Guns

Washington Gun Owners Plan Mass Defiance of New Background Check Law

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Tens of thousands of Connecticut gun owners chose to become overnight felons rather than comply with that state's new gun registration law. The defiance spurred the Hartford Courant editorial board to impotently sputter about rounding up the scofflaws.

New York's similar registration law suffers such low compliance that state officials won't even reveal how many people have abide by the measure—a desperate secrecy ploy that the New York State Committee on Open Government says thumbs its nose at the law itself.

Now Washington state residents pissed of about i594, a ballot measure inflicting background check requirements on even private transactions, plan an exercise in mass disobedience next month.

Facebook/RALpatriots

The fellow getting much of the credit for organizing the rally is Gavin Seim, a former (unsuccessful) congressional candidate and passionate conservative. Seim got a lot of buzz last month when he pulled over an unmarked police car and demanded that the officer show identification. Perhaps surprisingly, Seim not only wasn't ventilated, but the officer complied.

Seim and his allies (the Facebook event page lists Kit Lange Carroll, Sondra Seim, and Anthony P. Bosworth as co-hosts) plan a rally for the Washington State Capitol, in Olympia, on December 13 at 11am PST. That's nine days after the law goes into effect. So far, almost 6,000 people have indicated their intention to attend and "exchange guns" without going through a background check, in defiance of the new requirements.

According to the state Attorney General's analysis, there are exceptions to the background checks, but they're pretty clearly delineated.

The measure would establish a number of exceptions to the background check requirement. A background check would not be required to transfer a firearm by gift between family members. The background check requirement also would not apply to the sale or transfer of antique firearms. It also would not apply to certain temporary transfers of a firearm when needed to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. Background checks would not be required for certain public agencies or officers acting in their official capacity, including law enforcement or corrections agencies or officers, members of the military, and federal officials. Federally licensed gunsmiths who receive firearms solely to service or repair them would not be required to undergo background checks.

Certain other temporary transfers of a firearm would also not require a background check. These include temporary transfers between spouses, and temporary transfers for use at a shooting range, in a competition, or for performances. A temporary transfer to a person under age eighteen for hunting, sporting, or education would not require a background check. Other temporary transfers for lawful hunting also would not require a background check.

A person who inherited a firearm other than a pistol upon the death of its former owner would not be required to undergo a background check. A person who inherited a pistol would either have to lawfully transfer the pistol within 60 days or inform the department of licensing that he or she intended to keep the pistol.

Those are pretty broad exceptions (to unenforceable requirements), but they still don't seem to accommodate exchanges at political rallies. What are the chances the authorities decide this is a "performance" and so they need take no action?

Even so, if the event comes off as planned and thousands of people show up to demonstrate an intent to publicly defy the law, that should be an indicator that Washington's background checks are destined for the same fate as the registration laws in New York and Connecticut.

Below, Seim speaks about guns and i594 in the days leading up to the measure's passage.

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  1. I see the state simply making transferers who don’t comply responsible for whatever the transferee does with the gun. Instant compliance for anyome who doesn’t have the mullah to fight such a thing.

  2. “Seim got a lot of buzz last month when he pulled over an unmarked police car and demanded that the officer show identification. Perhaps surprisingly, Seim not only wasn’t ventilated, but the officer complied.”

    I don’t know anything else about this guy, but that’s totally awesome.

    Oh, and when it comes to Washington State and gun control, everyone should remember this photograph to remind them of what gun control was really about back then:

    http://patdollard.com/wp-conte…..00×350.jpg

    My understanding is those people are standing on the Washington State Legislature steps in 1969, and they’re protesting the government trying to strip them of the their Second Amendment rights. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

    “Those people” thought the police were racists, and so they took it upon themselves to police and protect themselves–rather than depend on the police. They used to arm themselves to the teeth and walk children to and from school to protect them from gangs like that!

    …and the Washington State government couldn’t have that, so they passed gun control legislation, primarily, to stop black people from protecting themselves and their communities.

    1. I know conservatives are generally reluctant to denounce racism because they’re so often wrongly accused of it themselves, but this is a situation where the shoe fits.

      The original intent of these laws was racist, and conservatives here are provocatively protesting the same kinds of laws in the same place in the same kind of way that the Black Panthers did.

      They should invoke the Black Panthers and denounce the racist intent of these laws–especially in Washington state–because racism is something the progressive who run Washington State are supposed avoid. …not expand upon.

    2. Like you, I don’t know anything else about Seim, but his “I Will Not Comply” campaign is also awesome.

      The video is also great.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the IRS has paid him a visit or that he finds it difficult to fly.

    3. I like this photo. But my eyes ain’t what they used to be. How’s the trigger discipline?

      1. As near as I can tell, perfect.

      2. A mixed bag. The guy in front isn’t indexing. Some of the others are good, some its hard to tell.

  3. a little civil disobedience can go a long way.

  4. A person who inherited a firearm other than a pistol upon the death of its former owner would not be required to undergo a background check.

    Emphasis added. WHAT?! Like an ASSAULT WEAPON?!

    1. OMG, it’s a loophole…

      Somebody call the progressive hotline, quick!

    2. I talked to guy once who insisted that background checks should be required when passing guns from parent to child (adult child). “Their psycho children,” he called them. Dude was an actor so that explains that.

      1. You should have insisted that background checks should be required for him to pass on his genes.

  5. If background checks are so fucking important, why the arbitrary exceptions?

    1. You mean, like for registering to vote?

      1. Voting is far more dangerous than guns, at least when proggies vote.

    2. Same question I had, Fist.

      Its hard to reconcile the state’s supposedly “important” or “compelling” interest in this with a laundry list of exceptions.

    3. Fist, when you read the actual exceptions, they don’t seem so arbitrary or broad.

      Show a friend how to operate the controls of a gun in your house? If you hand him the gun, and he hands it back, and you didn’t complete background checks both ways, you’re violating the initiative.

      Go shooting with a friend on BLM lands (legal in Washington) and shoot each others guns? Again, violating the initiative. First violation is a gross misdemeanor, second is a felony.

      I posted below with links to back up my objections.

      1. How do you know your friend isn’t a convicted felon? Or crazy? Or a domestic abuser? Or meet one of the other myriad criteria for being banned from possessing guns? You don’t. And the logic of background checks is that the state needs to do the check so you can be sure. I don’t see how that logic doesn’t apply in the cases of the exceptions too.

        1. Just so I’m clear, your position is that if I am demonstrating how to safely operate a firearm in my house, to a friend, or family in law, or anyone who is not my spouse, before I physically allow them to touch the firearm I should go to an FFL and pay $50 or so to have a background check and transfer paperwork completed?

          Or if I am target shooting on BLM land with a friend, or my brother, and he wants to shoot my firearm, we should have to go to an FFL, pay $50, and have a background check and transfer paperwork completed? This seems a reasonable requirement to you?

          1. No, it doesn’t seem like a reasonable requirement to me. It also doesn’t seem reasonable for me to have to go to an FFL, pay $50, and have a background check and transfer paperwork completed to sell a gun to a friend. But there’s no exception for that under this initiative. That’s why the few exceptions are arbitrary.

            1. Ah, I think I see. You were being sarcastic, and I thought you were advocating for the background check initiative. Stupid Poe’s law!

              1. I wasn’t be sarcastic. I was explaining why the exceptions are arbitrary because you claimed they weren’t arbitrary. If policy Y is justified by rationale X, but you given exceptions to policy Y in certain cases even though rationale X clearly still applies, then the exceptions to policy Y are arbitrary.

  6. Ok, this is interesting, but this is what folks in WA have to be really worried about:

    UN no like them pot heads in USA

    You are ‘not in line’ with what the UN wants, WA. Sounds like the UN is coming for yer gunz and yer weed! Obama will probably use his pen and phone on this one. Be afraid, be very afraid!

  7. My reading of the actual text of 594 paints a very different picture of the exceptions. The AG’s description of the law was one of the big sore points for Washington gun owners – we feel it is deceptive. You can read the text yourself and decide. The exceptions start in the middle of page 8 (Section 3, item 4) and run about a page and a half in length:
    http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elec…..xt_483.pdf

    Also very helpful is this analysis of the elements of the law and how they would be interpreted under Washington precedent. Particularly concerning is how “Constructive Possession” could interact with the requirement for any transfer of possession to have a background check completed prior. Yes it’s on a gun forum, but the guy provides logically sound and carefully researched analysis:
    http://www.northwestfirearms.c…..st-1177364

  8. The guy in the Video is the POSTER CHILD of Gun NUTS.

    I don’t want to live in a place where anyone and everyone has a gun.

    I’d rather live in a place where I’m surrounded by people that don’t feel that they need to have a gun on them to protect themselves.
    Actually, I live in that place now.

    1. Cool story bro.

      1. yeah tell it again

    2. I’d rather live in a place where I get to make choices for myself regardless of how other people “feel”.

  9. The Great Thing about America is that we have 50 places to chose from where we can have either your way or my way.

    And neither I should push to take guns away from you nor should you push me to have to tolerate guns when you visit.

    1. “The Great Thing about America is that we have 50 places to chose from where we can have either your way or my way.”

      Actually, my rights aren’t a popularity contest, and they’re not really location dependent either.

      Incidentally, are you familiar with McDonald vs. Chicago?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._Chicago

      1. Your rights, are in fact, subjected to local restrictions.

        As far a popularity contest is concerned, if enough people approve of it, any amendment or constitutional law can be changed.

        1. So then take the proper steps of amending the constitution, instead of just violating it. And constitutional rights are not legally subject to local restrictions.

        2. “Your rights, are in fact, subjected to local restrictions.”

          If you’re talking about legal rights, there may be certain aspects of our rights that can be cataloged by the government, but you were talking about the very existence of the rights themselves.

          And even if we’re just talking about legal rights, the Supreme Court says that, no, the State of Washington cannot deny people their Second Amendment rights.

        3. “As far a popularity contest is concerned, if enough people approve of it, any amendment or constitutional law can be changed.”

          If we’re talking about legal rights, again, I suppose you could repeal both the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.

          …but you’ better repeal the Ninth Amendment, too, since that’s the one that points out that just because the Constitution enumerates certain rights, that doesn’t mean there aren’t another million or more rights that are retained by the people. The right to own guns would certainly be among them.

          It’s also important to remember that we fought the Civil War over this very issue–over whether states should be allowed to hold votes on whether other people’s rights exist. …and the good guys won!

          It’s also important to remember that there are more than just legal rights to consider. It never really mattered whether a majority of Alabamans or citizens of Montgomery voted that Rosa Parks had no right to sit in the front of a public bus. She always had that right anyway–no matter whether the popular laws recognized her rights or not.

          Gun rights are like that, too. Violate everyone’s gun rights with your popularity contest, and it isn’t the legitimacy of people’s gun rights that comes into question.

          It’s your stupid popularity contest that starts to look ridiculous.

          Our rights don’t originate from government.

          1. “It never really mattered whether a majority of Alabamans or citizens of Montgomery voted that Rosa Parks had no right to sit in the front of a public bus. She always had that right anyway–no matter whether the popular laws recognized her rights or not.”

            I’d ask you to imagine what it would be like if “equal protection of the laws” were somehow subject to local popularity contests, but there’s no need to imagine what that would be like.

            “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

            —-Fourteenth Amendment

            Why should Second Amendment rights be treated any differently by way of the Fourteenth Amendment than the Fourteenths Amendment’s own “equal protection of the laws”?

    2. Nor should you push me to have to tolerate [your speech] when you visit.

      Nor should you push me to have to tolerate [your religion] when you visit.

      Nor should you push me to have to tolerate [your race] when you visit.

      Nor should you push me to have to tolerate [your sexual orientation] when you visit.

      You see the problem, there, right? I see a lot of right-wing Christian conservatives who have the same problem you do.

      Somehow they imagine that other people’s rights only exist if they win a popularity contest, too, which is kinda…psychotic.

  10. The AG’s description of the law was one of the big sore points for Washington gun owners – we feel it is deceptive.

    Imagine my surprise.

    1. Strangely, the Washington state AG is a republican who sued the federal government over Obamacare, and then ran on that fact for the governorship (He didn’t win).

      1. Scratch that. I forgot that McKenna went out in 2012 and was replaced by Ferguson, a Team Blue guy.

  11. And, here in the Progressive Republik of Kalifornia, the 9th Circuit has declined an en banc hearing of Peruta, and declared that only the San Diego Sheriff has ‘standing’ to appeal to SCOTUS (which he has declined).
    So, it appears that “May Issue” is a dead letter within the 9th, and that “Shall Issue” will rule the day.

  12. I-594 is so badly written, you don’t even need to exchange guns to violate the background check law. I-594 modified the definition of firearm in Washington state law to the point that nailguns, flare guns and even party poppers are all subject to background checks now.

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