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While Congress dithers and bickers about automatic spending cuts and Tailgunner Joe Biden blathers about double-barrel shotguns, the battle for the 2nd Amendment is being waged in the states. Since I happen to live in the Evergreen State, I’ve been paying particular attention to the future of my gun rights here in the Northwest. In blessed contrast to the news from elsewhere, the outlook here is mostly good…

California may be a lost cause, but Idaho’s gun owners have absolutely nothing to fear from their own pro-gun state legislatures. Oregon and Washington have seen a slew of draconian gun control measures introduced, but none of them have any real chance of passage. Expanded background checks may be headed our way, however.


AWB Dies In Committee
Washington SB 5737 was a constitutional nightmare. It tried to define an ‘assault weapon’ as just about every firearm or magazine designed after 1910, and it also would have authorized warrantless searches of all gun owners’ homes. When Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat questioned Kline about the warrantless searches, Kline offered this lame excuse:

I spoke to two of the sponsors. One, Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, a lawyer who typically is hyper-attuned to civil-liberties issues, said he did not know the bill authorized police searches because he had not read it closely before signing on.

“I made a mistake,” Kline said. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”

Kline’s excuse would be inexcusable even if it were true, but Kline is lying through his teeth: this ‘innocent mistake’ is actually the third time Kline has proposed warrantless searches of gun owners’ homes under the guise of ‘common-sense gun safety.’ As reported by The PJ Tatler, Kline introduced identical language in 2005 and 2009.

These are terrifying proposals, and they show the contempt which anti-gunners have for the entire Constitution and not ‘only’ the 2nd Amendment.

This beast is dead. Again. For now. SB 5737 has been withdrawn, and if it’s ever re-introduced it will still have to survive the same Law & Justice Committee whose chairman refused to give it a public hearing.

And Other Bills Join It In The Grave
As this story went to print, it was reported that the senate Law & Justice committee also killed a bill to criminalize storing guns where children could get to them. A truly silly bill, proposing the creation of a gun violence policy study group, also met an unlamented death.

But Universal Background Checks Still Alive
HB 1588 would require (almost) universal background checks for private firearms transfers in Washington. I wrote the bill’s sponsors, urging exemptions for immediate family members and CCW permit holders, and (much more importantly) the SAF’s own Alan Gottlieb testified at the committee hearings.

This bill was unfortunately passed out of committee, but only after being amended to allow CCW permit holders to skip the (redundant) background check and Form 4473 requirements. I guess nobody liked my proposal to exempt immediate family members, but I’m not too butt-hurt about it.

Even in this watered-down form, HB 1588 faces an uncertain future in the Washington State Senate. The GOP controls the Senate agenda, and this bill will get no love from them.


Mag Ban Withdrawn
According to the Portland Oregonian, State senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portlandia) officially pulled her latest gun grab effort, LC 1031. Oregon’s gun-hater in chief tried to ban any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds, although she was generous enough to exempt all lever guns and tube-fed .22s.



A broader ‘assault weapon’ ban, also co-sponsored by Burdick and other delusional Portlandians, is dead in the Oregon legislature after Judiciary Committee chairman Democrat Floyd Prozanski read the tea leaves and realized it had no chance of passage. Oregon’s many People Of The Gun organized to effectively neutralize Burdick’s measures, including an Open Carry rally at (and inside) the state capital.

BREAKING: New AWB Introduced (by Burdick, of course)

Who says Ginny Burdick keeps her word? Just one day after pulling her (already dead) AWB and mag ban bills, Burdick introduced yet another extremely broad ‘assault weapon’ ban. Just like all the others, SB 3200 bans just about anything invented after 1910. It would require registration, removal from the state, or surrender of any already-owned ‘assault weapons.’ It also requires ‘safe storage’ and authorizes warrantless searches ‘inspections’ of any ‘assault weapons’ or magazines.

How Burdick thinks this POS will fare any better than her other failed efforts is beyond me. As if this crap weren’t enough, Burdick and Prozanski are still plotting to introduce ‘universal’ background check legislation.

This fight isn’t over.

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      • Thanks for the link. The stats show my state of Oregon with 39.8% being gun owners. Last month, it was reported in Oregon that 57% (well above the national average) of the adults in Oregon are gun owners.

        • Dave:
          I don’t doubt the data here is 100% falsified. Why do I believe this? Well, for starters they can’t even calculate/report an accurate percentage.

          Total respondents with guns 67786.
          Total respondents without guns 134095.
          Percentage with guns 67786/(67786+134095)=33.6%

          Percentage they claim with guns: 31.7%

        • Seems more like a math error. As they say, suspect incompetence before you suspect fraud. 🙂

          I think the bigger issue is that this is 2001 data, but I still think it helps one orient oneself in a rought cut kind of way. If anyone knows of more recent data by State, please, post.

      • This doesn’t necessarily prove that where there are more gun owners the laws are less restrictive. It could also show that where the laws regarding firearms possession are more restrictive there are less gun owners.

    • Democrats in the statehouses are usually not the Commie lovers that national figures tend to be. It is really a rural/urban split much like in Illinois where it is us against Chicago. In fact the author of the probable conceal carry law in Illinois is a democrat. Don’t get wrong though, I have little use for most democrats.

      • I don’ t believe this for one second. I personally know people who have guns and won’t tell anybody outside their close circle of friends and family members. Myself included, I would never tell a stranger calling me on the phone about it. We just found out last night that a close friend for over 15 years owns guns. He had never said anything about guns to us before, even after being around us for all those years. I would imagine that the percentage of gun owners is 60+%. Especially after four + years of the gun salesman of the decade.

  1. I wish we were doing as well out here. I can only hope that Malloy’s high-handed approach pisses off some Dem legislators who put legislative pride above party solidarity.

  2. There is a very pro-gun force in Washington State. It helps that the entire east side of the state is red, along with parts of the west. In presidential elections we are most certainly a blue state (damnit), but there is a lot of red to keep this place in check.

  3. Looks like there is still hope for Oregon. Ill write my reps again on Monday and mail my letter to the governor. I like that picture in front of the capital in Salem. Too bad I am in occupied territory (MA) clear across the country right now and can’t be there to help.

  4. Congratulations….

    But it pains me that we in California support the NRA, SAF, etc – all of which helps you guys in OR and WA and other states and all you can say is “California may be a lost cause,”…
    I guess you’re taking a cue from our legislators. Use our resources for your own battles and leave us behind…
    Thanks a bunches…

    • I would call it more of a tactical retreat. We are trading ground for time, shoring up our defense in other locations before we expend time and money on attacking their strong points. We have to stop their advance against freedom in states where we can win in the legislatures. California will take a huge expenditure of time and resources to gain ground. Fooling with CA to any major extent right now would not be a wise use of resources. CA would be better fought in the courts because of an extremely hostile legislature. Just my opinion.

      • And once you have secured your home states, should I leave the pot on for you?
        Or will you just write states like California off?

        This kind of attitude makes me want to donate ONLY to CA-focused efforts – since you really don’t need as much resources as we do….

        • Ok, we can spread everything out all over and lose everywhere. Or we can target and focus in places to win. Then expand from there into places like CA, CO and the northeast. This is not writing anyplace off. The fight has to be focused not blanketed. Resources have to be massed to be effective. This is a long fight that must be fought strategically. Haven’t there been many incremental wins in the CA courts for CCW?

        • I live in CA. and I agree with SixPack70. For now CA is lost, for now. Shore up defenses and secure as many states as we can that are on the fence. We in CA. need time to oust the Dem’s in office that don’t believe in 2A. And that takes time.

          But time isn’t on our side at the moment. We’re in an all out land grab the likes of which have never been seen. We don’t have the resources or the time to deal with CA. right now. Better to get more states on board now as this country is going to divide between for and against.

          Also this has to happen now with this SCOTUS. We can’t afford to have even one new member to be appointed by Obomination. Which if you recall, already have their own flag.

          or here,

          As one living (for now) in CA. let’s focus on getting as many states on board as possible. Then concentrate on CA. with a national effort. My .02

        • Bryan,

          What do you plan to do if Sac passes an AWB that requires confiscation or removal from state of ARs and AKs?

          I can be found on Calguns under the same name, if you want to answer that question in a PM.

        • NP DrVino, I’ll answer that here. Currently I don’t own any of those incredibly ordinary rifles. But I would like to and that’s why I fight.

          I say ordinary because the AR platform is 50 yrs old this yr. and the AK is 64. Hardly what I would call modern. I think they both qualify under the Curio & Relic designation. Uninformed and ignorant of the facts politicians, and their constituents are whats driving this misguided hysteria.

          Much like when good people were killed in Salem, this is a witch hunt that may not end well for some. But history will look back and note how foolish we (collectively) were if these 2A infringements are left unchecked.

          The Constitution was meant to protect the few from the majority. That’s why I choose to try and educate those around me, that’s why I fight.

          This is my official answer to your question, for the unofficial version you and everyone else have but to guess…………

    • I suggest you might be reading far too much into those six words. If and when there’s good news for California gun owners we’ll trumpet it to the heavens, but decades of bad news doesn’t give any grounds for optimism.

      As long as the political and demographic muscle of the Southland and Bay Area megacities dominates Sacramento, the rest of the state will have a marginal role in the legislature.

        • Well, thank you. But sooner or later, one way or another this hubbub and the dust will settle. Some will retain their 2A rights. Some will loose big.

          What will those in states that win/retain do then?

          I’m tired of the “vote with your feet” answer.
          Regardless if you are a janitor or a doctor, that is just not a realistic option for many.

          Never mind that it does nothing to advance the cause. It just leaves the antis further unchallenged in their enclaves.

          “Stand and fight” implies *Stay* and fight. But reinforcements are desperately needed.

        • Well, we certainly have our hands full here in Illinois. We keep the pressure on our State reps and senators, support our local pro gun groups and keep a very close eye on every single anti – freedom bill that comes down the pike. It helps that most of the commies are confined to Cook county and the city of Chicago.

      • The legislature isn’t the whole story. We were all recently celebrating good news out of Illinois because of a favorable court decision. Does that happen if Illinois is written off as a “lost cause”? If good news can come out of Illinois, then it’s possible for California as well. To that end, I made a $50 donation to the Calguns Foundation today. The fight in California is going to be primarily in the courts and they’re going to be one of the main combatants.

  5. Thank goodness! The gun culture here in Seattle is alive and thriving. You’d be surprised how pro-gun most liberals up here are. A lot of young people like myself are the guardians of the second amendment and we won’t stand for any of this anti-gun crap.

    • I agree, but we’ve really got our keep an eye on liberal legislators from the Puget Sound area. A lot of them spout the normal ‘I respect the second amendment’ platitudes during campaign season, but then attempt this kind of ass-clownery once they’re back in Olympia.

      At least they know they must give lip service to the second amendment around here. In NY and NJ they don’t even have to pretend to respect it.

  6. Sounds like the tide may be shifting our way. There is a story out of CO that the Gov may not be a sure bet to sign the mag limit bill

    California IS NOT a lost cause. People have told me for years that Illinois was a lost cause, but we are prevailing in Illinois now. The law is on OUR side. And I mean all of us, in all of the 5o states (or is it 57? I forget) and territories of the United States.

    You are right Chris, this fight is not over and will never be over. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Same as it was in Jefferson’s day.

    • The problem is that CA. is lost, for now. I’ve written my reps. and guess what, Feinstein disagrees with my opinion, go figure. We need time to oust the Dem’s in office. You mentioned it took years in Illinois. Well we don’t have years, this is happening now. Your right the law is on our side but the courts can take years to amend. Great job in Illinois, keep fighting the good fight.

      • The first step in un-*ing California would need to be rehabilitating the California Republican Party or building a new one.

        Without an effective party in opposition, the D’s in Cali are unimpeded and can do pretty much whatever they want.

        Sorry, but Californians made that mess, you’re going to have to clean it up yourselves. As you can see, the rest of us have our own battles to fight.

        • While I agree with your first two paragraphs, I must contest the last one.

          Not all Californians made this mess any more than everyone from your state made the issues there. You may have missed my comments to SixPack70 and DrVino above, but what I said there was that we in CA. need to help those in other states first, like yours perhaps, because for the moment CA. is lost. It will take time to fix. We need to help those states that are on the fence move to a pro 2A position. Then come back collectively and fight the tougher states like CA. I’m proposing not playing into their hands. Under the premise, “Together We Stand, Divided We Fall.

  7. Ask Canadians how “no-knock” warrants are working out for us… Numerous firearms owners have had their entire firearms collections seized “in the interest of public safety”. The “threat” was nothing more than a nosy neighbor with an axe to grind over a property/pet dispute…

  8. Chris,

    Thanks for this great write-up! I am, as you know, an Oregon resident and really appreciate it this piece. I’m curious about were universal backgrounds checks are going in Oregon and if there would be exceptions for checks if the person receiving the gun would be an immediate family member and/or has a CC permit holder. How do state laws regarding background checks or not relate to the discussions in Washington DC? Can Washington DC require all the states nationwide to apply universal background checks?

    • Congress would have the power to require *all* firearm transfers to be conducted through licensed dealers (with background checks and Form 4473s) if they passed such legislation. Current federal law does not require any of these for non-dealer transfers within the same state.

      There is an argument, advanced by several states, that federal law lacks ‘Commerce Clause’ jurisdiction over firearms or ammunition which are manufactured entirely within a given state. This argument finds support in the 1995 Lopez decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most guns, of course, are part of interstate commerce and do fall under the Commerce Clause in its current interpretation.

  9. “Because I can, M***********.”

    Actually, no. It’s because it’s your God-given right. It has nothing to do with your abilities, or lack thereof.

  10. Now I am hoping that Dianne Diggette and Rhonda Fields 1224 bill gets shoved back in their ignorant liberal as**. Colorado can’t be that stupid to let 80 million dollar revenue go because of some ignorant women’s interests.

  11. Great news!

    Feeling a little out of the loop here, where are we right now on a federal level? When and what is their next step?

    • Federal action is stalled. The Executive Orders are mostly a way to make it look like Obama did something, but between the Republican House and Harry Reid (and a bunch of Dems who would like to be re-elected) in the Senate, Congressional action is unlikely.

      On one hand, the state-level push by the gun-grabbers is distressing. On another, the lack of action at the Federal level is encouraging- they gave it everything they got, and got nowhere.

      • Thanks for the update. I know federal action is pretty much unlikley but I didnt know it was stalled. Last I heard I thought DiFi was on the table for this past Wednesday.

        I wont keep my hopes up, more so cautiously optomistic. Being borderline pessemist usualy wins for me.

  12. Talked to Cam Edwards and Kevin Starret of NRA and Oregon Firearms federation. Both doesn’t this would pass. More grand standing by antigunners. I do know th House judiciary committed is headed by progun Dems if the ban bill is sent there it dies.

    We can be thankful but vigilante and ready to fight. Face it both both states liberals a lying sacks of crap.

  13. In New Mexico a semi-auto and magazine ban never got out of committee. Since about half the country doesn’t even know we’re a state, it’s not surprising it didn’t get much coverage. HB 402 was essentially a NY style ban, but almost everybody here, GOP or Dem, likes their guns.

    One good thing about this recent attack on our rights: it’s become perfectly clear who our friends are. And who our enemies are. This will be helpful when we throw their sorry skins out next year. I can’t wait.

  14. Nothing will see the light of day in Kentucky. Both the Democrat gov. and the Democrat majority leader in the house say we have more important issues to see to in this session–like Ky. being bankrupt because of its corrupt state employee pension system.

    Also, the minor fact that being anti 2A is political death in these parts.

  15. I’ll bring this to the attention of everyone who lives in the Evergreen State. The Washington state legislature has a new feature this year that you can comment on a bill. On the bills page you will find a “comment on this bill” link. You will have to register to be able to comment. You do get 1000 characters to tell them what you think. I left an “oppose” comment on the HB 5737 and it must have worked. I will do the same for HB 1588.


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