Thursday, October 2, 2014

If You Care About Your Rights - Read This Post!

No Matter Where You Live - This Is Important
If They Win In Washington State, This Law Will Come To Your State Too
They Must Be Stopped NOW

Take Action

I have posted about the dangers of Washington Initiative 594 before, but I think it is so important that I am writing this update.  First, kudos to the NRA for producing this video:

Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates are spending MILLIONS on TV ads that are filled with outright, downright LIES.  In fact, in several cases, they cross the line into slander of specific gun related businesses.

Lie Number One: The ads sell this as a background check bill on SALES - this is an outright lie - the measure requires a background check every time a gun is handed to another person, with a few very narrow exceptions.

Lie Number Two: The ads suggest that the bill simply extends the federal background check system to private sales.  This is false - it creates a completely new state system that in addition to applying in many more situations, imposes a 30 day waiting period nearly identical to a 10 day waiting period in California that a federal court recently found unconstitutional.

Lie Number Three: None of the ads mention that, unlike the federal system, all information regarding the background checks on handguns - including the name of the person and the make, model and serial number of the firearm are retained FOREVER.

Lie Number Four: The commercials state that if a criminal is turned down by a dealer, he can go on the internet (the site is shown) and buy a gun "no questions asked" - the truth is that, unless the buyer has a Federal Firearms License, the gun must be shipped to a licensed dealer in the buyer's area who - under current law - must conduct a background check.  (See this link and note the requirement in the last paragraph.)

Lie Number Five: Both the ads and the official website for I-594 promote the idea that there is widespread law enforcement support for I-594.  The truth is that, while some law enforcement officials support expanded back checks, law enforcement support for I-594 in virtually non-existent.  The truth is that while not one law enforcement organization supports I-594 and the largest law enforcement organization in the state, the Washington Association of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS) strongly opposes I-594.

Lie Number Six: I-594 is supposed to be about background checks on sales - but it actually criminalizes many common recreational shooting activities.  Here are some examples of what I-594 will criminalize:

a) I take you to the forest to go shooting.  I hand you one of my guns so you can shoot it under my direct supervision.  You hand it back to me so I can show you how to shoot it more accurately.  I demonstrate a better shooting position and hand it back to you so you can try shooting it again.  Under I-594, both of us have committed a felony.

b) A volunteer is conducting a Hunter Safety course - which is governed by international standards.  As required by these standards, he passes several safety checked firearms around the classroom so that the student can become familiar with the different types of firearms used in hunting.  Under I-594, the instructor and every student has committed multiple felonies. 

c) I take my 18 year old son hunting with me.  Because he doesn't yet own a firearm, I let him use one of mine.  I decide to stay put, hoping the game will come to me - my son keeps looking.  We meet up later and he gives me my gun back.  Under I-594, both of us have committed a crime.

d) My son has small children.  He asks me if it is OK to keep his guns at my house - something recommended by my home state of California as a safety measure (and something I have done for my son).  He drops them off and later picks them up on the way to the range.  Under I-594, we have both committed felonies.

e) Years ago, I taught my daughter how to shoot and safely handle firearms.  One night a stalker tries to break into her apartment.  She asks to borrow one of my firearms.  I honor her request.  After buying her own gun (and passing a background check and waiting 30 days), she returns my firearm.   If I-594 passes, we have both committed felonies.  This would be legal even under my native California's restrictive gun laws, as long as the loan did not exceed 30 days. This would be ample time for her to obtain her own firearm.

f) You ask to see one of my guns because you are thinking of buying one and you want to see if it is a good "fit".  I open my gun safe and hand you the gun.  After you check it out you had it back to me.  You guessed it - under I-594, we both committed a felony.

g) My friend - whom I know to be safe and competent with firearms - offers to take our  teenage sons shooting.  I give permission.  We have both committed crimes.

h) Unbelievably, it would be illegal for one police officer to lend another police officer a firearm for off duty use, without a background check (and waiting period).  So, if a cop's only concealable handgun is in for servicing, he or she has to risk not carrying.  I sure hope they don't run into anyone they have arrested!

Don't believe me?  No problem - here is what the independent site BallotPedia says I-594 will do "The measure will also criminalize, with few exceptions, all temporary transfers of possession of firearms that do not involve purchases, such as for safekeeping, hunting, loan, recreational sharing, safety training, coaching, transport, etc."

Will These Checks Be Available?  How Much Will They Cost?

This is a very important question.  I live in California - where we have universal background checks.  However there are some important differences.  In addition to only being required on SALES, here in California all licensed gun dealers are required to conduct checks on private sales.  The price is fixed at $35.00.  I also believe that liability protection is provided.  NONE OF THESE PROVISIONS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN I-594!

Let's think about this for a moment.  Are we to believe that the lawyers hired by Bloomberg and Gates did not review laws in others states before drafting 594?  Not likely.  The authors of 594 knew full well that other states requiring background checks inserted these provisions to make sure background checks were available, and that the price was reasonable.  I-594's authors intentionally omitted these provisions - and there can be only one reason: They do not what background checks to be readily available at reasonable cost.

So, what will happen if 594 passes?  Answer: Gun dealers will have little to no incentive to do checks.  After all, private sales of used guns compete with sales by dealers.  Additionally, why should dealers assume the liability risk for a few dollars?  The result will be most dealers refusing to do the checks and those that do charging huge fees.  Don't believe me?  Remember those $35.00 checks here in California?  Well, that limit only applies to "face to face" sales where buyer and seller meet at the gun dealer's place of business to do the transfer.  There is no limit when doing the check on internet sales - and the dealers who are willing to do these checks often charge $100.00 or more for the service.

Even when addressing these issues, I-594 respond with more lies and half truths!


The above graphic contains two outright lies:

1) I-594 requires that a record of all handgun transfers be maintained, including a description of the firearm and the owner.  It's not called a registry - but that is exactly what it is. 

2) I-594 does not simply "expand current background checks to private gun show and online sales" - it requires them on all private sales AND completely redefines what a transfer is - and as the Ballotpedia confirms, it makes many common activities related to firearms illegal.

The above graphic is also extremely deceptive.  While it is true that I-594 doesn't change hunting laws IT DOES CHANGE GUN LAWS!  Remember what the independent organization Ballotpedia found:"The measure will also criminalize, with few exceptions, all temporary transfers of possession of firearms that do not involve purchases, such as for safekeeping, hunting, loan, recreational sharing, safety training, coaching, transport, etc."

While I-594 doesn't ban the lending of firearms, it makes it virtually and practically impossible.  Here's what I-594 requires:

When the gun is lent by the owner to the borrower (even adult family members living in the same household!) the firearm must be transported to the dealer, state and federal background checks must be done and the firearm must be held for 30 days before the borrower can pick it up.  Of course the dealer can charge whatever they want for this service and here in California dealers charge as much as $100.00 when their fees are not controlled by state law, which they are not under I-594.

When the borrower returns the gun to to owner the gun must go back to the dealer, the original owner must complete state and federal background checks, the dealer must hold the gun for 30 days before the owner can pick it up - and that hefty fee must be paid again.

Now, with as much as $200.00 in fees and 60 days of having the gun at the dealer, just how practical will lending someone a gun for a hunting trip be?  Answer: It just won't happen.

Remember The Billionaires Pushing 594 Are Outspending Us Five to One 
So Kick In A Few Bucks!

I-591 Will Nullify I-594 if Both Pass

The Citizen's Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) - which is based in Washington state - is taking a unique approach. While they are urging a no vote on I-594 they qualified another measure which would nullify most, if not all, of the horrible provisions of I-594.   Basically, I-591 says that if Washington adopts a background check system, it must use the same federal system most other states use.  It does not stop expanded background checks, but it does limit the kind of deceptive and oppressive provisions found in I-594.

The best way for those of us who are outside of Washington to help is to donate to CCRKBA's Washington Gun Rights effort.  REMEMBER THAT IF THEY WIN IN WASHINGTON, BLOOMBERG WILL BE BRINGING THIS LAW TO YOUR STATE.  WE NEED TO STOP HIM NOW.

The NRA Is Leading The No On 594 Campaign

The NRA's No on I-594 site has lots of resources.  If you know anyone in Washington state, point them to this site:

The site has things like an excellent, printable pocket guide, links to news stories, blog posts, and an excellent Myths vs. Facts section.

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