WA Anti-Gunners Post 2023 Agenda Targeting Preemption, Rifle Ban and More

WA Appeals Court Unanimously Upholds Preemption in SAF Lawsuit, iStock-884168778
The Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia will become a gun rights battleground in January. iStock-884168778

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Evergreen State gun prohibitionists have announced their 2023 legislative agenda, and according to a liberal Seattle-based publication called Crosscut, they have the support of Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both Democrats.

At the same time, an Oregon judge has continued a hold on Measure 114, the gun control package passed narrowly last month. According to KEZI News, another hearing on the measure is scheduled Dec. 23. More about that in a moment.

The billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility has three major Washington State targets, detailed on their website:

Ban semiautomatic rifles, which they call “assault weapons.” The Alliance unilaterally declares: “These weapons were designed for the battlefield—they have no place in our neighborhoods.” With an estimated 25 million such firearms in private possession, they may be in every neighborhood in America.

Repeal State Preemption, which the gun ban lobbying group says will “restore local authority.” This translates to turning over the power for regulating the right to keep and bear arms to municipal anti-gunners including Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. It would turn the clock back almost 40 years to a time when the state had a patchwork of confusing and sometimes conflicting gun laws; exactly what gun prohibitionists want to discourage gun ownership.

Require purchase permits before a citizen can exercise his or her Second Amendment rights. This would involve what they call a “comprehensive background check,” safety training and a waiting period. To paraphrase Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen earlier this year, no other constitutional right is treated with such disdain.

“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,’” Thomas wrote.

The Alliance agenda also wants to restrict places where licensed concealed carry is allowed. The group calls this tenet “Reject Armed Intimidation.”

Northwest gun rights activists are already fighting the purchase permit requirement in neighboring Oregon, passed as part of Measure 114 last month. The initiative is already tied up with federal and state lawsuits.

On Tuesday, Harney County Circuit Judge continued the temporary restraining order on the purchase permit requirement, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“I’m going to continue the temporary restraining order with regards to the permit to purchase because I am convinced that there’s irreparable harm to the constitutional right to bear arms under Article 1 Section 27 if I do not,” Judge Raschio said.

The judge, according to OPB, said his hold on Measure 114’s permit requirement will remain in effect until he is advised by the state a permitting system is up and running. Otherwise, nobody in the Beaver State could legally buy a gun.

Kevin Starrett, founder of the Oregon Firearms Federation, told Ammoland News via telephone he’s been hearing from people who have decided it is time to move. However, he’s not going anywhere.

“I’m just not going to give up,” he said.

The legal actions involve literally every major gun rights group in the country, and Starrett is hopeful this will be the chance for all of those organizations to unify and work together for a common good.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Crosscut quoted Renee Hopkins, Alliance CEO, stating flatly, “We are returning to Olympia with our boldest agenda to date.”

And right there ready to help usher this legislation through will be Inslee and Ferguson. They are perennial gun control supporters. Inslee was quick to sign into law a ban on so-called “large capacity magazines” earlier this year, and Ferguson has already filed a lawsuit against one business in Federal Way, a suburban community located south of Seattle, for allegedly violating the law by continuing to sell magazines that hold more than ten cartridges.

Ferguson is a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition, challenging the magazine ban on constitutional grounds.

The push to ban “semiautomatic assault weapons” is no surprise to grassroots activists who have been expecting such a move since the Alliance spent millions of dollars on a one-sided campaign in 2018 to pass Initiative 1639. It contained the definition of such a firearm—which really doesn’t exist anywhere except in the text of the initiative—that literally applies to all semi-autos.

“Semiautomatic assault rifle’ means any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge,” according to the language in the statute. This describes the Ruger 10/22, Marlin Model 60, Remington Nylon 66, and some popular big game hunting rifles.

Activists accurately predicted the gun ban crowd would wait a few years and come back for a complete ban. SAF’s Alan Gottlieb recently noted this proves the gun control movement will never be satisfied.

With Democrats in full control of the Washington Legislature, the Alliance—emboldened by the fizzle that was supposed to have been a “red wave” in November—evidently figures they can get everything they want.

With all of the federal litigation currently in progress, any legislative victory the Alliance achieves in Washington with the help of Inslee and Ferguson may be short-lived, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling.

SAF and other gun rights organizations are prepared for the “long haul” in the courts, which may be where at least some of the Alliance’s agenda may end up.

About Dave Workman

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

Dave Workman