WA Gun Control Battle Puts Democrat Hypocrisy in Spotlight

State preemption is on the line in Washington state, where anti-gun Democrats have inadvertently revealed their hypocrisy on the subject of state versus local gun control laws.

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- The battle over gun rights versus gun control in Washington State is heating up, and this Friday, Jan. 27, the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary will be holding an executive session to discuss at least four piece of legislation which—whatever else they do—illustrate the stunning hypocrisy of anti-gun Democrats.

(Full disclosure, this correspondent testified before the committee on Jan. 17 in opposition to House Bill 1178, a measure to repeal Washington’s 40-year-old state preemption law.)

The bill’s Democrat sponsors want to roll the calendar back to a time when the state had a checkerboard of differing local gun control ordinances. They changed from one jurisdiction to another, usually confusing and often conflicting. In 1983 and again in 1985, lawmakers of a different era joined together to fix that problem, giving the Legislature sole authority to set state gun laws. Anti-gun mayors and city councils have been trying ever since to challenge and nullify the law and have failed, including last year when the state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the law against a “safe storage” mandate adopted by the City of Edmonds.

The suspicion among Second Amendment activists is today’s far-left Democrats want to make the gun law scheme in Washington discouraging to gun owners. Preemption provides uniformity in gun laws from border to border. The bill’s sponsors and supporters insist local control rather than statewide gun law uniformity better addresses violent crime problems.

However, this notion conflicts with Democrats’ position on House Bill 1240, which would mandate a statewide ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Suddenly, anti-gunners believe a law affecting the entire state—not just different localities—is necessary. Perhaps the biggest canard—according to Evergreen State activists—came from Rep. Strom Peterson, an Edmonds Democrat and backer of the gun ban, when he insisted during testimony, “This is not a bill about going after people’s guns.”

Yet another example of the hypocrisy is House Bill 1143, which imposes a new statewide mandate for citizens to obtain a permit to purchase, requiring the completion of a safety training course and background check to include fingerprinting. There is also a new ten-day waiting period.

A similar measure, House Bill 1144, would require record keeping of all transfers and establish a 10-day waiting period, KOMO News reported. The bill would also require firearms training and “updates” to Washington’s background check system.

An important opponent of both proposals is Walla Walla County, Sheriff Mark Crider. He told the committee, “I think they create a state registry and database of gun owners.”

The fingerprint requirement, Sheriff Crider noted, “It puts a burden on every county sheriff in the state. We don’t have the resources to fingerprint all the citizens in Walla Walla County.”

The top five items on this Friday’s agenda are:

  1. HB 1178 – Concerning local government authority to regulate firearms.
  2. HB 1143 – Concerning requirements for the purchase or transfer of firearms.
  3. HB 1144 – Enhancing requirements for the purchase or transfer of firearms.
  4. HB 1240 – Establishing firearms-related safety measures to increase public safety.
  5. HB 1195 – Prohibiting the open carry of certain weapons in public parks and public hospitals.

The session is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Firearms retailer and Second Amendment activist Dan Mitchell has posted an alert on the Facebook Page of the Washington 2023 Legislative Action Group.

There is an interesting poll going on at the KOMO-TV website, which shows overwhelming opposition to new gun control laws. The online survey asks “How do you feel about existing gun control in Washington state?”

Since the question was first asked, the numbers have changed very little.

  • We need more: 12-13%
  • We need less: 84-85%
  • I’m unsure: 3%

KOMO is the ABC affiliate in Seattle. It is unknown how many state lawmakers watch this station’s newscasts, or how many pay attention to the polling the station routinely conducts. Even though the KOMO survey is an unscientific project, it is still reflective of a heavy opposition to the additional gun restrictions Evergreen State Democrats hope to impose this year.

Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested HB 1240. They have been trying to ban semi-auto rifles for the past few years. They apparently believe with a Democrat majority that improved slightly with last November’s election, they can get this bill passed.

Waiting in the wings are gun rights organizations, particularly the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation. Both groups are headquartered in Bellevue, an upscale city about 70 miles north of the state capitol in Olympia. SAF especially has shown no reluctance to challenge semi-auto bans, and both groups are currently plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the ban in Maryland that has already been granted certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court. Last June, after accepting the case, the high court vacated a lower court ruling upholding the Maryland ban and remanded the case back to that court for further action under new guidelines created by the Bruen ruling, which scrapped the two-step process invented by lower courts to determine the outcome of Second Amendment cases, virtually always in favor of the government. Not anymore.

If the House committee recommends any or all of these measures for passage before the full House, they must still get through the State Senate, where Republicans and some Democrats in the handful of swing districts remaining in the state might prevent them from moving.

The Gun Rights Coalition has set Thursday, Feb. 23 as “Gun Rights Lobby Day” at the state capitol. This group has almost 16,000 members statewide.

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.

Dave Workman

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Thanks for the heads up Dave. I will be there at the event. And I have contacted my pathetic district 24 representatives and asked them not to support any new gun regulations.


I might show up but if I do it will be with my gun and carry permit under Utah because Washington does not recognize Oregon permits yet I got my Utah permit with my Oregone license. Go figure.

Constitutional carry all across America and if not, national reciprocity. It’s the only answer to our pestilence problem with Antifa, thugs, MS13, cartels and criminals in general.

Have a great time and good luck.


This would be a good time to communicate with your representatives!


They don’t listen, plain and simple. They have a no-contact shield around them when it comes to gun control opposition. Every time I voice my opposition to another gun control prop., I get an irrelevant form letter back, loaded with placations and phony “thanks for your interest on this issue and for reaching out to me”. They’re only seen by a staffer shortly before hitting the shredder.


Ever think of sending a letter to your representative via Fed-X to his State or DC office with a formal complaint against the gatekeeper staffing problem?


Yes, you are right. The answer back is a form letter and they never address why you sent the your letter to them. In other words, YOUR concerns never reach their ears at all.

Rob J

Thank you for testifying Dave! I have reached out to all three of my public representatives on this. Fortunately I have received prompt and supportive response so far in regards to my contact and have had my oppositions officially noted. It is extremely important for all residents of WA to contact all 3 of their public representatives (a simple district verification and submission form on all of the bills above) even if you believe or know they will not oppose. In fact, these are the people that need to hear it the most because they believe any voice not raised… Read more »


The SCOTUS will deal with this and the BRUEN decision pretty much makes takes care of this BS . But nice try liberal gun grabbing clowns.


They’re not just coming for our guns. They refuse to fix the anti-pursuit law hindering the police, and even though we have a state constitutional amendment banning an income tax, unless imposed evenly for every citizen, the libtards in charge are trying to impose an income tax on the top 1% of the wealthy wage earners. A trifecta of liberal insanity.


Are any of the top 1% wage earners in WA pro-gun? Do any of them lean conservative? I understand the tax may be unconstitutional but I don’t weep for Bill Gates and others of his ilk.


may be true but there exist very wealthy folks in Washingtin who do NOcome from the same mould as Billy the Gates. If the tax is unconstitutioan I don’t even ant tosee it imposed on Gates.We REMAIN a nation of laws, remember? Hold them to it.


We don’t have taxes here in oregoneistan but yet when you buy a new car, now there is a 3 percent fee that you have to pay. We do have income tax which you don’t have. Isn’t it funny that when you don’t have taxes they always come up with some kind of fee? If they don’t manage to get the new tax through expect there to be some kind of new fee just like when buying ammunition in your state where it is in close proximity to Seattle. I wonder when Oregoneistan and Washington are going to ban purchasing… Read more »


Okay that’s good but the gun lobby & gun owners have to finance any lawsuit challenging this, while the establishment can use taxpayer funding to bleed the opposition dry.


Hence the reason for more taxes.


Yes, SCOTUS will dealwiththis.. but WHEN? Jow many Washington residents will have been charged with violating one of these new laws driving throughsome wretched hellhole like Edmonds (yu can’t come cross sound on the ferry without coming through Edmonds)before that happens, and at a cost of how many millions in legal costs to regain a right we never should ave lost?

WHEN will these traitorous cretins be deal with per their oath of office?


Perhaps the biggest canard—according to Evergreen State activists—came from Rep. Strom Thurmond, an Edmonds Democrat and backer of the gun ban, when he insisted during testimony, “This is not a bill about going after people’s guns.”

This has me very confused. I could not find a ‘Rep Strom Thurmond’ listed as a current WA state Rep and the only Strom Thurmond I am familiar with was for NC and he passed away in 2003.


It’s Strom Peterson.


Thank you!


Relax, Dave, you are aging like a fine wine like many of us… I may be more of a Boone’s Farm vintage, but just the same.

Wild Bill

Dave is a good egg.


I can remember that wine like it was yesterday. Gooood Stuff!


Dave, I wasn’t trying to rip on you. I was honestly confused. I did look up the WA Reps because it is not unknown for political families to move where they can be elected and to ride on the ‘family name’.


I’m convinced. ANYONE who thinks a LAW is going to stop criminal behavior is mentally challenged and needs to seek psychiatric care and get on some drugs that will kill them. Seriously, these people are as close to insane as you can get. After all, doesn’t doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results qualify as a correct definition of the word INSANITY?


But, we always come back to the enforcement of these bogus laws, which is done via the 100% corrupted legal system! The fake judges act in collusion with their prostituting attorneys to get CONVICTIONS on people, because that is what keeps the jails and prisons filled up and making money for the cities and counties! Every courtroom in America is listed in Dun & Bradstreet as a business, because that is what they are! They are set up to generate revenue, and NOT to dispense any real justice. It’s only by pure accident, that any man or woman gets real… Read more »