Monday, September 15, 2014

Facts Matter: I594, Part 1

The Myths of Initiative 594 - Washington Arms Collectors (Originally published in Gun News)

("Reality" explanations are edited for space considerations.)

Myth #1 – I-594 requires background checks only for gun sales.
Reality: I-594 “would extend criminal…background checks to all guns sales or transfers.”

Myth #2 – Failing to do the I-594 paperwork on, for example, the loan of a firearm to another must be a minor violation like a traffic violation, right?
Reality: I-594 re-writes Washington law to make transfer violations the equivalent of RCW “serious offenses” such as rape, drive by shootings and vehicular homicide.

Myth #3 – Gifts of a firearm are exempted.
Reality: Not true – gifts are specifically included in the definition of transfers requiring a dealer and registration of the firearm.

Myth #4 – A person can loan a firearm, without going through a dealer, to another as long as it is returned to him,.
Reality: Transfers are defined by I-594 to include any loan of a firearm.

Myth #5 – I-594 is primarily a gun show law requiring background checks at shows.
Reality: I-594 regulates all transfers “between unlicensed persons.”

Myth #6 – I can hand my firearm off to my friend for some minor repair without doing all the transfer paperwork, after all I will get my own firearm back.
Reality: You and your friend will both have committed crimes if you make this transfer without an FFL dealer for the transfers in both directions; this is two separate transfers as defined by I-594.

Myth #7 – My gun club can continue to offer firearm safety training with our member instructors providing the firearms for use by the trainees.
Reality: Probably not – there is an exception but it states that 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.

Myth #8 – Coaching of shooters which includes the handing back and forth of a firearm is exempt from I-594.
Reality: I-594 contains an exception which may allow transfer to a person under age 18 for “educational purposes…while under the direct supervision and control of a responsible adult….” This exception would not permit transfer during adult classes such as women’s handgun classes, adult hunter education, other types of training , or range orientation training.

Myth #9 – I can loan a hunting rifle to a friend during hunting season.
Reality: No, you absolutely cannot. There is an exception that would allow you to hand your rifle to another licensed hunter “while hunting” but this only applies during the actual hunt if both hunters are present and licensed; so you may hand your rifle across the fence to a partner, but if your hunting partner drops his rifle and damages it, you cannot loan your extra rifle – it would be a crime.

Myth #10 – I keep a rifle in my truck and occasionally allow my daughter to drive this vehicle on our property – this can’t be a crime?
Reality: Unless you are in the truck with your minor child, this is a transfer requiring an FFL dealer at two points. There is a transfer when she departs with the truck and when she returns it to you – possession equals transfer under I-594.

Myth #11 – My son and I go to the range to shoot trap – we take only my shotgun because he can’t afford one; surely we can share the shotgun.
Reality: If your son is a minor and you supervise him then you can share, but, oddly, if your son is over age 18 then these transfers would be illegal. I-594 appears intended to entrap entire families with these nonsense violations.

Myth #12 – My children have both hunted since they were young and have the required hunter education training and licenses. They have always used my firearms and they are free to choose the one that best fits the game. Can I continue to allow them to use my rifles and shotguns during hunting season?
Reality: No, both you and your children will be committing a I-594 crime if they use your firearms during hunting season without your “direct supervision.” This means that you must be present, able to see and contact the child you are supervising.

Myth #13 – Our local high school has a trapshooting team in which my daughter competes with my rather expensive shotgun. This must be okay.
Reality: Yet another trap for you and your daughter. You will both commit criminal violations each and every time that she takes the shotgun to practice. There is an exception that would allow you to bring the shotgun to a competition and transfer it to your daughter, but this does not apply to practice, only to “organized competition.” And if a firearm is transferred to her at a competition, it must be transferred back at that same location.

That is the first half of the "Myths of 594"; I'll post the other half after I get home from work.

Other sources:
CCRKBA Talking Points - I591 & I594 - Washington Arms Collectors
I-594 is fundamentally dishonest - Washington Arms Collectors
NRA-ILA I-594 Talking Points - Washington Arms Collectors


stepinit said...

Just how is this going to be in forced?

D.W. Drang said...

Well, that's a good question. The ballot initiative to the voters is eighteen pages long. It's heavy on rainbows and skittles and unicorn farts, not to mention all the tings us [peasants can't do, or only under very strict controls.
But it does not address the mechanism of how you find an FFL at the range, or how the FFL you find will go about running a NICS check on a range (or hunting trip) loan of a rifle. or pistol.
Nor does it address the enforcement angle.
If, God forbid, the Initiative passes, then the laws will have to be written and passed. The precedent is there for the state legislature to overturn an Ballot Initiative, so there is still some hope.
(Some of this is addressed in Part 2, just posted.)

But, you know, there are a lot of "Pass it to find out what's in it" jokes being made.

GTeye said...

How are safes in the home handled?

We have 2 safes... one by our bed side and another larger one in the house where we store all our firearms...

Does this make "sharing" a safe in your own home with your wife illegal?

D.W. Drang said...

Transfers between spouses are allowed. (We think. See my post The Breathtaking Hypocrisy of Gun Control, they are denying that the meaning of "transfer" in the initiative doesn't really mean what it says...)
Transfers to minor children are allowed, as long as you're there.
There is also a provision for a temporary transfer during an "emergency".