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Universal Background Checks in Washington State

By Representative David Taylor (R-Moxee, Washington State)

On June 11, 2013 an Initiative to the Legislature was filed with the Office of the Secretary of State to require background checks on all transactions involving firearms.  The complete text of the initiative can be found here.  House Bill 1588 (universal background checks/firearms registration) was introduced during the 2013 Legislative Session and received considerable opposition from people all over Washington State.  The initiative contains many of the same provisions as House Bill 1588, but relies on a process which may leave citizens of Washington with little recourse.  Next week, we’ll discuss the problems with the provisions of the proposed measure.

Unlike traditional propositions, Initiatives to the Legislature are provided additional time to gather the required signatures.  Once the initiative is certified, the measure comes before the Legislature for action and this is where things get interesting.  The Legislature has three choices on how to address the initiative.

The Legislature can choose to pass the initiative into law, it can ignore the initiative in which case it would be placed on the ballot for the November 2014 General Election, or the Legislature can pass an alternative measure which would trigger both the original initiative and alternative measure being placed on the ballot.

This initiative is a direct assault on our rights guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution and under Article I, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.  Over the coming months, the people of Washington must stand strong and remind those around us what “shall not be infringed” and “shall not be impaired” means.

They say the best defense is a good offense.  We must go on the offensive, educate people and work to keep this liberty-crushing Initiative from becoming law.  We cannot allow false statements and bogus claims to go unanswered.  We cannot sit silently and hope others will protect our rights.  The time is now.  The line is drawn.  The fight is at hand.

Representative David Taylor is a We Are 1776 columnist, representing Washington State’s 15th District

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