More Fallout from I-594

WDFWJoe Huffman shows how the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is interpreting I-594:

WDFW is the “State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife”. The volunteer instructors to WDFW are considered “law enforcement” or else they would not receive the the exemption described above. And notice that students are not allowed to transfer the guns between themselves. They must transfer the gun to an instructor who then transfers it to another student.

Private instructors, such as myself, would not have an exemption unless we were at an “authorized range” (“authorized” is undefined). We cannot do classroom work than involves gun handling at any other location than an “authorized” range. Even then it is in doubt unless we are using the guns that are “kept at all times” at the range.

When you make a bunch of narrow exemptions, it essentially implies the prohibition against “transfer” is a general one. Bloomberg’s lackeys know damned well how to write legislation. It would have been trivially easy to write a bill that only covered change of title or exempted temporary transfers for a period of time (for instance the 30 days California’s law allows), or exempting transfers between permit holders, as our law allows.

What they did instead was slip in a provision that would help make it difficult and risky to spread the gun culture, under a guise they believed people would ignorantly support. They knew exactly what they were doing. This was not bad drafting.

Our similar law for handguns here in PA is not generally enforced. It’s not even really enforced against criminals, let alone otherwise law abiding people. These laws are put in place to make people feel good. They don’t serve much other useful purpose. There’s likely to be very little risk for a Washingtonian to carry on as you would have before I-594.

8 thoughts on “More Fallout from I-594”

  1. Laws that are widely disliked are often widely flouted by the citizenry. The antis don’t seem to understand that simply passing a law does not magically compell people to comply. Recent registration laws in Connecticutt ans New York come to mind, even though there was ample precedent to low compliance from California’s AW law.

    I have seen many otherwise law abiding Californians do simple cash and carry transfers, despite the law.

    1. “Laws that are widely disliked are often widely flouted by the citizenry.”

      No, they understand it perfectly. It’s a feature, because they can then selectively enforce it on those who are too effective in some other area.

    2. “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”
      ― Ayn Rand

      This does a few things.

      First, it is a generational fight. Older WA residents may just carry on as they have. Newer gun owners — especially those who don’t come into from a family tradition — may not realize that they have had freedom stripped from them and think these rules are a New Normal.

      Second, it allows the state to criminalize almost any gun owner at any time. The cops should be able to get PC justifying an arrest or search warrant by claiming an illegal transfer has occurred very easily. The charges may not ultimately stick but while you can beat the rap, you won’t beat the ride. This is a great tool for an overzealous police dept or DA.

      Third, it allows the state to make gun owners who choose not to comply outlaws. Have you ever lived outside the law? It leads to all sorts of odd situations. For example, say a WA resident has borrowed a firearm from someone in violation of I-594. That firearm is then stolen. Should the theft be reported? Say a WA resident has borrowed a pistol which they then brandish in a perfectly legitimate defensive use against a would-be violent attacker… should the encounter be reported? If you’re an outlaw, you don’t get to benefit from the legal system or police system, so you’re probably best off Not Inviting the Man Into Your Life.

      Fourth, we’ve been trumpeting “LAW ABIDING GUN OWNERS!” for so long and hitched our wagon to the Law & Order wing of the GOP that this type of legislation works against us. Gun owners have claimed to be sober, responsible, law-abiding citizens. If you don’t comply with I-594 you are no longer law-abiding, right? And if you don’t zealously comply — and support stiff prosecution for non-compliance — that whole “law abiding” meme goes out the window. Which is why I prefer “peaceable” to “law abiding” but that’s a whole separate issue.

      Finally, all these factors combine to set gun ownership outside the cultural and legal mainstream in a lot of ways. Which is the ultimate goal.

      1. Also, any inability to enforce a law or failure in a law is used as justification for the *next* law.

        Any problems with the language of the law itself will be blamed on them having to “comprimise” with the opposition. Even if no such comprimise happened.

      2. I agree with you mostly. The only thing I’d note is that PA has had this regime for handguns for several generations, and people mostly still ignore the worst parts of it. But I do agree that you risk the new normal with subsequent generations. It’s hard, though, to convince people that something they own isn’t like other property, which can be bought, sold, lent and borrowed freely.

  2. I see MDA and Everytown voulenters trampling through the woods monitoring hunting parties of 2 or more people. Go ahead laugh,after Blomberg and friends get similar laws passed in several other states. (Including Maine) That is going to be the next step…….

    Drones…..they’re out there…………….

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