OLYMPIA — Gun-control advocates are launching a weekend lobbying blitz on seven members of the state House who may control the fate of a contentious bill to require background checks for all gun purchases.
State Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a Seattle Democrat organizing the push for universal background checks, said Friday that his bill now has 47 supporters — 46 Democrats and Lake Stevens Republican Mike Hope.
It needs 50 to pass. (Continue reading...)
HB 1588 would make it extremely difficult for friends or relatives to sell or exchange a gun. Licensed dealers – persons who engage in gun sales as a business - must already conduct background checks.
Some may argue that this is just like reporting the sale of a vehicle. Does that equate? No, that's not "apples for apples." It's not illegal to sell a car to someone without running a background check on the buyer or driver. A person doesn't have to have a drivers license or know how to drive to buy a car. That kind of analogy is a distraction and false; don't buy it.
Of course, killing, committing crime, and creating havoc with arms are already illegal.
Should private citizens be commandeered to police one another when they sell their property? This bill says yes where it comes to arms, and failure to do so would make a person a felon.
This law means to complicate how people keep arms that they legally possess. There is no question that the bill means to burden and frustrate the exercise of a right.
We wouldn't tolerate frustrating or burdening the right to vote. Why should we tolerate frustrating or burdening another right (to keep and bear arms, that the Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed)? All rights are precious. Our government's job is to recognize rights and protect them, not to pick away at them in backhanded ways.
Action Item: Phone calls should be focused on Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, 360-786-7920, and the pro-1588 legislators mentioned in this article. Please act now.
Legislator web pages: