Oct 6, 2014 Tawnos commented on I-594 Campaign Says Background Check Loophole Failed Woman Killed by Domestic Abuser.
@1 - a well worded universal background checks on all gun purchases initiative or law could get support, even from the NRA or its members. I-594 doesn't do that, it goes a leap further and requires a background check on all transfers, regardless of length, and defines transfers so broadly that it can be reasonably construed that knowing changes in constructive possession constitutes a transfer.

I could support an initiative that required background checks on sales (and, perhaps, loans lasting longer than 30 days), provided those checks could be completed by private citizens without requiring going through an FFL and paying $40 + whatever penalty percent is charged by the FFL for buying a firearm from a third party rather than from them. Make it readily available, anonymous enough, and required for sales only, and you'd defang the majority of opposition (e.g. making it readily available eliminates concerns about costs, anonymous enough mitigates concerns about universal registration, and required for sales gets rid of the problems related to transfers in this initiative).

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Sep 13, 2014 Tawnos commented on Want to Protect Police Officers? Close Gun Sale Loopholes, Group Says.
@14, Analysis of proposed laws takes more than a slogan you can fit on a bumper sticker. I'm sorry that's too complicated for you, perhaps you should avoid voting until that is not the case. Low-information voters suck.
Sep 12, 2014 Tawnos commented on Want to Protect Police Officers? Close Gun Sale Loopholes, Group Says.
@11: Strictly speaking, as the law is worded, if I handed you a firearm, which these two things are, legally:

http://www.slickguns.com/sites/default/f…
http://cdn1.cheaperthandirt.com/ctd_imag…

and you said "hey, I don't want this, what the fuck man?!" we'd both be breaking that law, a gross misdemeanor at the first offense, felony on the second. Of course, you could keep the firearm and there is no legal repercussion for you, you're free and clear under this poorly-worded law. Similarly, I dated my wife for years prior to marrying her. Her mere knowledge of and access to a firearm while I am out of the house would have made me a criminal. That's not a mere inconvenience or mildly annoying, it's threatening me with a prison sentence up to a year and fine of up to five thousand dollars for a crime created out of ignorance and fear. Not to mention the number of trained firearms safety instructors who do not have an FFL and would lose their ability to do such training.

The short of it is that requiring a background check for every transfer is beyond unreasonable, and the exceptions don't restore reasonability. I've taught firearms safety a number of times, and part of doing that involves the temporary transfer of a firearm to another person in order to have them demonstrate safe handling skills. When they're done, they give me back the firearm. Two transfers, both without background checks, both with the potential for gross misdemeanors and/or felonies.

The situations I mentioned about aren't the times it's "wrong", they're the only times it's "legal". You may have never gone shooting outside with friends, hunted, met people at a gun range to shoot together, or owned firearms and asked someone else to store firearms at their house because you were helping someone out that you didn't want to be around firearms due to suicidal ideation (or just were out of town for a month). If you had, you might understand that these aren't rare or merely annoying. Most places charge $40 or more per firearm to transfer it. Additionally, places that are authorized to do transfers are generally in the business of selling firearms, and place additional charges on transfers of used firearms that they have in inventory or can offer in a reasonable time. That places an unreasonable burden on trying to be a responsible and considerate gun owner.

While I'm guessing you don't consider it an issue that warrants the ability to engage in lethal self-defense, there are women (and men) who suddenly find themselves being stalked who desire such an effective means of self-protection, rather than merely having only a cell phone and hopeful thoughts. Why is it that if one of those people is a family member, I can gift them a firearm, but I cannot temporarily transfer it to them without breaking the law? What happens if I gift it and after the issue passes, they gift it back? It wouldn't take much for an overzealous DA to try convicting someone under this law. If you don't think that's possible or even likely, then certainly the city of Renton would never use a cyberstalking law to go after people who are exercising their first amendment rights to lampoon the department, right?

Oh, wait:
http://www.popehat.com/2011/08/04/behead…
http://www.popehat.com/2011/08/10/censor…
http://www.popehat.com/2011/08/12/renton…

Even if it’s correct that the author of the initiative didn’t have that power and ripeness for misuse in mind (doubtful, based on the wording and construction) and even if some DAs wouldn’t charge, what’s to keep a vindictive department from using the law as a club to beat someone they don’t like? I’m sure those people have heard the term “throw the book at them” – it means if you have someone you want to get in trouble for something, you charge them with everything you can and see what sticks. This becoming part of “the book” is intensely scary to anyone who owns or is even around firearms.

Beyond all of that, there are constitutional burdens this law doesn't even begin to meet.

You don't like firearms, I get it. I don't like negligent firearms owners, and nothing I'm saying is meant to indicate that I do. Requiring background checks on the sale of a firearm or firearms is something I may even be able to get behind given the correctly worded laws and protection of rights. What I cannot abide is a law like this one that is so poorly written that I can only surmise it must be intentional.
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Sep 12, 2014 Tawnos commented on Want to Protect Police Officers? Close Gun Sale Loopholes, Group Says.
@9, I enjoy most of Slog and The Stranger, and generally find myself in agreement with them. I just can't seem to understand the mentality about gun owners around here which basically translates to "arrest or kill them all." I'm not looking for an echo chamber of ideas (not that I could find one that is pro-gay, pro-women, pro-education, pro-guns, pro-immigration, pro-public/bicycle transit, pro-free speech, pro-science, pro-healthcare, pro-drugs yet wants a limited government of expressed powers granted by the people... liberal-tarianism rather than libertarianism).

I see comments like @4, which thinks this is about convenience, missing the whole fucking point, or @5, who thinks it's about "giving" guns rather than having possession (constructive or actual) with my permission. Then there are people who are just outright ignorant like @7, who doesn't realize our state has a constitution (the same constitution that has the awesome provision about providing education, both articles/sections appearing in in the proposed 1878 and subsequently strengthened in the ratified 1889 versions of the WA Constitution), as well. How do I reach these people? What they spout is as bad and ignorant as the ones I called while volunteering for R-74*.

I can be convinced about the necessity of background checks on sales, but I haven't yet been - likely due to what proposals have been put forth. What I can't be convinced is that I-594 is in any way a good, nor constitutional, idea.

* Gotta say, though, that whole experience was worth it for the one old guy I was talking with whose wife had recently died, and was going to vote against it but had a change of heart when I asked how he would feel if the state limited his rights and equality with his late wife. He had apparently just gone through watching her in the hospital, and while it was enough to make me tear up on the phone, the idea that others might want to be there for their SO in the same way but were denied made me press forward. I may have been harder than I should have at that point, but knowing how I'd feel if someone tried to deny me access to my now wife, then fiancee, I couldn't help but do so.
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Sep 12, 2014 Tawnos commented on Want to Protect Police Officers? Close Gun Sale Loopholes, Group Says.
There are so many issues with 594 that it needs to go down, hard. It makes becoming a felon way too easy, under the guise of "universal background checks for gun sales in Washington State." The initiative doesn't apply only to sales, but transfers, defined in the initiative as the following:

> (25) "Transfer" means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.

And the law makes transfers, even those that aren't sales, illegal:

> All firearm sales or transfers, in whole or part in this state including without limitation a sale or transfer where either the purchaser or seller or transferee or transferor is in Washington, shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by state or federal law. ...

The only exceptions are as follows. Note that I summarize where I can, but use the actual legal text in a couple cases for reasons that I'll explain after: 1) immediate family members that are gifts; 2) antique firearms; 3) temporary transfers to a non-prohibited person that occur during threat of imminent death or great bodily harm; 4) law enforcement/corrections agencies and law enforcement/corrections officers, US marshals, members of the armed forces or national guard, and federal officials; 5) to and from federally licensed gunsmiths for the purpose of service or repair; 6) temporary transfers between a) spouses and domestic partners, b) "if the temporary transfer occurs, and the firearm is kept at all times, at an established shooting range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located" c) "if the temporary transfer occurs and the transferee's possession of the firearm is exclusively at a lawful organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or while participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the performance" d) to someone under eighteen for lawful hunting, sporting, or educational purposes while they're under adult supervision, e) "while hunting if the hunting is legal in all places where the person to whom the firearm is transferred possesses the firearm and the person to whom the firearm is transferred has completed all training and holds all licenses or permits required for such hunting".

There are a number of problems with the exemptions as written, and I cannot help but think these are intentional.

Under 1), you cannot loan a firearm to an immediate family member. You may only gift it to them. Brother/sister wants to join your dad/mom to go shooting, but both are visiting you and you can't go with them due to other commitments? Disallowed without paying for a transfer each direction.

The provisions of 3) seem good, until you get to the part about non-prohibited person. Since it's the person doing the transfer that would get in trouble, you would have to know all possible reasons that person would be prohibited, about anyone who you might need to help in such a situation. It flies in the face of [established case law](http://courts.mrsc.org/mc/courts/zappell…), which holds that "the statute does not address the unforeseen and sudden situation when an individual is threatened with impending danger. Certainly, the Legislature did not intend for a person threatened with immediate harm to succumb to an attacker rather than act in self-defense. A number of jurisdictions support this view" - yet this legislation acts in entirely the opposite manner.

Number 4) has some interesting implications (an off-duty officer loaning a pistol to an on-duty one for whatever reason), but let's be honest - the cops aren't going to get charged.

At first I thought 6b) was good, but then I re-read it and the surrounding clauses, and realized the word games being played. It's been claimed by those in support of 594 that loaning a firearm for use at a range is allowed, but that's not what the law says. As worded, that section appears to _only_ apply to the firearms that are range rental guns. Note that it says "and the firearm is kept at all times", compared to the following part which states "and the transferee's possession of a firearm is exclusively at". The only guns you are likely to be transferring between people that are kept at a range at all times are those which are owned by the range. So much for "you can still take your friends shooting." Not to mention the other places where you would be doing recreational shooting at a place that isn't "an established shooting range authorized by the governing body..." I have friends who live on large plots of land and we shoot in their backyard. Other times, I go out into "gravel pits" - outdoor shooting areas with good backstops where a group of people can meet up and have an outdoor recreation day. It's super common to try other people's firearms there, but that's not legal. Weirdly, it's fine if you let someone under 18 use the gun for that purpose, just not anyone over 18.

The "all places" clause in 6e) also causes issues. If you are hiking to go high-country hunting with a friend who will be using your rifle, you cannot legally hand them the rifle until you are fully in the area where hunting is legal.

Cases that aren't covered yet I've seen or personally encountered, which can cause legal problems or are asinine:

* Demonstrating firearms safety at home, including teaching load/unload procedure (with snap caps), properly holding a firearm, aiming, etc.
* Going to a courthouse or other such building that has a "firearms check" where the person on duty is a private contractor (whether a cop who is off duty but working another job or just a third party company)
* Issues around constructive possession if someone you live with but aren't married to/in a domestic partnership with has access to your firearms while you are away (either knowing the combination to the safe or where a gun is kept in the house outside a safe).
* Knowing you'll be out of town, leaving your firearms in the safe at a friend's house so that they aren't just left in yours while you're gone.
* While 594 exempts dealers from enforcing use tax requirements, it doesn't absolve transferring parties from having to pay them (it only exempts retail sales tax) or prove they have equivalent credit. With the related registration, I'm sure the DoR could make some peoples' lives miserable.
* Etc

Beyond that, this initiative makes violation the first time a gross misdemeanor, and the second time a class C felony. Even if you were exempt under the law, you have to go to court if charged, because it's an affirmative defense that you met one of the section 4 reasons.

That's why I'm voting "no" on 594; it's a terribly written law that could have significant and tragic consequences both to me and others I care about.
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Jun 12, 2014 Tawnos commented on Pat Robertson to Kids: Don't Call the Cops If Father Threatens Mom With a Gun.
Pat Robertson is full of shit. The cops should be called and the dad should be arrested and prosecuted for domestic violence/assault with a deadly weapon. After conviction, he should lose his rights to own firearms until such time as he is rehabilitated/served his time in a cage.
Jun 11, 2014 Tawnos commented on By Passing Initiative 594, We Have a Chance to Stand Up and Say: "Not One More.".
@104: Can you point me to any jurisprudence that exists in that area for WA? The closest I find are cases dealing with possession by proximity and ease of access, generally related to firearms enhancements to crimes and to felons in possession. The mere act of leaving an unsecured firearm in proximity to another person who has access to it is constituted as having armed that person (e.g. State v. O'Neal 2007, citing State v. Valdobinos 1993 - "A person is "armed" if a weapon is easily accessible and readily available for use, either for offensive or defensive purposes. ").

One could reasonably conclude that if a temporary transfer at an established shooting range must be specifically exempted, so too must all other transfers of even a temporary nature. Given that the home is not such an exempted place, nor are places where shooting may be legal but are outside of an established shooting range, it stands to reason that such transfers would be unlawful under I-594.

Please, if you have evidence to the contrary or case law I missed, share it. I'm willing to listen and even change my view.
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Jun 9, 2014 Tawnos commented on By Passing Initiative 594, We Have a Chance to Stand Up and Say: "Not One More.".
@103: You could link me to the "debunking" and spare me the derision.

By the very wording of I-594, a transfer is any delivery to another person:

(25) "Transfer" means the intended delivery of a firearm to
another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment
including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.

It makes it illegal to transfer without specific exemptions that are called out in state law:

(1) All firearm sales or transfers, in whole or part in
this state
including without limitation a sale or transfer where either the
purchaser or seller or transferee or transferor is in Washington,
shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by
state or federal law. The background check
requirement applies to all
sales or transfers including, but not limited to, sales and transfers
through a licensed dealer, at gun shows, online, and between
unlicensed persons.

The exemptions are being a licensed dealer, paying for a background check through a licensed dealer, for antique firearms, for imminent self-defense (when the person being given the firearm isn't prohibited from receiving it to defend you or someone else), to law enforcement, to a gunsmith for repair, or the following:

f) The temporary transfer of a firearm (i) between spouses or
domestic partners; (ii) if the temporary tran
sfer occurs, and the
firearm is kept at all times, at an established shooting range
authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such
range is located; (iii) if the temporary transfer occurs and the
transferee's possession of the firearm i
s exclusively at a lawful
organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or while
participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group
that uses firearms as a part of the performance; (iv) to a person who
is under eighteen years of
age for lawful hunting, sporting, or
educational purposes while under the direct supervision and control of
a responsible adult who is not prohibited from possessing firearms; or
(v) while hunting if the hunting is legal in all places where the
person to
whom the firearm is transferred possesses the firearm and
the person to whom the firearm is transferred has completed all
training and holds all licenses or permits required for such hunting,
provided that any temporary transfer allowed by this subsection
is
permitted only if the person to whom the firearm is transferred is not
prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law;

Note that the wording of the temporary transfer exemption doesn't cover any of what I said. If you're not at a licensed shooting range and you transfer a firearm - crime, if you're at home and transfer a firearm - crime, if you're trying to temporarily transfer a firearm for safekeeping - crime.

So, again, where has "that" been debunked? Apparently the only thing I can see is that you don't have to pay use tax for transfers any longer, a section I missed in I-594.
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Jun 9, 2014 Tawnos commented on By Passing Initiative 594, We Have a Chance to Stand Up and Say: "Not One More.".
@101: Debunked, by what? I read the initiative.
Jun 9, 2014 Tawnos commented on By Passing Initiative 594, We Have a Chance to Stand Up and Say: "Not One More.".
@44: "This legislation does not infringe on any law-abiding, stable gun owners rights to purchase guns."

However, it makes it illegal for you to so much as hand a firearm to a person in your own home (that would constitute a temporary transfer without a background check at a non-approved place). Same with being in the woods and using your friend's firearm.

It also imposes a significant cost for storing your firearms at a place where people are living if you are out of town or move out of state temporarily. Or if you decide that you shouldn't have firearms in your home for a period of time and wish to temporarily have someone else hold them, you find that the law disincentivizes such responsible behavior.

Transfers cost 40-50 dollars per firearm, and if the seller cannot prove that sales tax has been paid, a use tax must be paid. Many places who are capable of doing the transfers charge an additional fee for firearms transferred that they stock in inventory.

Finally, the initiative does nothing to stop any of the spotlight issues that have happened recently. So I disagree that it doesn't infringe on rights. Perhaps not the small subset you presented (purchasing guns), but on the broader rights of property ownership and stewardship.
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