As of Wednesday, January 13, 2016
DAILY SUN NEWS EDITORIAL
With the Legislative session only three days old, our inalienable right to keep and bear firearms is already under attack in Olympia. But none of the three introduced bills would curb gun violence in our communities.
Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, wants to take away your right to buy, sell, transfer or manufacture many semi-automatic firearms based solely on their appearance. His proposal, House Bill 2354, would label a number of ordinary firearms as “assault weapons” based on their appearance.
That .22 caliber rifle in your closet – the one you grew up with – would be transformed into an illegal firearm by just changing the stock and scope, if Moeller’s bill is approved. That handgun you add a professional sighting system to? Same outcome.
But Moeller’s bill goes further than making it illegal to own a firearm solely on its appearance. It would also prohibit “large capacity” clips and magazines. Large-capacity has yet to be defined. So, even if you didn’t change the appearance of your firearm so it looks “cool,” the amount of ammunition it holds could also make it illegal.
Overnight, Moeller’s bill could effectively make most guns illegal in our state.
At best, his efforts are ineffective and misguided. At worst, this is his bid for notoriety as he begins his run for lieutenant governor. (Moeller announced his candidacy for the state’s No. 2 position last month.)
Another bill, could also strip law-abiding residents of their ability to own and carry a firearm.
Under House Bill 1857, introduced by Rep. Laurie Jinkins, a Tacoma Democrat, you could be stripped of your constitutional right based on a simple allegation by a family member or a police officer. Her bill would allow a “family member” or a police officer to suggest to a court that you’re unfit to own a firearm. That suggestion could come after a simple, non-confrontational argument or be the result of a long-standing feud. Either way, without proper due process, you could be stripped of your ability to carry a gun even though you hadn’t committed a crime.
A third measure, Rep. Ruth Kagi’s House Bill 1747, would create criminal penalties for “child endangerment” if a child finds a gun in your home and causes some personal injury. The bill would essentially accuse gun owners of being irresponsible.
Like Moeller and Jinkins, Kagi – a Seattle Democrat – fails to understand the rights of gun ownership in our state and nation.
The moves by Westside Democrats violate one of our nation’s primary tenants – the 2nd Amendment. And rural residents should adamantly oppose each of the three measures.