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Spin Control

Posts tagged: gun control

I-594 sponsors turn in 250K signatures

Carol Holt, Robert Martin and Barbara King count petitions whild Kate Ayers shuttles stacks of I-594 to a storage box.

OLYMPIA — Sponsors of a proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases turned in 250,000 signatures Wednesday to qualify it as an initiative to the Legislature.

If they were all valid, that would be enough to have Initiative 594 considered in the 2014 session. But initiative campaigns typically have rejection rate of 10 percent to 15 percent, sponsors plan to turn in as many as 75,000 more in December.

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Gun control supporters to turn in some petitions Wednesday

Sponsors of an initiative to require background checks for more gun sales will turn in some of the signatures Wednesday that they need to send the measure to the Legislature next year.

Members of the Initiative 594 campaign said Tuesday they plan to turn in about 225,000 signatures. or about 70 percent of their goal, as a way of “demonstrating tremendous support” for the proposal. It would require background checks for most private gun sales or transfers, beyond the current requirement of background checks for sales by dealers.

To be certified as an initiative to the Legislature, a proposal needs a minimum of about 250,000 signatures, although most campaigns try to get a substantial cushion of extra signatures to cover names that aren't registered or are duplicates. Most campaigns wait until they have reached their targets, or the deadline in late December, before submitting signatures.

Also gathering signatures this year is I-591, a separate initiative to the Legislature that would forbid gun confiscation without due process and require a national standard for expanded background checks. 

The Legislature can pass an initiative without changes and make it law, or it can ignore or reject it, which puts it on the ballot next November. It can also pass an alternative, which would put both the original initiative and the alternative on the November ballot.

Gun rights, gun control advocates want your signature

OLYMPIA – Whether you are for or against stricter background checks on gun sales, you'll have a chance in the coming months to support your position by signing an initiative to next year's Legislature.

 

If both Initiative 591 and Initiative 594 get the required signatures, they'll likely both be on the 2014 ballot if the Legislature follows its recent pattern of punting such proposals to voters rather than adopting them. (The full text of the initiatives can be found by clicking on the documents below.)

 

I-591, a one-page proposal that bans government confiscation of guns and any background check that isn't part of a national system, started its signature-gathering campaign about two weeks ago at one of the state’s biggest gun shows, the Washington Arms Collectors’ Show in Puyallup.

 

“We knew what the other side was going to do. We filed before they did,” said Alan Gottlieb, campaign manager for Protect Our Gun Rights.

 

I-594, an 18-page proposal that lays out a process to apply the current federal system of background checks required by dealers to private sales in Washington, with some exceptions for family transfer and antique sales, got its final ballot language approved last week and will start signups this week.

 

“It looks like we’ll be out there together,” Zach Silk, campaign manager for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which is sponsoring I-594…

 

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Documents:

Inslee narrows top priorities for special session

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has shortened his top priorities on the Legislature’s “to do” list for the special session to three things:

Pass an operating budget. Pass a new package for transportation projects. Toughen penalties for those who drive drunk or high.

At a press conference on the opening day of the 30-day special session, Inslee acknowledged that three other things he listed as priorities two weeks ago might not get done.

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Inslee signs felony gun register bill, calls for background checks

 

OLYMPIA – Anyone convicted of a felony involving a gun could be required to register with the state law enforcement agencies for four years under a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The felony firearms registry, which would be maintained by the Washington State Patrol, was the most significant gun legislation to pass in the recently concluded session. Inslee challenged legislators to go further in the upcoming special session, which starts Monday, and vote on background checks for all gun purchases.

“We’ll not leave until gun violence is addressed in our state,” Inslee told reporters after signing a total of 25 bills on a wide variety of topics.

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GOP to put AR-15 up for bid

State Republicans will have a chance to bid on a rifle at the center of the current gun-control vs. gun rights debate, an AR-15, at their spring fund-raiser this weekend.

But State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur said auctioning off the semi-automatic rifle is not a pro-gun statement. Washington Republicans are pretty much all pro-gun already.

“It’s a pro-fund-raising statement,” party spokesman Keith Schipper quoted Wilbur as saying.

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Background check bill dies

OLYMPIA – Democrats abandoned a bill to require wider background checks for gun purchases late Tuesday after disagreements over the proposals caused the House of Representatives to grind to a halt for a second afternoon Tuesday.

“It does not appear we are going to make it,” Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, said Tuesday evening to announce that the proposal did not have the necessary 50 votes to pass the House beforeWednesday's 5 p.m. deadline. “It turns out it was just too big of a stretch.”

Pedersen, Gov. Jay Inslee and other supporters of the plan known as universal background checks had struggled since Monday to round up the necessary 50 votes needed to pass House Bill 1588. Meanwhile, the fate of dozens of other bills hung in the balance because they must also come to a vote before that 5 p.m. deadline. . . 

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Universal background check bill expected today

Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, the sponsor of the universal background check bill, talks with Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, one of its key opponents, before debate starts on the bill.

OLYMPIA — The House is expected to vote this afternoon on a bill requiring all gun sales to be subjected to background checks.

Heard that before, you say. Like yesterday?

It's true that House Democrats thought they had the votes to bring up the bill yesterday. But as the afternoon dragged on with their members in and out of a rolling caucus meeting, it became clear that they didn't.

Today, they may have a solution: Adding an amendment to the bill that requires a public approval of the law in November. That's one of nine amendments that legislators may be asked to consider on HB 1588. To see the bill, and proposed amendments, click here.

Watch this space for updates.

Vote on background checks may be delayed

OLYMPIA — A vote on a bill that would require a background check for private gun sales might be delayed because it doesn't have enough support to pass, a co-sponsor said.

The vote on HB 1588 will probably not take place today, Rep. Mike Hope of Lake Stevens,who may be  the lone Republican supporter of the bill. Democrats, who have a comfortable majority in the House, may not have the votes needed to pass it, he said.

With Gov. Jay Inslee spending time in the House wings trying to drum up support for background checks around lunchtime, Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, had predicted the bill would be among a package of gun-control proposals to be put to a vote starting around 3 p.m. But after easy votes on four the chamber went into recess and Democrats began talking about holding debates on health care legislatrion instead.

billson the package that involvine changes to the mental health system,   Pedersen said through a spokeswoman the background check bill could still come up for a vote later in the day, or in the evening.

All legislation must pass the chamber where it was introduced by 5 p.m. Wednesday, or be dead for the session.

House passes 4 mental health bills

OLYMPIA — The House gave overwhelming support this afternoon to four bills designed to tighten up mental health laws involving violent people.

It gave unanimous support expanded the ability of victims of stalking and “cyberstalking” to seek protective orders from a court, in a bill that also allows a judge to require the person named in the protective order to surrenter his or her firearms and concealed weapons permit.

Another bill that received a 98-0 vote would move up by one year, to July 1, 2014, the enactment of changes to the Involuntary treatment law which require faster competency evaluations for defendants facing charges involving violent crimes.

Another bill tightens rules so that a person judged incompetent to stand trial for a violent crime is required to receive inpatient treatment and law enforcement officials are notified when that person is released. The fourth sets up a system for a court to order competency evaluations of a potential defendant if the overburdened state hospital system fails to do so within a set timeline.

House may vote on gun bills today

Gov. Jay Inslee talks with Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, during a visit to the House to lobby for votes on a bill to require universal background checks on gun purchases.

OLYMPIA — The House is expected to take up a package of bills supporters say are designed to curb gun violence today, if sponsors line up a few more yes votes for key legislation.

Gov. Jay Inslee made stops on both sides of the chamber in an effort to line up support for a bill that would extend background checks to private sales. Rep. Jamie Pederesen, D-Seattle, said that bill has at least 47 of the 50 votes needed for passage, and there are six or seven other legislators who are “maybes”.

Pedersen, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the House may start running the package of bills at mid afternoon, starting with legislation aimed at the mental health system. That will include a bill to make changes in requirements for involuntary treatment, and another to close what he described as a gap between the standards for a person who is incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges but not incompetent for civil cases.

Other bills in the package would be expanded authority to recover firearms and concealed weapons permits from someone under a protection order for stalking, and a registry of firarms offenders.

Among the last bills in the package Pedersen expects to be debated would be the so-called “universal background check” bill, which extends current requirements for the buyers of firearms to private sales from commercial sales.

In the area between the House floor and Democratic leadership's offices, Inslee called the ability for felons to buy guns in private sales “a loophole that common sense tells us needs to be closed.” He said he was talking to House members of both parties “asking them to step up to the plate.”

Gun debate flares in WA Senate

OLYMPIA — A resolution praising a school program to teach firearms safety to kids briefly ignited the gun-control debate in the state Senate this morning.

The resolution was in support of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, which is sponsored by the National Rifle Association and offered free to schools It calls for the state's schools, pre-schools, early learning centers and licensed day care facilities to promote the use of the program.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, objected, saying the program isn't just about gun safety, “it's about the NRA”. He said that organization has been working to block all gun-control legislation this session, including one of his proposals that allowed a person in mental distress to voluntarily turn a gun over to police for 30 days for safe-keeping. The majority coalition that runs the Senate has been “a bit too obedient” to the NRA, he contended.

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, said she couldn't believe anyone would vote against a child safety program, regardless of its source.

“Does Ceasefire have a program to help teach children how to be safe?” Roach asked, mentioning a prominent gun-control group. “If you're not in favor of a program to help save children's lives, vote 'No.'”

Sen. Marilyn Chase, D-Shoreline, the sponsor of the resolution, agreed the issue was about gun-safety, adding none of the Eddie Eagle literature mentions the NRA. “I am not an advocate for an organization that makes excuses for assault weapons manufacturers.”

The resolution, SJM 8006, passed 40-8.

Sunday Spin: Tough sledding on gun bills

OLYMPIA – The massacre of first graders and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary may result in some major national gun-control legislation this year. Too soon to tell.

But it may also block some smaller gun-related legislation in Washington state. At least that’s what several Senate Democrats contended Friday afternoon after an unusual meeting of the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

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Background check bill passes House panel

 

OLYMPIA – A bill requiring almost all gun buyers in Washington to undergo a background check passed a key House panel Tuesday and will likely be part of a package of gun laws up for a floor vote in March.

Despite heavy criticism last week from gun-rights activists, the House Judiciary Committee passed the so-called Universal Background Check bill on a 7-6 vote.

It would require buyers in most private firearms sales either to submit to the same background check they would undergo if buying the gun at a licensed dealer or to produce a valid state concealed pistol license. . .

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WWJD about guns? Gun bill debate offers answers

OLYMPIA – What would Jesus do about gun control? A debate between a Spokane Valley legislator and a Seattle minister seemed to raise that question Wednesday in a hearing on proposals for new gun laws.

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, and the Rev. Sanford Brown of the 1st United Methodist Church of Seattle seemed to be quoting from the same Bible, but came up with different answers.

Senate passes school security bill

OLYMPIA – Washington state would spend $10 million over the next two years in an effort protect schools from a massacre like Sandy Hook as part of a school construction proposal that moved quickly through the Senate Monday.

With references to the Dec. 14 massacre at the school in Newtown, Conn., the Senate unanimously approved spending $475 million on school construction over the next two years, with $10 million of it going to make schools safer.

Republicans said the school construction package was a sign they were meeting goals to move their priorities of education, smart budgeting and jobs. The accompanying Safe School Buildings bill has the added benefit of paying for ways to protect schools from an attacker and get police there faster if they are needed, said Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup.

Democrats said the school safety measures were a good first start, but called for GOP support on bills they introduced Monday that take further steps to curb gun violence. The state needs better laws on firearms safety and more support for mental health services, Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Seattle, said…

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WA Lege Day 26: Gun rights activists come armed

Fred Sittmann of Stanwood, Wash., listens to speakers at Friday's gun rights rally.

OLYMPIA – Second Amendment activists came well-armed to a Capitol Campus rally Friday where legislators promised to protect their freedom to have firearms and speakers denounced President Obama and gun control.

With the Legislature considering proposals to ban some firearms and high capacity clips or require background checks for all gun sales, some speakers urged the crowd to prepare for a fight over their gun rights.

But Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, predicted that even if those restrictions  pass the Democratic-controlled House “they will die in the Washington state Senate” . . . 

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Firearms Freedom law prospects dim

OLYMPIA — A bill to exempt firearms made and sold in Washington from federal gun laws was introduced by 10 House Republicans today, but their leader said it's unlikely the bill will come to a vote, let alone become law.

A bill titled the Firearms Freedom Act would exempt “personal firearms,” as well as ammunition and accessories. that are made in Washington and stay within the state's borders from current or future federal restrictions and registration.

Any federal ban on semi-automatic weapons couldn't be enforced, under House Bill 1371. Local officials wouldn't be able to enforce federal laws, and federal officials who tried could face penalties up to five years in jail or a $10,000 fine. During a declared state of emergency, a governor couldn't restrict the possession, sale or transfer of personal firearms.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Spokane-area legislators Matt Shea and Larry Crouse of Spokane Valley, Joe Schmick of Colfax and Shelly Short of Addy.

House Republican Leader Richard Debolt of Chehalis said Thursday that while most members of the GOP caucus support firearms freedom, there's no official position on HB 1371. The bill has little prospect for passage because it “wouldn't do very well” in Democratic-controlled House.

There may be some legislation regarding gun control House Republicans will support this session, DeBolt said, but it's likely to be stiffer penalties for juveniles who use firearms during a crime.

Inslee: Coal port study must include routes through state

Jay Inslee takes questions during his first press conference as governor.

OLYMPIA — State and federal agencies studying potential impacts of a new coal terminals near Bellingham must consider the effects of increased train traffic on Spokane and other cities around the state, Gov. Jay Inslee said today.

At his first press conference after being sworn in as governor, Inslee also said he supports restrictions on high-capacity magazines as part of comprehensive package to address gun violence and would consider extending temporary taxes set to expire this year as part of a plan to close the state's projected budget shortfall and increase money for public schools.

On coal ports and the trains that will feed them, Inslee said he was “absolutely clear” on one point: “We've got to have a complete, consistent, reliable evaluation of all of the impacts directly in the state of Washington, which certainly includes transportation impacts.”

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Inslee: No panacea for gun violence

Govenor-elect Inslee addresses a legislative preview session.

OLYMPIA – The Legislature should consider a wide range of options in a search to increase gun safety and reduce the threat of violence, Governor-elect Jay Inslee said Thursday.

“There is no panacea, no one solution,” Inslee said at a press conference during a preview of the upcoming legislative session sponsored by the Associated Press. “But that’s not a reason for inaction.”

On other topics, Inslee – who takes the oath of office Wednesday – repeated campaign promises to try closing the state’s budget gap through government efficiencies and an improved economy but without new taxes. He called for a thorough review of plans to increase coal train traffic in the state, and said immediate changes to the new state law on legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use were unlikely.

As a congressman, Inslee voted for a ban . . . 

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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