Gun rights supporters gathered on the steps of the Capitol building for a rally Friday. (Taylor McAvoy/WNPA Olympia News Bureau)

Gun rights supporters gathered on the steps of the Capitol building for a rally Friday. (Taylor McAvoy/WNPA Olympia News Bureau)

Gun rights activists call for a halt to five firearm bills at state Capitol

  • By Taylor McAvoy WNPA Olympia News Bureau
  • Sunday, January 14, 2018 11:09am
  • Politics

By Taylor McAvoy

WNPA Olympia News Bureau

OLYMPIA — About 100 gun rights supporters rallied on the steps of the Capitol building in Olympia on Friday.

Most held signs and many carried pistols, rifles or knives.

“This is the safest day to be at the capitol,” said Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Enumclaw.

A long list of speakers, mostly Republican, voiced opposition to legislation they say would limit or eliminate their rights to bear arms.

They called on lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to halt gun regulation bills.

The Gun Rights Coalition national chair member Rick Halle opened the rally with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Robert Satiacum, member of the Puyallup tribe, then lead the group in prayer. He emphasized that the right to bear arms unites everyone regardless of party lines, race, or ethnicity.

The gun regulation bills being considered this session are numerous, but here’s a rundown of the five most contested.

• SB 5444 and companion bill in the House 1387 would require a state license to own, sell, buy or manufacture an assault weapon with a large capacity magazine.

• SB 5463 and companion bill in the House 1122 would require a firearms seller to sell or give the buyer a locked storage box and mandates that a person who leaves a firearm unlocked or accessible to someone not intended to use the weapon is guilty of community endangerment.

• SB 5992 would ban any trigger modification devices that increase a weapon’s rate of fire like bump stocks.

• SB 6049 and companion bill in the House 2422 would ban high-capacity magazines of 10 rounds or more.

• SB 6146 and companion bill in the House 2666 would allow local governments — cities and counties — to determine their own gun regulation laws.

The Senate Law and Justice committee is expected to hold hearings on all five bills at 10 a.m. Monday.

Rep. Morgan Irwin, R-Enumclaw, directly addressed the bill potentially banning high capacity magazines.

“Can anyone tell me what this is?” he said as he held up a magazine. “It’s 40 rounds of freedom.

“Do you know why I need it? It doesn’t matter because it’s mine. I can have it because this is America.”

Groups like Giffords Law Center for Gun Violence support some of this legislation. Laura Cutilletta, legal director of the law center said that bump stocks were designed to skirt regulations on firearms. Banning them, she said, would only make current regulations more accurate, not infringe on Second Amendment rights.

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, said that these laws would restrict freedoms of law-abiding gun owners and they won’t reduce crime.

“A new law isn’t going to stop bad people,” he said. “A ban on a plastic accessory is not going to stop bad people. Registration is not going to stop bad people. Armed good people are going to stop bad people.”

Democratic Rep. Brian Blake, D-Raymond, said the bills are misleading. He said he and other lawmakers are willing to work with gun right activist groups to achieve a compromise.

“We are willing to work with anyone to reduce suicide and violence of any type,” he said. “But we are not going to do that on the backs of responsible gun owners.”

________

This story is part of a series of news reports from the Washington State Legislature provided through a reporting internship sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation.

More in Politics

Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler, left, and Democrats Patrick DePoe, center, and Kevin Van De Wege, all candidates for state Commissioner of Public Lands, met before the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday to discuss their priorities for leading the Department of Natural Resources. (Peter Segall/Peninsula Daily News)
Fires are top priority for Commissioner of Public Lands hopefuls

Candidates want to increase state harvests

League of Women Voters sets candidate forum schedule

Hopefuls for state seats, county commissioner position invited to debate

From left to right, State Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, state Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, Port Angeles attorney Graham Ralston and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, all candidates for Washington’s 6th Congressional District, appear before the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday to answer questions about their priorities for serving in Congress. (Peter Segall/Peninsula Daily News)
Congress hopefuls meet for a forum

Candidates to focus on bipartisanship

Clallam PUD candidates cite costs as top priority

Three hopefuls line up for six-year board position

More candidates join local races

Third declares for state Senate seat

Packed races begin to emerge

Political hopefuls file intent to run

Heather Dudley-Nollette.
Bayside director to run for Jefferson County commissioner

Heather Dudley-Nollette seeks District 1 seat

Port Angeles City Council hopefuls Kate Dexter and Travis Berglund answer questions during a Port Angeles Business Association forum Tuesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Angeles mayor to run for county commission

Dexter has supported climate action plan, affordable housing

Emily Randall, left, and Hilary Franz.
Stalwarts take sides in race for Kilmer’s seat

A growing constellation of Democratic Party influencers are choosing sides in the… Continue reading

Online learning keeps rising among state’s K-12 students

Online learning for Washington’s public school kids is here to stay. That’s… Continue reading

Jefferson County turnout tops in state

More than half registered voters handed in ballots

Battle narrows to Biden and Trump

Tuesday’s primaries give each the delegates needed for a November contest