State Preemption Under Attack in WA as Report Shows Gun Law Failure

The Texas Legislature has passed the Conference Committee report for HB1927 Constitutional Carry, in both the House and the Senate. Governor Greg Abbott has said he will sign the bill.
State Preemption Under Attack in WA as Report Shows Gun Law Failure

U.S.A.-( Washington State’s 35-year-old model preemption statute is under attack as Democrat lawmakers are pushing legislation targeting open carry in various locations at the same time a Jan. 31 report from the King County Prosecutor’s Office suggests state gun control laws have been an “abject failure,” according to a grassroots gun rights organization headquartered in the state.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms took off the gloves in a scathing reaction to the “Shots Fired” report from the prosecutor’s office. In that report, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg reveals that last year, King County—including Seattle—logged 88 gun-related homicides plus 372 non-fatal shootings in which someone was wounded, and a total of 1,405 “shots fired” incidents. According to the Seattle Times, last year’s numbers surpassed “2020’s previous record high of 69 firearm-related homicides and 268 shooting injuries that were largely attributed to the stressors of the pandemic.”

But according to CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, the report provides ample evidence that gun control laws, including two created by citizen initiatives in the past eight years, have been disastrous failures.

“Proponents of these laws, and especially the gun control initiatives passed in recent years, sold the public a bill of goods, and now everybody knows it,” Gottlieb said. “Voters were told in 2014 that Initiative 594 would reduce gun-related violence, and today’s data proves they were misled. Four years later, the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby promised Initiative 1639 would prevent gun-related homicides, and they lied again. In Olympia, anti-gun politicians are pushing more gun restrictions right now, with the same promises.”

True enough, the Senate is moving on Senate Bill 5568, a bill “Concerning preemption of municipal laws restricting the open carry of weapons.”

Its primary sponsor is Bellevue Democrat Sen. Patty Kuderer, who told the Everett Herald recently, Washington “should not be an open-carry state.”

“We have a lot to be proud of in Washington state,” Kuderer said. “The fact that we’re an open-carry state is not one of them.”

Gottlieb was quoted in the same story. He warned the Herald that if Kuderer’s legislation is passed, “Between Olympia and Seattle, there might be 20 different laws in the communities. This would let the city of Seattle run wild.”

He said the current proposed gun control legislation is a solution in search of a problem.

“Each year they chip away. If it was up to them, they wouldn’t allow gun ownership.”

Kuderer, according to her biography, is a native of Minnesota, who moved to the Evergreen State some 20 years ago. An attorney, she evidently is not familiar with the state constitution’s right-to-bear-arms provision, Article 1, Section 24, which reads, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.” The state constitution was adopted Nov. 11, 1889 and the language was apparently so satisfactory that when Arizona became a state in 1912, it copied the provision word-for-word.

While open carry appears to be in the bullseye, the real target here is state preemption, a law that has existed in Washington since 1983. It has been used as a model for other state preemption statutes, and anti-gunners have been struggling to erode or erase it almost since it became law. Anti-gun liberals in Seattle, especially, traditionally despise the law because it prevents them from instituting their own extremist gun control agenda.

In 2015, the city council adopted a gun and ammunition tax allegedly designed to raise funds for anti-violence efforts to reduce the number of shootings and murders in the city. Ever since, according to Seattle Police data, the number of homicides has gradually increased to a high of 52 in 2020. Last year, 43 people were murdered.

And that makes the Prosecutor’s “Shots Fired” report even more important because it demonstrates, according to Gottlieb and the county’s own data, that all of the gun control measures adopted in the past eight years have had the exact opposite results they were supposed to produce.

I-594, passed in 2014 with a $10.2 million campaign funded largely by a dozen wealthy elitists including Michael Bloomberg, the late Paul Allen, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Steve and Connie Ballmer, required so-called “universal background checks.”

I-1639 was passed in 2018. It created restrictions on so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles” including .22-caliber rimfire rifles. The same billionaires backed the measure with several million dollars that opponents could not raise for a fight.

“We warned the public these gun control schemes were wishful thinking at best,” Gottlieb said. “The data provides all the evidence necessary to say anti-gun-rights initiatives and legislation have amounted to snake oil, giving the public a false sense of security while their rights are being steadily eroded.

“Instead of pushing more restrictions like they’re doing right now,” he said, “it is time for gun control zealots to admit they’ve been wrong all along. Extremist gun control has failed miserably for Evergreen State citizens, and the rising body counts prove it.”

Seattle-area residents get only half a story from gun prohibitionists. Over the weekend police in Lynnwood, a city north of Seattle, arrested three people who robbed two T-Mobile stores, according to KIRO News. They “flashed a gun” at an employee of one store, and subsequently “ditched” it, but cops recovered it. The gun turned out to have been stolen. In recent days, according to reports in the Seattle Police blotter, officers in that city have also recovered stolen guns from people who were legally prohibited from having guns.

What Kuderer and her Democrat colleagues apparently fail to understand or don’t care to acknowledge is that law-abiding citizens are not the ones committing crimes, and the criminals already demonstrate they do not obey gun laws already on the books.

Perhaps Gottlieb put the best postscript on the situation when he stated, “The billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobby and their allies in Olympia claim that so-called ‘gun violence’ is an epidemic. Frankly, the intellectual dishonesty of the gun control crowd is the real public health crisis.”

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman