Monday, September 15, 2014

Facts Matter: I594, Part 2

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

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

Myth #14 – I have a concealed pistol license; this must exempt me from the requirements since I have already received a thorough background check.
Reality: Your CPL has no value in firearms transfers under I-594 and all of the transfer requirements still apply to you.

Myth #15 – The waiting period of five days for non-CPL transfers remains unchanged.
Reality: The waiting period is now 10 days.

Myth #16 – My brother and I are both shooters and collectors. We often sell firearms to each other. I understand that these family transfers are exempt from I-594 provisions.
Reality: Absolutely not! While there is an exception for “bona fide gifts” within and among family members, it does not apply to sales. You and your brother will be multiple violators.

Myth #17 – I-594 advertises that private transfers are exempt from sales tax, at least this is a good thing.
Reality: Private property transactions are subject to use tax, not retail sales tax. Again, it appears that I-594 proponents are creating a smokescreen in an attempt to make I-594 appear reasonable. I-594 amends only RCW 82.08 which regulates retail sales and businesses.

Myth #18 – My brother-in-law is a police officer and he says that he is exempt from I-594.
Reality: The I-594 law enforcement exception is only valid while on-duty. It does not apply to private purchases even if the firearm will be used on-duty (backup guns and patrol rifles are often personally purchased and these transfers must follow all I-594 laws).

Myth #19 – I have heard I-594 people stating that this is not a firearm registration law.
Reality: I-594 requires that every transfer be reported to the Department of Licensing, and while the requirements imposed on DOL are not clear, it seems that all firearm transfers are reported to DOL thus creating a registry of all firearms owners.

Myth #20 – This is a minor expansion of existing background check law and will not cost much.
Reality: I-594 does not just apply to sales, rather it applies to all transfers. We know that there are thousands of non-exempt transfers that take place each week during hunting, recreational shooting, coaching, practice and firearm maintenance.
We must assume that every one of these transfers will be reported to the Department of Licensing and that they will maintain records as required. Assuming full public compliance with the broad reaching language of I-594 there will be millions of new records created annually.
The burden on DOL will be staggering and it is unfunded. New buildings, computers, and personnel will be required. We know from DOL’s own testimony before legislative committee that they are approximately six months behind on new handgun registrations.
It is most likely that DOL will never be able to meet the requirements of I-594.

Myth #21 – The transfer of a firearm through a dealer won’t cost me much.
Reality: We don’t know what the cost will be as it is not capped within I-594.
Currently most dealers charge between $30 and $50 per transaction.

Myth #22 – I-594 is worth voting for if it catches criminals attempting to purchase firearms.
Reality: I-594 does not impact criminal access to firearms. This is already illegal and criminals will not use legal transfers to obtain firearms; rather they steal them and buy on the street. I-594 only affects the law-abiding firearm owner and will make criminals of many innocent people.

Myth #23 – We have to do something to stop the mentally ill from purchasing firearms!
Reality: We all agree, but I-594 contains not a single provision that will allow closer scrutiny of those who are mentally ill, or drug-impaired. Instead I-594 is targeted at responsible citizens.

Myth #24 – I’m an FFL dealer and I-594 will be good for me and my business.
Reality: It may be impossible for a Federal Firearms Licensee to follow both Federal and State law and rules. I-594 requires that the seller, “shall deliver the firearms to a licensed dealer to process…the transfer as if it is…transferring the firearm from its inventory.”
I-594 instructs the FFL dealer to handle the transfer “as if it is selling or transferring the firearm from its inventory…”, but then also allows the seller, who still owns the firearm, to leave with the firearm.
The reality is that an FFL dealer may lose his license if he allows an item in his inventory to leave the premises.

Myth #25 – The answer to I-594 is for every club, school and range to have an FFL dealer “on duty.”
Reality: even this extreme accommodation will likely not work. FFL dealers can conduct transfers only at their place of business or a bona fide gun show. There is no such thing as a roving FFL dealer who can perform the background checks required for all transfers under I-594.

Myth #26The changes in I-594 are the only way to background check gun buyers.
Reality: There are efficient and (to some of us) acceptable ways to background check gun buyers. The Concealed Pistol License can be upgraded to a background check document that would serve as a transfer document; then all those with a CPL, who have already been backgrounded and fingerprinted, could use this license to effect lawful transfers.

Bottom Line: 
594 is not designed to keep guns from criminals or reduce crime; it is intended to create overwhelming obstacles to the private possession and use of firearms. I-594 targets recreational shooters, competitors, hobbyists and collectors.

That is the second half of the "Myths of 594"; Part one is here: Facts Matter: I594, Part 1

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


Anonymous said...

what does this mean for those who already purchased guns from gun shows and private parties

D.W. Drang said...

Future annoyance.

Has no retroactive effect, at least not until the bureaucrats in the Department of Licensing have their way. That's part of the problem, DoL gets to write the rules, the initiative itself is vague, overly broad, and ill-defined.

Anonymous said...

Thank you D.W. for your response. I'll keep checking back to this site to see what will happen. Was also wondering how a person would prove when they actually purchased the gun.