I'd really hoped that we could avoid this...
FROM: GOAL [firstname.lastname@example.org]
GOAL Alert 1-2012
Legislative Alert from Olympia 28 February 2012
SENATE BILL 6628 FILED
ATTEMPT TO EXPLOIT TRAGEDY
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
In an attempt to exploit the shooting tragedy in a Bremerton school last week, Senator Adam Kline (D-37), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has filed Senate Bill 6628, a bill that would amend the state's existing reckless endangerment statute (RCW 9A.36.050) to include the specific crime of leaving a loaded firearm, where a child may access it.
The following is an alert published earlier this evening by the National Rifle Association. At the end of that alert I will add amplifying information about the issue.
ANTI-GUN SENATORS ATTEMPT TO EXPLOIT TRAGEDYAnti-gun state Senator Adam Kline (D-37) and two other state Senators have introduced Senate Bill 6628, an unnecessary firearm storage bill, in an attempt to exploit the recent tragic shooting at a Bremerton elementary school.
SB 6628 would single out firearms in the Washington statutes and make it a crime if a child obtains access to a loaded firearm that was stored in a location where the person reasonably knows that a child is likely to gain access. This is already covered in Washington’s Reckless Endangerment statute!
The only reason to push this duplicative law is to demonize firearms in Washington law. Fatal firearm accidents are at an all-time low. If Senator Kline really cared about saving children, rather than trying to exploit this tragedy to attack firearms, he would be targeting poisons, items that suffocate children and objects on which kids choke because all three cause more accidental deaths to children than firearms. But we know that Senator Kline, who sponsored the semi-auto ban two years ago, is only interested in banning firearms and making life miserable for law-abiding gun owners.
This legislation is a knee-jerk response to the tragic shooting of an 8-year old girl by a 9-year old boy at a Bremerton school last week. Rather than go after firearms, Senator Kline might better spend his time going after people like the boy’s mother, whose lengthy criminal record included possession of meth, marijuana delivery and forgery. The boy found the gun, which allegedly belongs to the mother’s criminal boyfriend, during an unsupervised visit to her house.
There are nine days left in the 2012 legislative session. It is critical that you call AND e-mail your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to oppose Senate Bill 6628. To determine your state Senator, please visit http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx You can also leave your state Senator a short message on the toll-free legislative hotline at (800) 562-6000.
Additionally, call Senator Adam Kline TODAY in his Capitol office at (360) 786-7688 and let him know, respectfully, that you are appalled at his exploitation of the little girl in this recent tragic incident to further his gun control agenda. Ask each of your family and friends to also call Senator Kline so he will get the message loud and clear that law-abiding firearm owners are tired of his shameless attacks on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms!
Additional information: As noted by the NRA, a specific law requiring secure storage of firearms in redundant. The existing reckless endangerment statute ALREADY makes it a crime for ANY behavior that creates a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another person. When a similar bill was before the legislature several years ago, supporters claimed that the existing statute only covered acts of commission, NOT acts of omission. Not true. The statute says "engages in conduct," which covers both commission and omission.
Also several years ago, a Pierce County woman took her daughters white water rafting. She neglected to put flotation devices (life vests) on her daughters. In the rough water, one daughter was drowned. The woman was charged with, and pled guilty to, reckless endangerment. That was clearly an act of OMISSION.
Senator Kline conveniently ignores the fact that the firearm in question was already illegally possessed by a prohibited person. We're supposed to believe that individuals who knowingly and intentionally committed previous felonies, and whose very possession of a firearm appears to be another felony itself, would obey a safe storage statute?
You may recall in previous GOAL Posts I addressed the issue of cut-off dates. Bills that do not meet those dates are dead for the session. There is one exception to that: bills that have certain fiscal impacts are exempt from some cut-offs.
So Senator Kline added a SECOND SECTION to SB 6628, amending the concealed pistol license statute (RCW 9.41.070) to add a $2.00 fee INCREASE to the cost of a CPL. What does reckless endangerment or requirements for firearm storage have to do with CPLs? Absolutely nothing! It is merely an underhanded trick to give life to a bill that had no business being filed in the first place.
I don't know about you, but I believe this is an incredibly cynical and brazen attempt to "dance in the blood" of a poor victim to promote Senator Kline's extremist anti-gun agenda.
This is especially interesting coming just a few days after Senator Kline allowed HB 1508, the range protection bill, to die in his committee. If Senator Kline is interested in FIREARM SAFETY, how better to do that than correct and pass a bill that ensures firing ranges are available for safe shooting -- and more importantly, where FIREARM SAFETY CLASSES are regularly conducted.
Both the NRA and GOAL are asking you to contact YOUR OWN legislators (Senator AND Representatives) and ask them to oppose this needless and misdirected legislation. And we ask that you contact Senator Kline and POLITELY AND RESPECTFULLY tell him this is NOT the kind of behavior we expect of our elected officials.
There are two co sponsors who joined Senator Kline in promoting this bill: Senators Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36) and Debbie Regala (D-27). Along with Senator Kline, both are long-term opponents of the fundamental right to keep and bear arms, enshrined in both the U.S. and Washington state Constitutions. You might want to pass the same message on to these individuals. Please be polite and respectful.
Senator Adam Kline (360) 786-7688
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (360) 786-7670
Senator Debbie Regala (360) 786-7652
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"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 2012 Gun Owners Action League of WA