All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Refining Our Rights, regarding firearms.

Some firearms bills are in the Washington State Legislature.

House Bill 1508 - legislation relating to shooting ranges, passed the House.

Various target shooting ranges in Washington have become surrounded by suburbs. although the ranges were there when the housing went up, and the purchasers of the new houses knew this, those ranges have become targets of lawsuits to remove the ranges.

HB 1508 originally would have ensured that existing shooting ranges were broadly protected against civil liability and criminal charges related to noise pollution. However, this bill was amended and significantly weakened in the state House Judiciary Committee, leaving it as a measure that would no longer provide an adequate level of protection for shooting ranges.

HB 1508 was amended again and somewhat improved on the House floor -- the current version is better than the one that passed in the House Judiciary Committee. In order to strengthen this bill and keep it moving, HB 1508 must get a public hearing and action taken by the state Senate Judiciary Committee by Friday.

House Bill 2471 would exempt Concealed Pistol Licesne holders whose Washington State licenses were issued on or after July 22, 2011, from having to undergo any sort of background check when purchasing a pistol. Additionally, this bill would require only the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check for CPL holders whose permits were issued prior to July 22, 2011.

HB 2471 passed in the state House of Representatives unamended and was also assigned to the state Senate Judiciary Committee. HB 2471 must pass in the Senate Judiciary Committee by Friday.

Please contact state Senator Adam Kline (D-37), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge him to schedule a hearing for HB 1508 and HB 2471. Senator Kline can be contacted by phone at (360) 786-7688 and by e-mail at adam.kline@leg.wa.gov. Be polite.

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Washington State's Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.

Article I, Declaration of Rights, Section 24 Right to Bear Arms. "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."

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