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Dear Friends,

ISSUE ALERT – An assault on your second amendment right to keep and bear arms

JudiciaryCommitteeFirearmsHearing

Yesterday in the House Judiciary Committee, several bills were heard that are nothing short of an all-out assault on your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I encourage you to click here and watch the testimony on TWV on the following four gun control bills:

LISTEN TO MY RESPONSE ON THE RADIO

After you watch TVW, listen to my response on the Rick Rydell Show on KXLY Radio in Spokane:

Click here to listen to the program.

Click here to subscribe to my audio feeds (which includes the Rick Rydell interview).

UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE A WAY TO BAN PRIVATE SALES!

One of the worst bills in this list is House Bill 1588. It would require background checks on everyone who purchases a gun – even if it is a private sale. The measure purports to allow law enforcement to do background checks, but we were told in the committee that the policy of the largest law enforcement agency in the Pacific Northwest – the Seattle Police Department – is to not do background checks for private citizens. This means dealers would do the vast majority of background checks, even though that can already occur voluntarily. Dealers typically charge $30 for members of a gun club/shop and $60 for non-members. However, the bill would cap fees at $20, forcing dealers not to do background checks. This would effectively ban private sales! (No one refuted this point in the committee!)

One proponent claimed that although all previous gun laws have been violated in one form or another, this one would be obeyed. That has to be the most ridiculous statement I've heard all session!

House Bill 1588 also doesn't address gifting of firearms. So you might “give” me a firearm today. Maybe tomorrow, I give you a “gift” of $200. And then you don't have a background check. Private sales will go underground as “gifts” if this bill becomes law.

Read more about this bill and the hearing in this Seattle Times article.

WILL ANOTHER LAW STOP THE BAD GUY? NO!

We all want our kids to be safe in schools. We all want to be safe in our communities. But if an armed perpetrator intent on evil has reached the point where he/she is pointing a gun at someone and about to pull the trigger, it's safe to assume that person has broken a number of laws already. Will another law stop that person? Not likely! If laws stopped crime, we wouldn't have any crime!

GunRightConstitutionDEFENDING YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS

The founding fathers of the United States believed strongly in the importance to keep and bear arms — so strongly that they made it the second amendment. It's second only to the amendment allowing the freedom of speech. They recognized that the only way to defend your freedom of speech is your right to keep and bear arms. Washington's founding fathers also placed it in the state's constitution.

Many law-abiding people collect guns. Some don't even shoot their firearms. Since the possession of a firearm doesn't hurt anyone, why should the possession of a gun by a peaceful citizen be considered a crime?

What about the right to defend oneself? With predatory criminals running rampant, why shouldn't law-abiding citizens have the capability of bearing arms to defend themselves? What about teachers being able to protect and defend their students? If someone is breaking into your home, your life could be in serious jeopardy if you spend valuable time trying to unlock a cabinet to obtain a firearm for self-defense, such as what is proposed in House Bill 1676.

Many broad gun-control measures have been introduced in the Legislature this year – more than any other session in recent memory. Each would chip away at our constitutional rights.

IT'S THE CRIMINAL WE NEED TO CONTROL, NOT GUNS

We must recognize the simple fact that guns are not the problem. It's the criminal behind the gun who's the problem. Gun-control legislation is not the solution. It will only work to place further infringements upon the rights of law-abiding citizens. If we want to get to the heart of the problem, we must crack down on the criminal — not the law-abiding citizen.

I will continue to defend your constitutional right as a law-abiding citizen to own and use firearms. I welcome your comments. E-mail me at matt.shea@leg.wa.gov or call my office in Olympia at (360) 786-7984. You may also leave a message for any legislator on the toll-free Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000.

Sincerely,


Matt Shea

State Representative Matt Shea, 4th Legislative District
RepresentativeMattShea.com
427A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
matt.shea@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7984 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000