensnare law abiding citizens. There is also a good chance that the law might be struck down because the description was entirely misleading. Right now we need to focus our efforts to make sure the appropriate legislative and judicial remedies will be applied.

      So while I’m pretty pissed that this law passed I will try to be optimistic.

    • tim

      You should probably and most DEFINITELY read the fine print on what you just quoted out of the law, tberes much more to those than just that

  10. Dann in Ohio

    I can’t imagine that law in Ohio… it would kill our very successful 4H Shooting Sports program… and our collegiate pistols and rifle programs… and teaching gun safety to a friend who hasn’t yet purchased a gun…

    Dann in Ohio

  11. Eric

    I understand your concern, but there are several glaring factual errors in your article.
    1) Hunting and fishing trips are exempt from 594
    2) As long as the club that you are teaching has the same permit as a gun range, it is exempt from 594
    3) Transfers or gifts between family members are exempt

    • Stacy Alexander

      What they ‘say’ is exempt and what truly is are worlds apart. It’s all in the fine print and the interpretation of it. you’re I can’t loan my daughter a gun while her husband is working out of town. I can’t let my students use my guns while training, which I encourage them do to prior to purchasing one. …”Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, in
      determining whether the purchaser meets the requirements of RCW 9.41.040, the chief of police or sheriff, or the designee of either, shall check with the national crime information center,the Washington state patrol electronic database, the department of social and health services electronic database, and with other agencies or resources as
      appropriate, to determine whether the applicant is ineligible under RCW 9.41.040 to possess a firearm”… Possess…not purchase….the whole thing is so ridiculously absurd. Bottom line is money….Last I heard the NRA was outspent 7-1. The phrasing on the ballot and the actual language in the 18 pages are worlds apart.

    • Ed Mobley

      Eric – it does not address these activities on private property. If a hunter safety class were taught at the range, that’s OK. But if it were taught somewhere else, say the local Elks lodge, that would be a violation. While I doubt people would be prosecuted under such circumstances, a zealous anti-gun law enforcement officer or prosecutor could very well do so.

  12. Steve W

    This is horrible. I’m a WA State resident and I studied this law. The ads were deceptive and then there was the shooting North of Seattle right about when the ballots were mailed out. And the money that Bloomberg and the Microsoft and other billionaires here dumped into it pretty much guaranteed it. Now if I take my son-in-law out to the range I can’t let him shoot my guns, The law clearly describes that as a transfer. The people who voted were not aware of just how bad this law is. We need to fight it and every gun owner in the country needs to be on board with the fight. If this stands you’ll be next. Please, please help fight this! I’m not against a reasonable transfer background check but not this Bloomberg version.

  13. Laurence

    $10,000,000 buys a lot of votes. It appears that it took Ten Millions of dollars to convince some Washington State resident to give up some of their Bill of Rights in exchange for the promise of lower crime rates and public safety.

    Neither of these promises have any validity.

    The votes for or against Washington State Initiative #594 are still being counted, but it looks now that the Michael Bloomberg financed anti Second Amendment legislation will pass. Less then 24 hours after the close of the 2014 election polls the proponents of #594 are saying that this bill is only the first step and more legislation will follow.

    The 18 pages of fine print are only the beginning for restrictions on the lawful ownership of firearms. It takes little imagination to expect that the exemptions written into #594 are going to quickly disappear.

    The law, as it reads today, requires a transfer of private ownership of firearms between parties to be done through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer. The seller must transport the firearm to the FFL holder who will then proceed as though a regular retail sale is made and process the Federal forms. Once the background check is complete the FFL dealer will deliver or cause to be the firearm to the buyer. Exemptions are made for immediate family and other conditions.

    The two most obvious further restrictions would be the removal of the family exemptions. This all firearms given by will or other means would be surrendered to an FFL holder in anticipation of the transfer to the new owner. Thus we have de facto registration of firearms.

    But an even more egregious condition would arise if there were not FFL holders to process the transfer of simple property given by will or other means to family. A lack, intentional or otherwise, of an FFL would require the surrender of arms to local law enforcement. Good luck ever seeing your property ever again. It’s not like “City Hall” actually cares if you file a complaint or suit. City Hall has all the attorneys who work on your tax money anyway so legal actions doesn’t cost the city a penny. At $300 per hour the plaintiff, however, will go quickly broke trying to recover grandfather’s 100 year old .22.

  14. Bill C

    Making good people helpless won’t make bad people harmless.
    If you have a problem with law abiding citizens being armed then, you are the reason law abiding citizens should be armed.

  15. carmine

    Fight tooth n nail register nothing and vote the people who devised these laws out of office. Ny here and my heart sank when i found out cuomo is here for another term hes pardon my expression a big mouthed a hole. I can obly pray that he and his acts of treason get him tossed from office. Ny undafe act is stupid and only hurts us law biding people. I hope his stupidity bites him in the hind parts.

  16. Bill C.

    Hello 30CalGal. I have heard you interviewed before but I didn’t realize that you were a WA resident. I live in the Vancouver area and I was upset with 594 paying like everyone else. But I asked myself two questions and I would ask all other gun owners to ask themselves the same questions. 1) what did I do to get this defeated? 2) how many “no” votes besides my own did I get? The answers for me are a couple of comments on fb and one. I DID NOT DO ENOUGH! I will watch for opportunities to overturn this and I will get involved. I will watch your posts too. If you learn of groups that are working to fight this bad law please pass the info on. It is past time for me to get active.

    • 30calgal

      Thanks Bill, Apparently on Dec 13th there is a rally in Olympia at 11am against 594. The more people the better but I ask that people leave their slung, open carry AR’s at home. Yes it is an open carry state but the press loves to show us as nut jobs when we do that.

  17. Robert

    oops. So tell me please, does this mean that an officer in their patrol car, needs to use that shotgun sitting there. The gun is not his, so if they allow him to use it, it should constitute a violation of this stupid law. Or, are the priveleged exempt from such laws. WAKE UP PEOPLE! This will only get worse if we don’t fight. I have been hearing about this since the 60’s, and hate to see the destruction of our constitution.

  18. Praveen

    Fighting in the courts is one thing. For one, forget about a complete repeal of 594. We could probably win certain aspects of it e.g. some more exemptions and elimination of 10 day waiting period etc.
    Restrictions on transfers and creation of a state registry are the real issues here.
    What essentially needs to happen is that the day this law comes into effect, a lot of people (and I mean a lot !) should go down to Olympia and ‘transfer or loan’ unloaded guns to each other.
    Either, everybody gets arrested OR, the temporary transfer nonsense goes away.

  19. Gearmore

    I wrote many comments in an effort to educate the public leading up to this vote. So getting on that soapbox has left the station. BUT:

    After gleaning comments, there continues to be a common thread, misunderstanding and confusion. In fact to amplify this was one of the strategies of the 594 campaign. It appears they were right on the money. Consider when observing the map of which counties held 594 and or lost to 591. What do you see? If you know WA, you see many of the very rural areas show a no for 591 and a yes for 594! How in the world could this be? We as residents know much of the Eastern parts of the State and Peninsula are areas where you definitely WANT to own a firearm, have your rights in place. Geez, it makes no sense!!!

    In fact it does make sense. It was the strategy of 594. So many people went to the polls (and I know a few) who voted NO on BOTH. And this did what? It supported the steadfast supporters and naive who only looked at the lead-in at the ballot box and bought into 594, the yes on 594 were what was left to record, that’s how a rural mass of counties, who typically own and use firearms as part of life, appeared to have voted yes on 594.

    This was all calculated by the creators of 594, they had a good idea what would happen. And I’m sure people like Alan Gottlieb et al understood the game plan too. This is why they were left to do what they chose to do. Was it an error? Hard to say.

    Many were duped, mislead. The misrepresentation promoted the spin of a few key words, leaving behind the balance of 594’s other intended plans. It was the fault of the voters, you are responsible for this. You allowed yourselves to be sold down the river. So if you did anything other than vote yes on 591 and no on 594, you played right into the hands of the far left billionaires who know what is best for all of us. I did my best to warn and educate everyone. I clearly failed and must take some fault.

    If we have the chance, maybe we can repeal 594, toss it out, or change it. But it’s a bit late. In the words of Alan G. in an email reply I received afterwards, “It will be an uphill battle.”

  20. Stu

    I voted no on 591, this bill has no place being a law, simply no. 594 while if it was kept for what it was to have been was and is a needed bill the way it went to law is as adverse as 591. I am a USMC Vet and voted no on both as every Washington should have voted. It is shameful that it is all outside money that rammed these down our throats, yes both of them.

  21. phayford

    I voted against this.. I moved back home three years ago from 38 years in California. Hated their laws. But people need to read this law all 19 pages because there is a lot of distortion of the law in here. It is just like the California transfer law that has been in effect for over 20 years. It does not make you a felon if you let someone touch you gun or if you let someone who has a hunting licence use you gun . ONLY oretsins to transfer of ownership… I still hate the law of registrations of private sale because they we not stop any crime. Just let’s the government know what you have. I am a CCP but most of my stuff isn’t registered.

  22. Brian

    I will not change how I have legally conducted my life and gun handling practices. I wish them luck in catching me in violation of I-594. I am getting real tired of stupid people and especially the liberal left coast of this state.

  23. Eric

    I have already decided, that Im pretty much not gonna do anything but sit there and watch (and maybe enjoy some popcorn) if some turd goes on another killing spree. Why should we put ourselves in danger after the mindless put us in danger with this stupid law. Sorry pal, dont expect us to lift a fing to help you.

  24. DAVID


  25. Eric

    My wife and I are moving to Seattle area from TN. I now have to have her buy her own guns for protection? I can not help train her with her gun or help her clean it. I have several training 22s she can no longer shoot. WOW! I have my own 200 yrd range, this will be a change. heartbreaking! good by sport shooting! Hello new shotty and handgun for her!

  26. MauserMatt

    Move to Texas! We love beautiful women who know their way around guns. Heck, you might even be able to open carry that pistol before too long.

  27. Kevin Thompson

    Don’t fall for the lie. Don’t ever believe that the firearm transfer laws are about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Don’t ever buy that B.S. The bottom line, end game, run-around tactics, ends to a means reason for ANY firearms restrictions laws are born of the “Fundamental Transformation of America” by communists who mean to take our country over from within. And, they’re succeeding. The main reason is because far too many who believe in this country as the Beacon of Freedom and Prosperity are too busy or too afraid too stand up and speak out! Every law introduced to restrict firearms ownership and use are only chips chiseled from our original rights through incrementalism. Little by little they intend to neuter our ability to defend ourselves. And don’t think for one second that the fundamental transformation of America began with the sludge we have in the Oval Office now. It began long before he was a glimmer in his daddy’s eye (whoever his daddy was)!

  28. Wally1

    After a couple of years now, I-594 means nothing. law enforcement cannot interpret the law. Did you know when you are standing at a gun counter and the clerk hands you a rifle to look at and you hand it back, there is a violation. According to the law, this is a violation, no exception in I 594. Sounds crazy, right. So if ever charged with a violation of I 594, a defense will be that the law is selectively enforced.
    I-594 has nothing to do with safety, it’s abound control with a future plan for confiscation.


  1.  Washington State is the New California - Concealed Carry News

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