GOAL Post, 2013-15
Legislative Update from Olympia, 29 April 2013
SESSION ENDS, NO BUDGET
THREE FIREARM-RELATED BILLS PASS
INSLEE CALLS SPECIAL SESSION, TO BEGIN 13 MAY
FOCUS: BUDGET AND GUNS
GUN CONTROL PRESS CONFERENCE
OBAMA ET AL PROMISE RE-VISIT OF GUN BILL(S)
GOAL POST TO CONTINUE THROUGH SPECIAL SESSION
NRA CONVENTION IN HOUSTON 3-5 MAY
The 2013 Regular Legislative session ended Sunday evening, 28 April without passage of a biennial budget, the principal function of the long session. Both chambers passed budgets, but were far apart in details. The GOP-controlled Senate passed a balanced budget, the House budget called for more than $1 BILLION in tax increases.
Of the more than 30 firearm-related bills filed in the regular session, only three made it out of the legislature to the Governor's desk. HB 1383, clarifying stalking protection orders, HB 1612, creating a "firearm offender registry" similar to the sex offender registry, and SB 5282, requiring DSHS to provide certain mental health data to the Washington State Patrol. Overall, we got a major pass this session, especially given the environment when it started back in January, exactly a month after the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.
Governor Inslee has called for a 30-day Special Session to begin on Monday, 13 May. While the governor listed specific issues he wanted addressed in the special session, once they convene the legislature can choose to go anywhere they want. Gun control -- background checks as a minimum -- are on the governor's list. How well they'll do in the special session remains to be seen. In the regular session they couldn't even agree to pass a bill out of the Democrat-controlled House. The Senate is likely less receptive to the issue. But we won't know until they convene.
A coalition of gun control advocates and "religious leaders" held a press conference today in downtown Seattle to announce their plan to run an Initiative to the Legislature later this year. The initiative will allegedly focus on universal background checks, but if past history is any indication, that will be their cover for more comprehensive gun control measures (just as today's Seattle Times article about the conference referred to I-676 as a "trigger lock" initiative -- when only one section of 28 in that initiative dealt with trigger locks -- it's called bait & switch). As always, the devil is in the details. I'll provide more information about the initiative process, and the initiative itself, some time next month after the actual language is filed.
President Obama, Vice President Biden and several Democrat leaders in the U.S. Senate have appeared on television and in other fora since the failed votes on S. 649 ten days ago to commit to reviving the gun control bill and force it through Congress. No schedule has been set at this time, meaning they're still working in the background to urge Senators to change their votes to support the measures. Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey, co-author of the Manchin-Toomey compromise amendment, says he's done with the issue and will not pursue another vote. The bill could come back for a vote next week, or next month... or never. But SOME FORM of new and more intrusive gun control is a major goal of the Obama administration.
This would normally be the last regular issue of the GOAL Post until next year's regular (2014) session. Due to the special session, I will resume publishing GOAL Post after the start of the session in about three weeks.
The NRA annual meetings and convention is being conducted in Houston this weekend, 3-5 May. I'll be working the Second Amendment Foundation booth (#2955) on the exhibition floor. If you're attending the convention, stop by and say hello.
The following firearm-related bills remain under consideration in the 2013 session
Bill # Subject Sponsor Status
SHB 1383 Stalking protection orders Goodman (D-45) To Governor
SHB 1612 Firearm offender registry Hope (R-44) To Governor
SSB 5282 DSHS/WSP info exchange Carrell (R-28) To Governor
Key to abbreviations: SB = Senate Bill, HB = House Bill, Jud = Judiciary, L&J = Law & Justice, HS&C = Human Services & Corrections, Trans = Transportation, Approp = Appropriations, Early Learn = Early Learning and K-12 Education, W&M = Ways & Means
GOAL POSITION ON BILLS
HB 1383 NEUTRAL
HB 1612 CONCERNS
SB 5282 SUPPORT
LEGISLATIVE HOT LINE: You may reach your Representatives and Senator by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Toll free!!! The hearing impaired may obtain TDD access at 1-800-635-9993. Also toll free!!!
1-800-562-6000 TDD 1-800-635-9993
OTHER DATA: Copies of pending legislation (bills), legislative schedules and other information are available on the legislature's web site at "www.leg.wa.gov". Bills are available in Acrobat (.pdf) format. You may download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe's web site (http://www.adobe.com). You may also obtain hard copy bills, initiatives, etc, in the mail from the Legislative Bill Room FREE OF CHARGE by calling 1-360-786-7573. Copies of bills may also be ordered toll free by calling the Legislative Hotline at (800) 562-6000. You may also hear floor and committee hearing action live at http://www.tvw.org/ (you need "RealAudio" to do this, available free at the TVW web site).
By reading the House and Senate "bill reports" (hbr, sbr) for each bill, you can see how individual committee members voted. By reading the "roll call" for each bill, you can see how the entire House or Senate voted on any bill. The beauty of the web site is that ALL this information is available, on line, to any citizen.
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Upcoming WAC gun show(s):
Monroe 4-5 May
Monroe 8-9 June
"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."
Article 1, Section 24
Constitution of the State of Washington
Copyright 2013 Gun Owners Action League of WA