Win for Gun Rights in Washington State

Washington State Capitol

Gun control advocates have been pushing hard for new background check regulations.  Not only are they doing it at the national level, but also at the state level.  Unfortunately for them, they just got their butt handed to him in Washington state.

A contentious proposal to expand background checks on Washington state gun sales failed Tuesday in the state House, where supporters said they were just a handful of votes short.

In a final effort to pick up a few extra votes, Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, had proposed a referendum clause that would have allowed the public to vote on the measure. He initially believed that would draw enough support to corral the 50 votes needed to pass the bill but conceded Tuesday night that others had dropped their backing because of that shift.

“It was too big of a stretch for this year,” Pedersen said.

Pedersen said he was disappointed by the result, and several Democrats departing for the night were emotional about the collapse of a bill they’d spent two days intensely working to finalize. The week had included lobbying from former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was wounded in a January 2011 mass shooting, and Gov. Jay Inslee.

The bill in question would have required background checks on the private sales of weapons, a provision which is often termed the “gun show loophole”, but doesn’t have any bearing on gun shows.

Gun rights advocates such as myself are concerned that doing this would lead to gun registrations…in part because it would actually be a kind of registration (there is a paper trail for where each and every gun ends up).

The loss in Washington is a significant blow for gun control advocates who saw a real opportunity to pass this law in Washington following the Sandy Hook massacre.  The whole “never let a good crisis go to waste” thing was in full effect…but to no avail.

The truth is that only a small minority of guns used in crimes are ever purchased through a legal procedure such as a private sale.  In fact, most who want a gun for a crime seek them out through the black market.  Why?  They don’t want some law abiding citizen being able to associate them with the gun.  They’ve all seen CSI, so it plays into their mentality.

Elsewhere in the nation, gun control advocates are continuing their push.  Even in Washington, the fight is far from over.

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