Saturday, March 16, 2013

GOAL Post 2013-9

TO: undisclosed-recipients
SUBJECT: GOAL Post 2013-9
Legislative Update from Olympia, 15 March 2013

  • HB 1588 DEAD -- MAYBE

This past Wednesday at 5 p.m., all bills had to pass out of their original chamber or be considered dead for the session.  Four of the bills we are tracking died, five remain in play.  The clock simply runs out, and a significant portion of bills die, good and bad.  More than 2,000 bills were filed to date; fewer than half made it past the chamber cut-off.  That number will likely be cut in half again by the end of the session.  Many are filed, but relatively few make it to the Governor's desk.  But it isn't over until the gavel goes down on Day 105.

Most of the drama this week was over HB 1588, the bill that mandates background checks on ALL firearm transfers within Washington.  Democrats fell a few votes short of the needed 50 votes to get it out of the House, despite pressure from Governor Inslee and reportedly at least one telephone call to a legislator from former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), injured in a shooting in Tucson, AZ, fourteen months ago.  (Representative Giffords is becoming the Jim Brady of her generation, despite her earlier NRA A-rating, brought out to showcase whatever gun control bill is up for discussion or a vote.)  As a last minute maneuver, the bill sponsor tried to attach a referendum clause to the bill, which would have thrown it to the voters in November.  At that point, six Democrats who supported the earlier version of the bill withdrew their support -- they wanted no part of an off-election-year referendum on guns.

Democrats control the House with a 55D-43R margin.  One Republican, Rep. Mike Hope (R-44) was committed to voting FOR the bill.  Thus they needed 49 Democrat votes to pass 1588.  At least six righteous Democrats just said "no" (it could be a few more; because a vote was never taken, we won't know the exact shortfall).  The next time someone asks why GOAL supports SOME Democrats, there's your answer.  There are always exceptions to the stereotypes.  On both sides.

According to some news reports, HB 1588 was the Democrats' #1 priority bill for this year.  Rest assured it will be back in one form or another.  If they can't find a way to resurrect it during this session, we'll may {sic} see it on the ballot later this year as an Initiative to the People.  The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), our state's newest nanny-state gun grabbing organization, has more than enough money at its disposal to buy its way onto the ballot just as they did in 1997 with I-676.  More Seattleites dictating THEIR agenda to the rest of the state.  Whether they will do so in an off-year election where turnout is very small remains to be seen.

Over the next 2 1/2 weeks bills will continue to be heard in the other chamber's policy committees.  April 3rd is the next cut-off date.

Earlier this week a senior legislative staffer called me to ask what I meant by the position "concerns" on some bills (several legislators and staffers in Olympia are on the GOAL Post distribution list).  "Concerns" means just that: while I have no problem with the stated intent of the bill, I believe it is written in such a manner that it takes away prosecutorial or judicial discretion.  We've all heard the horror stories about "zero tolerance" policies in schools, children being expelled for drawing a picture of a gun, and the school principal defends him or herself with the response, "I'm sorry, I know it's silly, but my hands are tied.  It's the rule."  It's these "no exceptions, no loopholes" policies -- and laws -- that get the wrong person in trouble.  School administrators, bureaucrats and politicians love "zero tolerance/no exception policies it gives them cover.

An example:  Two of the bills still making their way through the system expand the prohibition on firearm possession for individuals subject to different forms of restraining or protective orders.  The intent of these laws is to protect people.  Great.  I was taught as a child that boys don't hit girls.  And I've honored that rule.  But for every case where a nutjob goes off the deep end and guns down his or her significant other, there are thousands of individuals subject to these orders that are NOT a danger, and that are being denied the fundamental right of self defense.  And let's not forget that in many of these domestic cases, the potential threat goes BOTH ways.  Laws that are guaranteed to catch EVERY lawbreaker will invariably also catch individuals that may have technically violated that law, but who had no criminal intent.   

The following bills remain under consideration in the 2013 session 
Bill #
SHB 1096
Juvi illegal firearm possession
Hurst (D-31)
SHB 1383
Stalking protection orders
Goodman (D-45)
SHB 1588
Background checks
Pedersen (D-43)
SHB 1612
Firearm offender registry
Hope (R-44)
S. L&J
SHB 1839
Background checks
Goodman (D-45)
SHB 1840
Firearms/restraining orders
Goodman (D-45)
S. L&J 
SSB 5282
DSHS/WSP info exchange
Carrell (R-28)
H. Jud
SSB 5452
Stalking protection orders
Conway (D-
H. Jud
SB 5831
Bans double tax on clay pigeons
Rivers (R-18)
Key to abbreviations:  SB = Senate Bill, HB = House Bill, Jud = Judiciary, L&J = Law & Justice, HS&C = Human Services & Corrections, Trans = Transportation, Approp = Appropriations, Early Learn = Early Learning and K-12 Education, W&M = Ways & Means   
HB 1383     CONCERNS
HB 1612     CONCERNS
HB 1840     OPPOSE
SB 5282     SUPPORT
SB 5452     CONCERNS 

SSB 5282              House Judiciary House Hearing Room "A"
21 Mar                  1:30 p.m.                             John L. O'Brien Office Building

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 "".  Bills are available in Acrobat (.pdf) format.  You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe's web site (  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 (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 "".  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 "" 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 "" 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 lit, you must contact that list's admin to unsubscribe.

Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Puyallup             23-24 March
Monroe                 6-7 April

"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 2013 Gun Owners Action League of WA

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