U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Washington State gun prohibitionists are singing the blues while gun rights activists are cheering because a bill to restrict access to so-called “high-capacity magazines” did not get a vote before a March 9 deadline, effectively killing it for the current legislative session.
In an email blast to supporters, the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility was moping.
“We are sharing some disappointing news,” the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group said. “SB 5078, our bill to restrict access to high-capacity magazines, was not voted on before yesterday’s house of origin cutoff, which means it will not be moving forward this session.
“This is frustrating to say the least,” the message added. “We have been fighting in the legislature for the last three years to pass legislation to keep high-capacity magazines out of our communities. And once again, lawmakers did not act.”
But it appears grassroots gun rights activists did, according to a Facebook post by Olympia-watcher Curtis Bingham with a group called “Washington 2021 Legislative Action,” and he put it bluntly in a message.
“The biggest anti-gun bills failed to pass out of their house of origin,” he reported.
One was a House bill to ban open carry near protests, another was a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and the third was the open carry ban.
“It was hard work,” he wrote, “It certainly wasn’t a landslide. (However) your voices absolutely mattered…You were heard. Everyone pitched in and emailed/called your legislators.”
But a few lines later, Bingham cautioned, “The fight isn’t over. We have to remain vigilant and active. Remember, any rule can be suspended with enough votes, so we’re not out of the woods until Sine Die on April 25.”
However, Bingham acknowledged via private message with Ammoland News, that Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5038, which also prohibits open carry of firearms at permitted demonstrations is still alive. A check with the Legislature’s website confirmed ESSB 5038 is scheduled for a public hearing before the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary on March 16, with an executive session of that committee slated March 19.
Meanwhile, the anti-gun Alliance reported something else in its email that raises eyebrows because it suggests the group is taking up social justice warmongering.
“Several other important gun responsibility bills are still moving,” the group declared.
These include House Bill 1054 “which bans police from using chokeholds, neck restraints, and ‘no-knock warrants.”
There is no explanation of what these subjects remotely have to do with “gun responsibility.”
Washington has become a hotbed of gun prohibition politics in recent years, with the wealthy gun control lobby spending millions of dollars to literally buy initiative elections, and support the election of anti-gun Democrats. But additional gun control restrictions have not significantly lowered the homicide statics in Washington State. In 2019, the most recent year for which FBI data is available, there were 135 gun-related murders in Washington. In 2018, the state saw 138 gun-related killings. The previous year (2017) saw 134 slayings involving firearms, and in 2016, there were 127 murders with guns.
When 2020 data becomes available in late September, many people expect the number of killings to spike upward, considering the 52 murders logged in Seattle last year, a jump of more than 50 percent over the 36 murders logged in 2019, according to Seattle police data.
Essentially, gun control has had the opposite effect on crime in the Evergreen State than what anti-gunners predicted and promised with passage of their gun control measures in 2014 and 2018. Observers including Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms—which coincidentally is headquartered in Bellevue, the neighboring city to Seattle—have called the gun control crusade in his state a dismal failure. Coupled with far left demands to defund local police departments and last year’s violent protests and riots, the state has gone through a political and social upheaval that has been driving increasing numbers of people to gun stores.
And the anti-gun lobby was on the losing end recently when a three-judge panel of the State Court of Appeals unanimously struck down a “safe storage” ordinance adopted in the City of Edmonds because it violates Washington’s long-standing state preemption law.
Seattle adopted a similar ordinance that is also being challenged, in the same appellate court. Both legal actions were filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, in cooperation with gun owners in Seattle and Edmonds.
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