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Monday, February 4, 2013

State House Republicans Introduce Bill to Nullify Federal Gun Laws, Imprison Federal Agents, and Enact "Stand Your Ground" in Washington State ('Cause State House Republicans Are Fucking Crazy)

Posted by on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 3:14 PM

If it's not the craziest fucking bill filed in Olympia this session, HB 1371, the Washington State Firearms Freedom Act of 2013, certainly ranks right up there. The bill, among other things, seeks to nullify federal gun laws, making enforcement of said laws by federal agents a felony under state law, punishable by up to five years in jail.

Because that wouldn't trigger a constitutional crisis, no.

The bill is based upon some fringe constitutional theory that claims that the ninth and tenth amendments "reserve to the state and people of Washington certain powers as they were understood at the time that Washington was admitted to statehood in 1889." By that measure, Jim Crow laws would be perfectly legal in Washington state, regardless of the past century and a quarter of federal legislation and jurisprudence. Indeed, slavery would presumedly still be legal throughout the states of the Confederacy because that was a state power as it was understood at the time that these states were admitted to the union. Interesting theory. The ninth and tenth amendments also, the bill concludes, reserve the regulation of intrastate commerce to the states.

With this novel constitutional foundation in place, the bill then declares that all firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories manufactured in Washington State, and that remain within its borders are "not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration." So there! I guess.

Similar to our recently passed pot legalization law, HB 1371 instructs state officials not to enforce federal laws on such intrastate firearms. But the bill goes much further, declaring any federal official who attempts to enforce such laws within Washington's borders to be guilty of a felony punishable by between one and five years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Watch your step, ATF!

But wait, there's more! The bill also nullifies any and all federal laws enacted or effective on or after January 1, 2013, that attempt to ban or restrict ownership of semiautomatic weapons or high capacity magazines, or that require registration of any weapon. Section 11 (1)(d) also slips in a "stand your ground" provision (thanks, ALEC!). And finally, the bill would strike a provision in current statute that permits the governor to temporarily prohibit during a state of emergency the possession of firearms outside of one's home or business. Because nothing makes one feel safer during an emergency than roving bands of armed civilians.

And to be clear, this bill isn't just the work of some lone nut job. Ten Republican state representatives signed onto this bill, which is just one of a series of related Firearms Freedom Acts being introduced in legislatures throughout the nation. Faced with a wave of public sentiment demanding tighter gun laws, Republicans just double down and go full crazy. Because that's how Republicans roll.


Comments (39) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I'm not one to defend my need to stockpile military style assault weapons on on any kind of rational basis, but consider this liberals; given how strongly many of us feel about our guns maybe it would be easier just to let us have them?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on February 4, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Ziggity 2
@1: Given how strongly slaveowners felt about their slaves maybe it would just be easier to let them have them? In other words, since when is conviction the imprimatur of correctness? In other other words, who told you that doing the right thing was easy?
Posted by Ziggity on February 4, 2013 at 3:32 PM · Report this
Liberals and neoconservatives are basically ideologically the same. Both hate the constitution and love a police state.
Posted by Thestrangeraintwhatitusedtobe. on February 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Dougsf 4
Perhaps firearms and ammunition manufactured in Washington State at the time or before its inclusion in the Union should be free of restriction.
Posted by Dougsf on February 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
You sound like a nutjob yourself.
Posted by Mark Strickland on February 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
@1 Isn't it a little premature to be begging for mercy?
Posted by Alden on February 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this

Well, that is rather the pertinent question: exactly how big IS the firearms manufacturing industry in WA state?
Posted by COMTE on February 4, 2013 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Anybody else notice that this bill would no longer allow the governor to prohibit, duing a state of emergency:

"The possession of firearms or any other deadly weapon by a person (other than a law enforcement officer) in a place other than that person's place of residence or business;"

and instead...

"During the continuance of any state of emergency, neither the governor nor any governmental entity or political subdivision of the state shall impose any restriction on the possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition that is
otherwise authorized or guaranteed by law."

Take note all ye Portland anarchists who want to do more than just spray paint cars come, the next WTO (or whatever) riots.
Posted by slnk on February 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Please explain to me how I can ensure that harmless, somewhat nutty, basically responsible gun enthusiasts are free to build elaborate shrines to their weapon collections in their homes without simultaneously flooding the streets with cheap guns for use in crimes, accidents, drunken tragedies, and needless escalations - not to mention providing the guns for the occasional larger-scale atrocity. Explain how I make that happen, and you can keep all the guns you like.

Similarly: suppose I'm fairly convinced I could drive at 40 in school zones completely safely. Mind you, I'm probably wrong, but let's ignore that for a minute and say I'm just that good behind the wheel. Heck, let's say most people could be trusted to do that, or do drive home a bit sozzled, or what have you. It isn't necessarily the safe majority regulations need to be written for.
Posted by Warren Terra on February 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
trstr 10
Oh Goldy, why don't you run some more close up photographs of people that you assume are mentally handicapped (or otherwise look dodgy due to facial features) buying guns? That was some sick fucked up shit that you fuckers pulled last week.
Posted by trstr on February 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Dougsf 11
@7 - Or for the sake of consistency, how big was the firearms manufacturing industry in Washington state in 1889? I'm not an expert, but I don't believe there was any.

Posted by Dougsf on February 4, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Goldy 12
@10 Really? "Mentally handicapped"...? I didn't see that in the pictures. I think you're projecting.
Posted by Goldy on February 4, 2013 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
Maybe they think the feds will try to take our MJ from us?

Either that or they want more 88 year olds killing nursing home employees?

Sad thing is, most hunters and ex-military don't buy any of these "pro-gun" arguments either.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 14

Well, yes, of course. Since you have explained that you're not rational and not interested in being rational then I can't think of any reason in the world to take your guns away.

I'm seeing a bumper sticker campaign here:

You take rationality, I'll take my guns!

My love of guns is beyond all reason. Keep it that way, America.

Rational? No. Armed? Yes!

The NRA could totally use this.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
Posted by meanie on February 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM · Report this
trstr 16

Explain the last four photos here:…

Now, if you'd like to maintain that those four specific, highlighted photos are just random shots and not at all stir up fear in your readers, go right ahead. The opposite readily transparent to anyone viewing them.

And if you'd like to maintain that your highlighting - in bold typeface! - that OH MY GOD, CRAZY PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE GUNS! isn't marginalizing and demeaning those who are considered by society to be odd, or to be weird, or to be queer, well then, you're just being a typical slimy journalist.

Because, as we all know, guns are only to be used as accouterments in bars owned by Linda Derschang.
Posted by trstr on February 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM · Report this
@9 The 55 mph speed limit was a proven life saver, but we got rid of that because people wanted to drive fast. I don't have time to dig up any statistics on the subject, but it wouldn't surprise me if the number of lives saved by reinstating the 55 mph speed limit and passing Sen. Feinstein's assault weapons ban were about the same. Remember, 'assault weapons' are used in very few gun murders (3-5%) so the AWB wouldn't make much of a difference in overall gun violence.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on February 4, 2013 at 6:03 PM · Report this
Sounds more and more like the Utard republican legislators have invaded Washington State.
Posted by StuckInUtah on February 4, 2013 at 6:07 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 19
@16 - I looked at those photos, and it didn't even occur to me that this guy might be mentally handicapped. I assumed he was a Christian: he has that air of gentleness/serenity about him. But he doesn't look dumb to me.

What exactly about this guy gave you that impression? Be specific.
Posted by Free Lunch on February 4, 2013 at 6:12 PM · Report this
Goldy 20
@16 You're crazy. First of all, Kelly took those photos, and while I can't speak for her, I assume those final four were meant to illustrate a cash-for-guns sale in action.

Second, the buyer is David, who I wrote about here, and who I described as "friendly, well spoken, and knowledgable."

I don't see what you see in those pictures at all, but perhaps my perception is colored by actually meeting the guy.
Posted by Goldy on February 4, 2013 at 6:58 PM · Report this
No one "lets us have them". They are a right, just like all the others. Comparing gun ownership to owning slaves is just assanine. You should try and inject at least a modicum of logic in your twisted argument. If you want them so bad, just come and take them. Bring more harsh language, that should work...
Posted by DWS on February 4, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 22
look out, big man with a gun @21!

every right in the constitution has limits and regulations. moving the line for the 2nd a little closer to sanity is not the apocalypse.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 4, 2013 at 7:35 PM · Report this
@17 - wasn't the 55 mph thing a gas saving measure? Nothing to do with safety?
Posted by gnot on February 4, 2013 at 7:45 PM · Report this
Ziggity 24
@21: You might choose to read comment #1, which I was responding to. Mr. Mehlman believes that the conviction of gun owners should be sufficient reason to give up on any chance at modifying laws. By comparing his statement with slavery I was merely indicating that history has trumped this idea repeatedly and soundly.

I was not equating gun ownership with to slave ownership, but given that your immediate response to an adult conversation was to threaten violence, well, perhaps there's more to be said about how both exhibit a cowardice that fears the light of scrutiny in civil society. But if there is, I'll let you say it, as you're much more eloquent about it.
Posted by Ziggity on February 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM · Report this
@23 The 55 mph speed limit was originally imposed to save gas. It was kept around for so long because it saved lives. Anyway, the point is that the Assault Weapons Ban will save very few lives and will encounter stiff resistance from gun owners. Maybe Obama should focus his energy elsewhere?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on February 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM · Report this
Goldy 26
@25 Right. You're suggesting that Obama pragmatically compromise and drop efforts for an assault weapon, meeting gun owners right in the middle.... at the same time Republicans nationwide are pushing the right-wing-fringe envelope by introducing legislation like the one covered in this post.

Yeah. That would be real smart politics on Obama's part. Thanks for your helpful suggestion.
Posted by Goldy on February 4, 2013 at 8:25 PM · Report this
I'm inclined to conclude that republicans are quickly becoming a problem in search of a 2nd amendment solution.
Posted by Pol Pot on February 4, 2013 at 8:56 PM · Report this
@26 Do you think an AWB will have any meaningful impact on gun violence?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on February 4, 2013 at 9:11 PM · Report this
seatackled 29
21 can talk big, because that's what they do, but it's been noted frequently in the last few months that if the government comes after you for your guns, you're not holding them off.

We found that out today in Alabama, with good results. But I guess if you want to hold off the government for at least a few days, you can always try taking a kindergartner hostage.
Posted by seatackled on February 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM · Report this
fitzms 30
Wow, the republicans are getting fucking crazier by the second.
Posted by fitzms on February 4, 2013 at 10:35 PM · Report this
What the fuck SLOG. How can you possibly be so much for freedom in all forms, EXCEPT the freedom to bear arms. So in love with the Bill of Rights, EXCEPT the 2nd Ammendment.

It's sad, how wrong wrong wrong you've ended up on this issue.

Disarming law abiding citizens in the vain and tragically naive hope that it will alter a criminal's behaviour a single fucking iota. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.
Posted by Chris10101 on February 4, 2013 at 11:33 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 32
Well, if you think it is ok to pass a law that says you do not respect federal law in regard to marijuana, why is it so crazy to think you can pass a law saying you are not going to respect federal law in regard to guns?

Obviously I would rather see lots of weed on the streets rather than guns, and I do not mean to make an equivalency based on the actual item, but is it really that surprising?

The left wants to ignore federal drug law, and the right wants to ignore federal gun law. It can cut both ways. Also, I was under the impression WA was already a "stand your ground" state. Does this law expand that idea of self-defense or something?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 5, 2013 at 5:41 AM · Report this
@32- false equivalency. Marijuana laws have resulted in massive incarceration, with racial bias, for possession of a nearly harmless substance. Washington and Colorado have begun a legal process to end an injustice.
On the other hand, no one is advocating anything other than that the language of the constitution (well regulated) be followed . Guns are not going to be outlawed, banned or confiscated. It does not cut both ways.
And no, Washington is not a stand your ground state.
Posted by Pol Pot on February 5, 2013 at 6:28 AM · Report this
Goldy 34
@32 I explained it in the post. There's a difference between not enforcing federal law and prosecuting federal agents for enforcing federal law. That's what makes this so crazy. They're threatening ATF, FBI, US Marshall, US Attorneys, etc. with five years in jail for doing their job.
Posted by Goldy on February 5, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this
Just wait until this bill goes federal. Wouldn't be surprised if something like this gets introduced by a TBagger in Congress.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on February 5, 2013 at 9:05 AM · Report this
The Republicans are crazy like foxes. By continuing to stir up psychotic, anti-government, insurrectionist rhetoric, they're in effect creating more and more of an incentive to further militarize domestic law enforcement until it really is utterly indistinguishable from the military. They did a great job with the drug war (which the Democrats played right into, btw) in creating police who have more weapons than most countries armies - now with all of these armed to the teeth crackpots frothing at the mouth, who's to say that instituting domestic drone programs is an unreasonable step to take against repeatedly stated threats against the federal government?
Posted by johnjjeeves on February 5, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
venomlash 37
@34: Word.
Posted by venomlash on February 5, 2013 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 38

"Just doing their jobs" that sounds familiar, never mind that their jobs are in direct conflict with the Bill of Rights, but Goldstein never stuck me as much of a Constitutional scholar. The repugnant little racist authoritarian who only believes that freedom only exist when it stays with in the realm of his own narrow beliefs.

This law has already passed in much of the west, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona.

I think you are living in the wrong part of the country David, perhaps you should move to New York or Chicago. Somewhere where you have more corrupt liberal politicians to lick the boots of.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on February 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
For what it's worth as of 02/06/2013 the bill is locked in the House Judiciary Committee, and may die there due to not receiving a hearing. This is the response I recieved from Sen. Pam Roach.

So far, HB 1371 is not scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. The committee chair is Representative Jamie Pedersen, whose district is the core of Seattle. As chair, Rep. Pedersen controls the agenda for that committee. Rep. Pedersen would have to be convinced HB 1371 should be heard, so the bill can be then voted to be advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee for an eventual floor vote, so it could then be passed over to the Senate for similar considerations. That's just how the process works. If the committee chair sits on the bill with no hearing, it just dies and does not continue with any chance to become law.

I'm not optimistic that Rep. Pedersen would be so disposed to give favorable consideration to HB 1371, but we can hope. In any case, though, the process at present would be for Rep. Pedersen to be convinced the bill should be heard. His email is: His office number is (360) 786-7826.

Best of luck to you, your efforts are important.

If you want House Bill 1371 to be heard it's up to all of us to contact Rep. Jamie Pedersen and remind him that when he was sworn in he took an oath to protect the rights of the PEOPLE, this includes the second amendment regardless of his personal beleifs.
His email is:
His office number is (360) 786-7826
Posted by torqtec on February 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this

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