Washington State Patrol recruit learns the finer point of the teacup grip (courtesy wsp.wa.gov)

We recently reported that Washington state gun owners are planning an act of civil disobedience. In defiance of the Evergreen State’s freshly-minted Universal Background Check law – brought into being by a mid-term ballot initiative (I-594) – tooled up protestors will exchange firearms. Without a NICS check. In public. In front of the state capitol building. And now mynorthwest.com reports that they will do so without any law enforcement intervention from the State Patrol . . .

The Washington State Patrol say troopers won’t arrest demonstrators who plan to exchange guns at the capitol in protest of Washington’s new background check law.

Washington State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins says troopers have no plans to arrest anyone.

“We’re not sure we can prove that’s a transfer under the law,” Calkins says. “And we really try to be very accommodating of people who come to the state capitol to express political opinions, engage in free speech.”

However, Calkins says the state patrol is asking demonstrators to practice “good firearm safety practices” by handling guns safely and not pointing them at others or intimidating people.

Calkins says the state patrol doesn’t expect any problems. But troopers will be on hand to monitor the protest and step in if protesters do other things that violate the law or intimidate other capitol visitors.

I’m a little confused by all this. Politicians push and voters pass draconian gun control measures (e.g. New York’s SAFE Act and Maryland’s “assault weapon” ban) that don’t get enforced. In this case, because the dog’s breakfast that is I-594 is so poorly written the state police don’t know if it’s enforceable. Or if they do, they can’t be bothered.

So what’s the point, exactly?

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71 Responses to WA State Patrol: We Won’t Arrest Universal Background Check Protesters

  1. It was not the point for this to be enforced. It’s a step in the direction of “common sense”.

    It will obviously prove to not be doing enough and Washington state will need _______ laws next.

    • Line troopers carry M&P 40s I believe. Apparently at the Academy they train with the support hand thumb trigger Beretta.

    • Relax guys, they focused on a woman for PR / PC purposes. Maybe she was still learning to shoot when she was volunt-told to pose for the photo.

      • Looks like a modified “teacup” grip, Rarely see that any more but if used it’s usually due to new shooter doing what they saw a grandparent use

      • I think that’s what rubs me the wrong way about it. She was told to pose so it’s not like she’s a new shooter forgetting grip fundamentals during live fire. Can’t be the first time she’s actually gripped a firearm. Just makes you wonder what and how they were taught and practiced with blue guns in the classroom before actually going to the range.

        Also interested that all of the pictured cadets are shooting what looks like Weaver.

  2. It’s all about the plea bargains.

    Pile up ten charges, including one of these…settle for one…95+% conviction record for the prosecutor.

  3. Its a matter of resources, to arrest hundreds would overwhelm the jails and the courts. And it would create a public relations nightmare. Gun rights groups would be able to point to such actions and say we told you so. I would not completely count out the state police doing nothing. Moms Demand Action, CSGV, Brady Campaign, and Everytown will put pressure on the state to make arrests.

    • Tom is right, if they arrest a couple of hundred people at a demonstration, it can spark larger demonstrations, of civil “unrest”. These kinds of laws are typically used on a onsey twosy basis where the gubmint can pick us off, one at a time. Much less uproar that way. One thing I have learned about gun grabbing politicians, they are very patient, and in this for the loooooong haul.

  4. It’s just like the Sullivan Law in NY; one day, it will be enforced with an iron fist… even if that day is not immediately after passage.

    • yup people keep giving up their rights and soon this will be a policed Country giving big brother too much power is a horrible thing and it will take Americans to unite to undo the years of scheming these politicians have done and the government over stepping it’s power

  5. All you need is someone to say someone else brandished… hopefully the antis don’t think of this. Can out of state people donate to this cause?

    • I’m half tempted to attend this. Take an AR15 lower (a firearm by the ATF definition) and transfer it back and forth. Doesn’t matter what you do with it, short of clubbing people with it. I don’t think you can brandish a lower.

      • Technically it’s not a firearm under WA state law, at least by a letter-of-the-law reading, A stripped lower is not “a weapon or device from which a projectile… may be fired”. The wording remains the same in 594.

        RCW 9.41.010
        Terms defined.

        (9) “Firearm” means a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.

        • Sorry, but this is incorrect. The lower (even stripped) is the only part of an AR that is a “firearm”. Everything else is just firearm parts.

        • P.D.D. you are correct by federal definitions but not necessarily state law, which is the only thing the state police are interested in…

      • Brother, we HAVE to be there. On Dec 4th it will be illegal to hand that lower (assembled or not) to anyone outside of immediate family or hunting partner while on a hunt, even for just a moment.

  6. “What’s the point exactly?”

    The point is to have a myriad of laws to chose from in order to arrest/persecute those with whom those in power disagree. At any given time, there’s a number laws an individual may be breaking with even realizing it.

    • Bingo-boom-shakalaka.

      That’s the point of all these laws.

      They are needed so when you are rolled up for something, there is a litany of charges that you can be beaten down with – individually, alone, without widespread knowledge or support.

      If these horrible laws get enforced en masse, there will be huge outcries and the stupidity of their content is exposed.

      Better to chip away one sinner at a time…

    • Yes exactly,

      Slowly make everything either compulsory or forbidden.

      I think what we need is a new constitutional amendments;

      each bill must be a single subject and have a statement of intent as to what exactly it’s intended to address, with a 5 year review of said law based on that statement of intent.

      Does it achieve it’s stated goal? No, then get the damned thing off the books & try again.

      • That was actually one of the lesser known changes to the constitution made by the Confederate States upon their formation of a new nation. Each congressional bill could only do one thing, and it had to be specified in the title.

      • Actually those are the exact requirements of the WA initiative process, and most likely how 594 will be thrown out if successfully challenged in court.

        Initiatives are only allowed to address a single issue. 594 is literally a cluster of issues addressed, as well as multiple changes to state law. It clearly violates state constitution in this regard ,(so did 591, actually) and there is already precedent for the courts throwing out other initiatives that did the same thing.

        HOWEVER the courts in WA seem to show bias in enforcing this law, and not surprisingly, the initiatives they have thrown out have been those that the state did not like – e.g. Tim Eyman’s tax initiative which required 2/3 legislative approval for any new tax.

        Initiatives in WA can also be amended by the legislature after 2 years, and can even be thrown out completely at that point.

    • There’s a quote in that regard that I cannot recall exactly right now. It’s along the lines of how it’s not possible to rule lawful men, because there’s no way to control them. Thus rules are put in place to make sure there are no lawful men.

      • The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. ~ Ayn Rand

  7. Biggest thing for me

    “We cant prove thats a transfer….”

    Just proves how poorly written and what a pile of shit the bill really is

  8. Stand in a circle, facing outwards.

    Place a numbered chamber block in each gun. Keep a mental note of the number.

    Keep your guns pointing downwards. Hand them to the right five times, then to the left five times.

    200 person circle · 10 handoffs = 2,000 violations.

  9. Pathetic. Maybe in 2016 when the voters of Washington stampede to the polls to vote for Saint Hillary, they can also vote to enact a total ban on handguns!!. Yay progressives!!!

  10. @ jerry: I’m guessing you called her that because a so-called “news magazine” , during the Billary co-presidency, actually did call her that. On the cover. And they weren’t trying to be sarcastic. And they haven’t changed a bit in that regard.

  11. It occurs to me that, in Texas, a police officer can’t arrest you for a misdemeanor without a warrant unless you commit the offense in the officer’s presence. I gather that’s the situation in other states too. If such is the case in Wa., hysterical “moms” can say “brandishing” all they want, unless the officer actually sees it occurring himself, if he makes a warrantless arrest it’s lawsuit time. Assuming “brandishing” or its Wa. equivalent is a misdemeanor, that is.

    • There are exclusions to this rule in WA, including crimes against persons or property. Brandishing is a misdemeanor, as are the lowest levels of assault, theft, posession of stolen property, and malicious mischief (legal term for vandalism). Still can be investigated and charged.

      An example of the rule could be posession of drug paraphernalia. If I search someone incident to arrest and they have a crack pipe on them, that can be charged. If someone gets mad at their boyfriend/girlfriend and calls 911 to report they have a crack pipe in their pocket, since I didn’t see it, nothing happens.

  12. No. the law has an exemption “if the temporary transfer occurs and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively at a lawful organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or while participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the performance;” http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_483.pdf

    It’s not that they are deciding not to enforce the law. It’s more the case that the law exempts “performances” which even a first year public defender would argue includes political protests under the 1st amendment. And probably win.

    Next.

    The rhetoric and hyperbole around this law have gotten well ahead of the text. The problem with crying wolf is that the next time, people will not believe it. And there is about to be a next time (Nevada).

    This (voter ballots) is a new strategy by the gun prohibitionists; Recycling the same arguments has not worked and we need to get smarter. Even worse, they will say “look no confiscation” when a much more sinister law comes up.

    • Don’t want to arrest the Marine Drill Team when they do the down line spin pass or one of them flips him his M1 to the Sargent for inspection.

    • I see no hyperbole.

      Any background check should apply only to a permanent exchange of a firearm. That any temporary transfer is included is egregious.*

      Deal with criminals; stop writing laws that turn law-abiding citizens into felons.

      * And that’s beside the point that background checks are proven to be entirely ineffective, and have done nothing to contribute to the common, public good.

      • I agree with you on both points. I think background checks are here to stay even though they accomplish very little. I would rather lose on the best terms than strike out trying to remove BCGs. On a permanent transfer or say, longer than 90 days or something would be a lot less terrible than what is in I-594.

        However, “less terrible” still sucks and it STILL doesn’t do jack squat about actual violent criminals. Changing it to cover permanent transfers only isn’t going to change the behavior of the criminal element whatsoever. Just more hoopla for the law-abiding.

        I really wish they would just open up the NICS for the public. One the few firearms I have sold I have required checks personally because of it being a felony to supply a prohibited person with a firearm. The NICS check is my liability insurance there.

    • +1. To the average non- POTG the transfer issue/objection just raises a “huh?” reaction.

      Bill Gates was able to win by repeating one simple fact- background checks good, by preventing crazy people and criminals from buying guns, at gun shows without background checks.

      Right, wrong, details dont matter- that worked:
      Yes for 1594 for background checks, and
      I591 was reduced to “against background checks”.

      We POTG are way too far into the weeds of stuff the average non POTG just doesnt understand. KISS.

      No one here has offered to lay out the rational, fact-based, moral argument with passion, that works best on progtards, for NO BACKGROUND CHECKS.

      That is the educational objective, to fight and win against the ballot propositions, that must be reduced to an “elevator pitch”, 10 to 15 seconds that makes the light bulb go on, and leaves a lasting impression.

      • our arguments need to resonate with someone who DOESNT OWN A GUN!

        a lot of the people voting for 594 were thinking “well, i dont own a gun, so it doesnt hurt ME. the sales pitch sounds great, so i’m voting yes”.

        give your average joe a reason to vote for or against a bill, out of SELF INTEREST or SELF PRESERVATION.

    • Well then, problem solved. If you want to do a private transfer in WA, simply go to the nearest government building with a big ‘we will not comply’ sign in the middle of the day and do the transfer. If They arrest you just claim performance art and 1st amendment.

  13. Well, it’s not a law yet, so they aren’t doing anything currently illegal. Why would they get arrested?

    “We’re not sure we can prove that’s a transfer under the law,” Calkins says. “And we really try to be very accommodating of people who come to the state capitol to express political opinions, engage in free speech.”

    However, Calkins says the state patrol is asking demonstrators to practice “good firearm safety practices” by handling guns safely and not pointing them at others or intimidating people.

    That’s– that’s completely reasonable. Are we sure a cop said that?

  14. The Progressives hate, hate, hate that white blue-collar people are not reliable Democratic voters. So they go after the gun culture in response. And in the meantime, the Boyz in the Hood get off with illegal guns all the time. This is nothing but power politics.

  15. 200 guys with guns in their hands are not low hanging fruit.
    Therefore, mass civil disobedience will be ignored, unless 10,000 people show up. In 10,000 people show up, the police will carefully see nothing, the Seattle press will estimate the number at 500, and politicians will cower in fear, knowing that there really were 10,000 seriously pissed off citizens out there freezing their ass off in civil disobedience.

    Low hanging fruit is the guy who decides he’s too old to hunt and passes his guns out to the grandkids for Christmas. The cops are persecuting attorneys will be all over that one.

  16. The point is its yet one more backdoor to tyranny waiting for the right anti-Consitutional despot(s) to arrive in power.

  17. The point is the destruction of “gun culture”. This is the most ambitious piece of social engineering our political and economic elites have ever attempted. They spend tens of millions of dollars in a top-down, long term campaign to pass legislation that creates hundreds of thousands of new “criminals”. State by state, the numbers of law abiding gun owners are reduced and the numbers of “criminals” who own guns are increased. In tandem, the number of prohibited persons who are classified as mentally ill or domestic abusers is increased.

    The elimination of a civil right presents a thorny problem. Massive efforts to enforce the draconian legislation passed in Connecticut, California, Washington, Maryland and New York would be counter-productive. It would produce a political backlash that would derail their plans. It is more effective to play a long-game with gradual increases in enforcement. In a decade or two, millions of citizens will no longer be able pass a background check and confiscation of firearms from criminals and prohibited persons will be common place.

    • It already has produced a political backlash in Maryland. See Governor-elect Hogan. Who is facing off with a Democratic General Assembly in Annapolis.

      Pass the popcorn.

  18. Is there a police carve out?

    Say there is a shoot out, 1 man is down, the other is out of ammo. Does he become a criminal if he uses his partner’s gun?

      • Carve outs should be challenged in the courts based on the Fourteenth Amendment and the equal protection clause. No group should have special rights and I dont know how a court could uphold exemptions.

        • can a cop drive his cop car without wearing a seat belt can he use his cell phone play on his lap top while driving and speed when ever he wants run stop signs stop lights yes can the citizens do this no they would get in trouble so this is already happening at an alarming rate the police are above the law and tell the American people stand up against them and say no more they will continue to abuse their powers and not have to worry about getting into trouble

    • Yes, there is. Law enforcement, military, and any government official as long as the “transfer” occurs in the line of duty.

      Police man can legally pick up a gun at a crime scene (or confiscate one from you under orders), but can’t legally teach his neighbor how to safely handle a pistol.

      • can a felon under any circumstances posses a fire arm? such as say a cop gets shot you see it stop grab his gun and successfully take the one down that shot the cop by either shooting him with the cops gun or forcing him to the ground at gun point would the felon get charged with possession of a fire arm ? or say someone attacks a felon with a gun and the felon takes the gun away from said attacker and holds him at gun point tell the cops arrive would he be committing a felony

    • The exception applies to almost anyone, not just police (see section (4)(c)(i) below):

      (4) This section does not apply to:
      (a) A transfer between immediate family members, which for this
      subsection shall be limited to spouses, domestic partners, parents,
      children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews,
      first cousins, aunts, and uncles, that is a bona fide gift;
      (b) The sale or transfer of an antique firearm;
      (c) A temporary transfer of possession of a firearm if such
      transfer is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm
      to the person to whom the firearm is transferred if:
      (i) The temporary transfer only lasts as long as immediately
      necessary to prevent such imminent death or great bodily harm; and
      (ii) The person to whom the firearm is transferred is not
      prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law;

  19. They ALREADY know there will be a HUGE pushback. This was cobbled together, watered by elitist billionaires and aided by a lying and compliant Seattle based media. We were outspent 10-1 at least maybe 20-1 in the end. That is the ONLY way these sheltered lying money sacks can win. In 2 years the legislature CAN overturn the initiative and they may having seen how gun control has cost a lot of seats nationally.

    They plan to take it to NV? FAT FUCKING CHANCE. NV is NOT WA or OR or MD. They are a gun culture thank God. The best thing would be for Pete Brownell and all the other NRA big donors to pony up for a direct mail campaign starting in the January of 2016 when the initiative will be offered and EDUCATE the public. EXPLAIN that we HAVE a system called NICS since 1994 and it has only failed ONCE. That failure was possible only because Slick Willie got a liberal brain fart and told Janet Reno’s Justice department NOT to accept drug and psych test results that were involuntary in the mindlessly naive belief that “minus the stigma these people would seek help on their own”.

    THAT is the only reason the Tucson Maggot passed NICS and got a Glock. The reason he got CCW was that his mom was buddies with the SAME Sheriff (Dupnik) who approved the permit and then after the shooting ran to every mike and camera in the U.S. to decry the “weakness” of the NICS system and call for more gun control. Thus saving his worthless ass.

    Ray from Bloombergia
    NRA Life Member

  20. Massive resistance is calculated to display mass disdain and generate mass arrests. Mass arrests often generate a serious groundswell of public sympathy, followed by an intense anti-government backlash.

    The powers that be have grown more savvy about this over the years. They generally abjure mass arrests — as they have done here — because they know that in the end, mass arrests tend to damage the state and not the movement. Instead of arresting protesters, the G now tries to slander them instead. But it’s easier to defame a mob sleeping in a park than it is to defame working men and women who gather peacefully at the state capitol.

    Keep on resisting, WA, but keep on doing it the smart way. Keep on exposing the logical inconsistencies in the law. Do it en masse so the police state remains fearful. It’s the only way to win.

  21. “Politicians push and voters pass draconian gun control measures (e.g. New York’s SAFE Act and Maryland’s “assault weapon” ban) that don’t get enforced.”

    I can tell you as a former Maryland resident that their gun laws particularly their one’s on “assault weapons” although restrictive are just plain weird and this was even before the new law in 2013 was passed.

    Before 2013 there was NO ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN!!! They were just regulated requiring a waiting period and State Police background check. The list was just a guideline for what was regulated which has now turned into a ban list post-2013. Yet even with the post-2013 laws plus the overall length requirement being shortened to a 29″ minimum:

    Only flash hiders, grenade launchers, and folding stocks are regulated (not banned). You can only have one of those features per firearm which is the regulated part. Everything else is okay.

    You can still buy AR-10’s, SCAR’s, Tavor’s, FS2000’s, Vz-58’s, SIG-556’s, AK pistols, AR pistols, MPAR’s, Beretta ARX-160’s, the Galil ACE when it hits the market, pretty much anything that was not commercially available back in 1994 when the list was compiled with a simple NICS check like the rest of the country.

    Even with guns specifically on the list: M1A’s are banned but Polytech/Norinco M14’s still legal, AR-15’s as long as they do not have the grenade launching cutout or pencil barrel are legal, rifles on that same list as long as they pass import restrictions (which BTW are VERY STRICT) are not considered AW’s and thus legal (according to MD State Police briefs), a HK-93A2 (G3 5.56 rifle) with the fixed stock is banned but the HK-93A3 with a collapsible or folding stock is still legal. Again all with a NICS check, no waiting.

    Magazines although restricted to 10 rounds only applies to buying and transferring in state lines. 10 round+ mags are still legal to possess and still acquire as long as you are out of state when you get them. Colorado and the other slave states don’t even have that provision.

    Also if you owned a banned or “copycat” weapon before October 1st 2013 and you (god forbid) move to Maryland you can still keep them they just require registration. Anything bought post October 2013 is a no go.

    Like I said even though MD is a very restrictive state it is not because they choose not to enforce them it is because the laws were weird to begin with even before the new law was passed.

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