Washington: Voter’s Rights Under Fire

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Washington: Voter's Rights Under Fire

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- For almost 60 years, the state of Washington has been the gold standard for straight-forward concealed carry licensing.

Washington has had shall-issue concealed carry with no training requirement since 1961, and there has never been any sort of problem reported as a result of their simple law which requires a small application fee, a basic criminal background check, and fingerprints.

No mandatory training. No local law enforcement discretion. No need to be pals with a judge or a politician like in NJ. Just a simple application and a small fee. It’s worked beautifully. No blood in the streets. No running gun battles over fender-benders. No string of untrained license holders shooting themselves or others in foolish accidents or angry confrontations. In fact, licensed concealed carriers in Washington State have been exemplary in their prudent exercise of their right to carry. Not only have they historically been on par with licensees in other states, but they have also statistically come in on the low side of accidents, misuse, and other firearms-related mishaps. Even when compared to states with rigorous training requirements. What’s even more significant about this is the fact that concealed carry licensees, on the whole, have a well-established record of extremely low crime and firearm misuse – lower even than sworn police officers – and the licensees of Washington State have historically been on the low side of that already impressive statistic.

The record of Washington concealed carry licensees has been so exemplary that I, and others, have often used that record as proof that mandatory training requirements are spurious and serve no purpose other than to make legally carrying a concealed firearm more expensive and complicated, and therefore less affordable and less attractive.

But in spite of the stellar record of Washington State gun owners in general, and the state’s licensed carriers, in particular, Washington voters have passed two major rights-restricting initiatives,. Now Democrat politicians in the State Legislature want to penalize Washington gun owners further by “improving” the concealed carry licensing system that has proven so effective for the past 59 years. They want to mandate expensive training and additional delays, along with further restrictions on magazine capacity and so-called “assault weapons,” and additional ways to “temporarily” revoke people’s Second Amendment rights and confiscate their guns on word-of-mouth accusations. The new restrictions are coming, not because politicians want to fix current or potential future problems, and not because any of these proposals will save lives – they know they won’t.

The actual reasons politicians are pushing this radical agenda are two-fold: Fear and hatred of guns and gun owners and love of Mike Bloomberg’s money.

Washington has long been controlled by West Coast Democrats and “moderate” Republicans. It is one of the top producers of agricultural products in the country, growing much of the nation’s potatoes, wheat, cherries, apples, and other food crops, along with things like grass seed. The state is also home to Boeing, with its massive ranks of unionized workers, Microsoft, and dozens of smaller, but very profitable tech companies. Washington doesn’t have state income taxes, so it is a magnet for Silicon Valley billionaires wanting to cash-in their bonuses and stock options with the smallest tax bite possible. All these circumstances have pushed the state farther and farther to the left. As the Seattle area has grown, populations in the rest of the state – the farming and, until recently, logging regions that comprise the bulk of the state’s land area – have grown more slowly, bolstered mostly by retirees, and becoming much more dependent upon tourism. Much of that growth is also coming from California and other “liberal” wastelands. The result has been a fairly rapid transition from a center-left legislature with strong representation from rural areas, to a hard-left, urban-dominated legislature able to ride rough-shod over the “ignorant hicks from the hinterlands.”

Many of the Seattle elites have long been bothered by the state’s relatively lax gun laws, but they didn’t have the political power to change them. The rural areas have been able to hold the line, blocking attempts to enact stricter state gun laws, but unable to pass improvements like expanded concealed carry reciprocity agreements with neighboring states. The anti-rights forces always seemed to come up short – until Bloomberg brought his billions to bear in the state.

Even though Initiative 1639 passed in Washington State last fall, several county sheriffs are refusing to enforce it because they believe it to be unconstitutional. (Dave Workman photo)
Even though Initiative 1639 passed in Washington State last fall, several county sheriffs are refusing to enforce it because they believe it to be unconstitutional. (Dave Workman photo)

Bloomberg’s minions did extensive analysis and polling across the country, and they decided that Washington gun rights were ripe for the picking. They rolled in with a cadre of media and marketing professionals, fundraisers and organizers, along with an almost unlimited budget. Bloomberg convinced local billionaires like Bill Gates and Paul Allen, along with a large collection of Microsoft and other dot-com millionaires, to bankroll an initiative effort to criminalize private firearm transfers. They spent some $15 million to convince people to vote for the initiative, which the media insisted had support from “over 90% of Americans”. They are outspending opponents 8 to 1 or more and managed to pass the initiative with about a 60% to 40% split.

Not quite the 90+% the media had promised. But the private transfer ban was just a “good first step,” and Bloomberg remained active in the state, dumping additional millions into election campaigns of anti-rights extremists. Their next target was an initiative to disarm people suspected of being a danger to themselves or others, a so-called “red flag” law. Again they outspent opponents by millions, and again they were successful, but again, this law was characterized as just a “good first step.” The pressure continued. Bloomberg and the Gifford gang continued to fund legislative candidates who promised to march to their gun control drum, and they succeeded in electing enough of them to change the balance of power in the legislature and advance their radical agenda.

Five years ago, Washington was one of the most “gun-friendly” states in the nation. Today they are vying for the title of most gun-restrictive. And the transformation happened without any significant shift in crime or other firearm misuses in the state but was instead motivated solely by political ideology, irrational fears, and money. This is an example of the insatiable appetite of anti-rights zealots. They are never satisfied with their “good first steps” and always, always want to take another and another.

Now gun owners in Washington are being crushed under the heel of the nanny state. If GunVoters fail to effectively rally their fellow gun owners and lovers of liberty to their cause in the next election cycle, Washington will almost certainly become just a northern suburb of San Francisco and a west-coast cousin of NY. NJ and CT.

Individual liberty in the Evergreen State is gasping at what could be its last breaths.

The author lived in Washington for a number of years, mounting an unsuccessful bid for the State Legislature in 2002, challenging a 6-term Democrat incumbent in Eastern Washington’s only Democrat-held district.


Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 31 thoughts on “Washington: Voter’s Rights Under Fire

    1. Mail in or drop off ballots are nothing but a way to bend the results of the votes to the progressive side. ID required when voting is the only way to get a somewhat accurate vote. The leftist hate this and try every lie they can think of to get away from it. This is required in Tennessee and I don’t see that it causes a problem but it might prevent some. You have to have id to do a lot of things and voting should be one of them. You don’t have time to go vote, that is a crock, also, and nothing but a lazy excuse. The polls are open a lot of hours to accommodate the voters.

    2. ALL…..and I mean ALL gun laws are Illeagal…..period. They ALL INFRINGE on your RIGHT to Keep ANS Bear Arms…….

      Here is the funny thing,nthe States do NOT have the LEGAL Authority to even Make Gun Laws or Weapon Laws PERIOD……they are NOT given that Right Under the US Constitution, yeah, sorry to those who are Statists, but that is Not something the States have a Right to.

      Also, for those who dont think that Civilians have a Right to MilitRy Grade Weapons…..yeah, read some history, firstly, Technically there are NO Civilians in the US as ALL Free Citizens ARE the Militia which is an Extension of the Military. Secondly, our Founders own writings can be shown, they Explicitly wanted the Citizenry to have the SAME weapons as the military(or as close as possible) for the EXPRESS purpose of being able to OVER throw the Government ANY TIME the People Felt it Neeedful.

      1. Exactly the constitution and bill of rights are the law of the land. Every “law” enacted after should refer back to that document. The stuff our government is doing is what our forefathershad in mind when they drafted that document and I believe it’s the DUTY of every citizen who believes in our Republic and for which it stands, to unite and draw a line in the Sand. Even if u hate guns cause it ain’t stoppin there. There is nothing the people in power fear more than an armed populace.(or even unarmed if United see South America)

    3. I really enjoy not having to stand in line to vote, but I am an honest citizen and now have been made aware of the voter fraud perpetrated in our elections. Trump was roundly criticized for saying the vote was flawed, now we are finding out the entire system is fraught with corruption. I’ll gladly go back to standing in line to clean this mess up.

      1. And I, as well. I never minded going to the polling place to vote, and I fully support going back to that method. I think we should have to show our voter’s card and sign so our signature can be compared to the one on file when we registered to vote. I would also want to see each precinct polling place to count the ballots voted there under observation by at least two people from each party which had candidates on the ballot. I want to see each precinct’s polling place(s) post the results of each race and issue as well as the number of ballots voted before they pass the ballots on to the county, so voters can compare the precincts’totals against the county totals. I want the same procedure (with a 5 observers from each party represented on the ballots) and again the results and total number of ballots voted posted prominently and also published online, before the ballots being passed along to the State. Once the State has counted all the ballots it received, no matter what happens after that moment that IS the final count — no more “we found this box of uncounted ballots” allowed. If some ballots don’t reach the State before the counting, they do NOT get counted, period! I’d like to see that implemented in EVERY State, but definitely in WA!

    4. The statistics of Washington voters is appalling. When broken down by how many registered voters we have and how many actually voted; it is a mere 35% of the State dictating what the entire State must do. Not 60%. Wake up and vote or soon you won’t be able to. Never vote Yes on ambiguously written laws, read the full proposition, not the blurbs big money paid for marketing to your emotions. Always vote NO on anything that includes loope hole verbiage such as “included but not limited to”. That verbiage is intended to take your voice away, allowing new laws to be written under it’s cloak without the vote of the State. Stop being bought Washington.

    5. Fud gun owners have been among our worst enemies in these last elections saying: “Who needs and assault rifle?”
      Hey mister deer-and-duck hunter: They are coming after your deer and duck-assault weapons too.

    6. As a Washington Seattle native I absolutely cannot stand these laws that keep getting passed. Thank God for the ones who fight against them, for we are few and are the underdog when it comes to the disproportionate amount of funding and corrupt political hand shaking that goes on behind closed doors to further push the liberal agenda. We had such good gun laws less than 8 years ago, it’s made me want to get more involved and do what I can to organize people in opposition. I mean you gotta admit things must be BAD when I, a black woman who lives in the city of Seattle feels this way. Thank you for writing this, keep up the good fight!

      1. Ma’am, please tell your friends to stop voting for this nonsense and the leftist liberal politicians in Olympia. That would be a great place to start. Seattle decides the fate of the entire state – you win Seattle, you win your State back. It’s that simple. Thank you for your Patriotism – we need more people like you!!

        1. THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO SEPARATE WESTERN WASHINGTON AND EASTERN WASHINGTON. SEATTLE ANTI-GUN COMMUNIST DEMOCRATS CANNOT TELL US WHAT TO DO IN OTHER CITIES.IF THEY CONTINUE WITH THE ANTI-GUN BILLS THERE WILL BE A SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

    7. We did it to ourselves on 1639. Prepaid ballots and gun owners with the lowest numbers of ballots turned in. Columbia County was highest in the state. Whitman and SPOKANE Counties (Big sportsman areas) ended up in favor of 1639 because of the Westsiders sending their snowflake children to our great Colleges. We had better wake the he’ll up or Insleep, Side Show Bob and the Sonsabitches on the West side will gut this state like a fish!

      1. ‘Because of the Westsiders sending their snowflake children to our great Colleges’? Proof of your claims? I’m waiting. P.S. Where is the great College on the east side?

      1. We are not good for now. I-1639 is still out there and needs to be taken down. If we give up on it and not fight they’ll just take more of our rights away. Do not stop talking to your legislators and do not stop fighting! GB

        1. You are exactly right! I-1639 is the most encroaching bill they could have passed. it is riddled with language open for interpretation and leaves gun owners at the whim and will of the state. people MUST FIGHT to repeal it, and refuse to comply. These are our freedoms Washingtonians and they cannot be regained when lost without rebellion / revolution..

    8. Washington gun owners are different from other majority blue states gun owners in terms of serious and unwavering activism. These bills are dead now because we were/are so active in engaging our liberal representatives here.

      Other states should take note of our success this year. It was not won by any single gun rights org. We won with pure grass roots manpower and determination.

      1. I agree. When I-1639 passed last Nov. I think it really did wake up a TON of Washingtonians. Here is my posting from earlier today for a list of the madness they had proposed in 2019.
        >> “Point well taken. Have a look see as to what trickery is at work in Olympia WA. In the current Legislative session for 2019, below is a list of the attempts to destroy the 2nd Amendment in WA State. The list is long. Most of these Bills introduced are from the House, and the remaining 3 are from the Senate. Some made the cutoff deadline of March 14th, 2019 for further con-sider-ation towards passage, others did not. Read the text for yourself. A link to the WA Legislator Bill Search page is provided below the list of WA State Gun Grab Bills. Those silly Demoncrapers……
        **Madness and CONFUSION is what we have here:
        THE GUN Grab Law Breaker Bills in WA State:
        **House Bills: HB1010, HB1068, HB1222, HB1225, HB1465, HB1739, HB1786, HB5061, HB5062, HB5143, and HB5174.
        Senate Bills: SB5027, SB5181, AND SB5745.”
        Here is the link to read the hundreds of pages of text. Simply enter the Bill Number to read the pdf docs.
        https://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/
        ->>>

        Many have been involved in the fight whom were from the NRA, GOA, The 2nd Amendment Foundation etc etc etc….

        1. OK. I guess…Cigar? They will be back next year.
          They never stop. Fact. Cigars might be from Cuba? They never stop.
          Wash, rinse, repeat. It is always Ground hog day for Gun Grabbers.
          They will be there again, next year. And we will be there again next year to fight the good fight.

    9. Something people outside the State don’t understand; there’s a reason they thing they can Referendum these draconian laws onto the books.

      When Washington went to Mail in Ballots, they set up a condition for which voter roles would not be regularly cleansed. Look at the nomadic lifestyle of the College Student or Apartment dweller to understand how this could go wrong. Especially look at the folk who move out of state, never taking themselves from the roles.

      If you don’t think that an agenda driven Progressive wouldn’t vote illegally 10, 20, or 30 times, then you have not been paying attention…First they learn to lie to themselves, everything after that is second nature.

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