My Letter to Matt Shea

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Jered
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My Letter to Matt Shea

Postby Jered » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:51 am

He's proposed a bill to repeal I-594. Since that's a fucked up law, I suggested that he propose a bill to get the police to enforce it to gain some traction.

Here's the letter that I wrote to him:
I am writing you as a former Washington State resident who has since moved to Montana, but still has an interest in Washington State politics. I voted against I-594 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it is an extremely poorly written piece of legislation. I'm a member of the firearms community, and via facebook, I can keep in contact with my fellows in Washington State.

Like you, I share an interest in the repeal of I-594. However, rather than a piece of legislation proposing the direct repeal of I-594, if you want to get rid of I-594, you might be better of to pass legislation that requires law enforcement agencies to enforce I-594 exactly as it is written in RCW 9.41.113. That's the section of law that requires a background check for the transfer of all firearms.

Of course, the people who wrote I-594 did not revise the definition of a firearm to reflect anything consistent with the definition of a firearm as promulgated by the BATFE. Hence, a plain reading of the statute leads one to believe that an AR-15 lower receiver, while a firearm pursuant to BATFE regulations, is not a firearm pursuant to RCW 9.41.010, the portion of the law that defines a firearm for the purpose of I-594. In that section of law, a firearm is defined as, "a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by means of an explosive such as gunpowder."

In common usage, a device is something adapted to a particular purpose. In this case, that purpose is firing a projectile or projectiles by means of an explosive such as gunpowder. In this case, it seems that tools such as powder actuated nailguns, flare guns, and certain fireworks are firearms as defined by I-594 because they are devices that fire a projectile by means of an explosive.

Based on a plain reading of the law, it seems that the people behind it, based on their poor proofreading and understanding of firearms, have criminalized the sale of fireworks, tools, and distress signals because of their incompetence. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, there has been one arrest made as a result of I-594. Since no law enforcement agency has actually enforced that law, no one knows how poorly that it is written.

If you want people to oppose this law, you need to expose them to how broadly it defines a firearm, so, in my opinion, you should author a bill, that instead of calling for the repeal of I-594, calls for state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce it to the fullest extent possible. My idea here is to cause local police to arrest people who sell things like flare guns, powder actuated nail guns, and fireworks. If people start getting arrested for selling tools on craigslist or buying fireworks, then, they might realize how bad that law is, and you should be able to get it repealed.
The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

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