Evergreen State CCW Skyrockets as Gun Prohibition Lobby Demands ‘Safety Training’

Opinion

Concealed carry is skyrocketing in Washington State, with more than 646,000 active licenses at the end of 2019. (Dave Workman photo)

Washington –AmmoLand.com)- Washington State added a whopping 37,884 active concealed pistol licenses in 2019—bringing the total to 646,344 on Dec. 31st 2019, according to data from the state Department of Licensing—as the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, is calling for a training requirement, which the state has never before had.

The state Legislature convenes Monday, Jan. 13, and on Friday the 17th, gun owners will gather at the Capitol for the annual Gun Rights Coalition Lobby Day starting at 9 a.m. The theme appears to be “It’s time to fight back.”

If even ten percent of all those who have CPLs in the state showed up, there would be more than 64,000 gun owners delivering a message even the anti-gun-rights Democrat majority couldn’t ignore.

AmmoLand News did some digging back through Licensing Department data. In 2018, the state added 17,711 new CPLs, ending the year with 608,460 active licenses. Back in 2017, the uptick was 25,273 new licenses, with the year ending with 590,749 CPLs in circulation.

Yet in 2018, state voters approved initiative 1639, the measure that defined “semiautomatic assault rifles”—a firearm that doesn’t really exist anywhere but on paper and in the gun control lexicon—and stripped young adults of their Second Amendment right to buy and own any kind of semi-auto rifle, even a .22-caliber rimfire.

Last month, the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility announced its 2020 legislative wish list, and the agenda includes:

REQUIRE SAFETY TRAINING: Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia require safety training before issuing a concealed pistol license; Washington is not one of these states. Updating our laws to include training requirements will help ensure people carrying concealed weapons know how to safely handle them.”

RESTORE LOCAL AUTHORITY: If local leaders determine there are events or places where firearms present a high risk, they should be able to act. Our state should allow local governments to put stronger laws into place when it is right for the community.”

The training requirement is clearly an effort to discourage people from obtaining a CPL, and some activists argue it would violate Article 1, Section 24 of the State Constitution. That provision reads:

“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.”—Article 1, Section 24

A training requirement might be considered an impairment, rather like a literacy test, the argument goes.

The other agenda item is possibly more threatening because it would erase state preemption, which requires gun law uniformity from border to border. Washington's law has been on the books since 1983 and has been a model for other state preemption laws. Anti-gunners want to eliminate that so they can return to a confusing and often conflicting checkerboard of local laws aimed only at entrapping gun owners.

There is no small irony in this push, just days after an armed private citizen stopped a mass shooting at a Texas church. That case has once again brought concealed carry by private citizens into the spotlight.

Washington, the smallest western state, has the second-highest number of active carry licenses in the West, next to Utah. (Texas isn’t included.) It’s an odd situation because Washington is considered politically “blue” due to the dominating Seattle/I-5 corridor Democrat vote. But that may be changing for a number of reasons, gun rights being one of them, followed closely by taxes and government spending. Whatever else gun owners might be, they’re taxpayers.

Speaking of Seattle, the gun control crowd has some explaining to do.

In 2015, the Seattle City Council hastily adopted a gun and ammunition tax, ostensibly to do research and fund some violence reduction programs. The tax was supposed to have raised between $300,000 and $500,000 annually, but it has never come close. In 2016, the city took in $103,766.22 and, according to Seattle Police Department data, logged 18 homicides for the year.

In 2017, the revenue shrank to $93,220.74 and that year saw the number of homicides climb to 28.

In 2018, the city took in only $77,518 with its gun/ammunition tax, and recorded 32 slayings. AmmoLand News is waiting to see the final murder tally for 2019, and there won’t be an update on the tax revenue for several days at least.

But take a look at one other data set from the Seattle police. In 2016, the first full year the tax was imposed, police logged 59 non-fatal shootings and 11 fatalities. In 2017, there were 67 non-fatal shootings and 16 gun-related homicides. The following year, 2018, found 67 non-fatal shootings and 13 gun-related slayings and in 2019, as of Dec. 16, there were 73 non-fatal shootings and 18 fatalities.

That gun tax does not seem to be working well at all in the Jet City, yet proponents stubbornly refuse to admit it. Likewise, Initiative 594, the “universal background check” measure adopted in 2014, also does not appear to have reduced murders in the state.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, 2015 saw 209 homicides in Washington, including 141 involving firearms. The next year, 2016, saw a drop in murders overall (195) and those involving guns (127). But in 2017 and 2018, the numbers crept right back up to 228/134 and 232/138, respectively. So much for additional gun control restrictions reducing homicides.

Washington gun owners are beginning to organize. While they were unable to qualify Initiative 1094, to repeal I-1639, some organizers are suggesting on social media that the ambitious two-month effort was “Round 1.” They may re-file in which case they would have much more time for volunteer signature gathering.

Meanwhile, the next several weeks will see activists and citizen lobbyists busy in Olympia, the state capitol. Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have already called for a ban on the future sale of so-called “assault weapons.”

For Washington State, it appears the “Roaring 20s” have definitely returned.


Dave Workman
Dave Workman

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago

Perhaps some of the new Mother May I Card holders got theirs to get ahead of the phoney training game, But I”m convinced a LOT of them got their Mother May I Cards because they are finally waking up to what is going on nationwie, and culturally. I peraonally think the right direction is to go for “the Big One”, “constitutional carry”. What, there are 17 states that now have that? And in NOT ONE OF THEM has the crime wiht guns rate gone up. In fact, most have seen those rates drop. By the way, Dave, your writing style,… Read more »

Get Out
Get Out
9 months ago

The gun owners should attend the Seattle City Council meetings and remind them at each meeting that their anti-gun and ammo tax has failed miserably. Then ask for a vote that the council members that voted for the tax should have to make up their predicted amount each time they fall short. They’ll be voting to repeal it after their bank accounts take a monetary hit.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
9 months ago
Reply to  Dave Workman

@DW, Another good article in Guns, too!

Vern
Vern
9 months ago

It would seem that politicians believe taxes are mainly for lining their pockets first, then the money goes through a gauntlet before it gets to where it was intended and there isn’t hardly anything left.

Vern
Vern
9 months ago
Reply to  Vern

The tax money from MJ sales was to be 40% of all taxes brought in and it would go to the school districts in the state. The second year after the amendment was passed the number dropped to less than 3%, now it is even less that that.
All democrat promises are worthless, anyone who doesn’t know that is still in diapers. That is the mode the democrats operate in, everything they touch begins to rot, no matter what charity they support it all turns into corruption.

Vern
Vern
9 months ago
Reply to  Vern

As usual, they lied about everything to get it passed.

Hankus
Hankus
9 months ago

Sign the petition to recall Inslee and Ferguson.

George
George
9 months ago

If we look at the gun tax/homicide data and, as the prohibitionists are want to do, compare them, they are inversely proportional. Less tax collection, coming from fewer sales, leads to more violence.

Using their logic, we should encourage more gun sales.

tetejaun
tetejaun
9 months ago

During the last two years of the Kenyan usurper’s administration, we saw many, many hatchet and hammer attacks. In London, we saw a corporal attacked by a black muslim who proceeded to cut the corporal’s head off as the cowardly Brits stood nearby and filmed it all on their phones. NO ONE lifted a finger to help the corporal, not even using their cars. Cowards.
Same as happens here.

tetejaun
tetejaun
9 months ago

As much as I dearly love my 1911s, there is no way I would carry one for concealed carry. Just too many really good guns designed for that purpose.
Kydex IWB holsters.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
9 months ago
Reply to  Dave Workman

Big and heavy. I used to carry a full size 24/7 LS DS 9mm and it was just uncomfortable for carry IWB all day. I sold it and got a PT111 Millennium G2 9mm and I hardly know I’m carrying it. Sometimes bigger is not better.

gcm
gcm
9 months ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

That’s NOT what she said.

Justista
Justista
9 months ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

Until you need it.

BowserB
BowserB
9 months ago
Reply to  tetejaun

tetejaun…is this a reply to a different article?

Finnky
Finnky
9 months ago
Reply to  BowserB

@Bowsweb46 – See photo at top of article.

RoyD
RoyD
9 months ago

I just wanted to say that I have four of those holsters. One each for a KP95DAO&(DC), KP97DAO, G30, G19 & (23&32). Great holsters if you like leather. I generally use thin Kydex ones now.

BowserB
BowserB
9 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

Another one. Do you guys actually read the articles, or just jump to the comments?

RoyD
RoyD
9 months ago
Reply to  BowserB

Unlike some, Bowserb45, while I can operate within the box I am very comfortable operating outside of it also. Sorry if the dust bothers you; you don’t have to try to keep up, I understand.

Superman
Superman
9 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

Have a staff member at your nursing home screen your replies before you post same.

Finnky
Finnky
9 months ago
Reply to  Superman

@SM – Why are you allowed to post from your padded cell?

RoyD
RoyD
9 months ago
Reply to  Superman

Is that Superman or Simp? The staff here at the home have misplaced my readers again.

ConfusedForeignGirl
ConfusedForeignGirl
9 months ago

My ccl finally arrived in December. After living in California for 4 years, I was really surprised at how easy it was. On the other hand, I wanted to buy a new ar15 but they said I needed to take a class before I could legally purchase one here despite already owning one. So now I’m in the process of building my fist gun. Though of course all the parts I picked out are expensive and it’s taking a while to purchase them on a photographers salary….

tetejaun
tetejaun
9 months ago

ALL ‘gun control’ laws are anti-Constitutional. No class, license or fee can be levied in order for you to ply your Rights.
MOVE to a different state. I moved from California back in 1964. Just leave your California thinking in California.

Finnky
Finnky
9 months ago
Reply to  tetejaun

@TTJ – CA may seem like a lost cause, but it is only lost if we all give up and flee. That said, I’m not willing to move back to carry on that fight or blame anyone else who chooses to escape. Life is too good here, and too much sucks there.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
9 months ago

@CFG, Just out of curiosity, what parts did you pick and what was your criteria when picking them?

ConfusedForeignGirl
ConfusedForeignGirl
9 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@wildbill I’m using an aero precision lower, Law tactical folding adapter, SBA3 pistol brace, CMC single stage trigger 3.5 lb. I haven’t decided on an upper yet but I want to to be 10.5 inches, and I’m going use Troy BUIS and an eotech holisight, and radian raptor charging handle. Oh and I’m getting a bunch of colored anodized red parts from strike industries (like the buffer tube and switches) to make it look pretty. Mainly making it for home defense. I have a 16 inch ar15 but it’s kind of heavy and long for me to shoot when standing… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
9 months ago

@CFG, You do not sound confused. You sound well balanced, well centered, and well versed. You must have permanent resident status. Good for you and good for America!

Vern
Vern
9 months ago

Hey girl, if you make your rifle too pretty, none of the gun guys will be looking at you.
Like WB, I don’t think you are confused at all.

Arny
Arny
9 months ago

Wohooo what ever turns you on & flips your trigger. I like your thinking. Work around the commies.

gcm
gcm
9 months ago

@cfg, your headed in the right direction, buy one, borrow one, or build one, and just keep adding to your collection, and remember the cardinal rule, if you know how many guns you have, you don’t have enough.

Burton69
Burton69
9 months ago

Just an FYI- Sporting Systems down in Vancouver has an online class you can take for free and they will email you your certificate as a PDF file. Daniel Mitchell is a certified Firearms instructor and his ID # is on the certificate. You can use that to buy your rifle. He is also involved in all the lawsuits. Takes about 5 min to complete.