Monday, October 13, 2014

Washington Voters to Choose - Background Checks on Private Sales - Or Not

Local news reports

Voting begins this week to decide a long-brewing duel of ballot measures involving guns — one to require background checks on the buyers involved in nearly every weapon sale in the state, the other to block expansion of existing law.
In all, more than $10 million is being spent in the nation's only electoral combat between backers of gun rights and gun control this year.
Most of the money, and nearly all the attention, is on Initiative 594, which would expand state law to require background checks on private sales of firearms, such as transactions conducted online and at gun shows.
Just above this measure on the ballot is Initiative 591, which would bar the state from enacting rules on background checks that exceed the requirements of federal law.
In other words, it would prevent everything that I-594 sets out to do.
State and federal laws require background checks to buy a pistol and other types of guns from federally licensed firearms dealers but are silent on purchases from private sellers.
Initiative 594 sponsors say that the unregulated private market is where criminals and those barred from buying a weapon — because of a mental illness or a domestic-violence protective order — do their shopping.
Closing what they deem a loophole in the law will make it harder for felons and other potentially dangerous people to evade a background checks and obtain guns, said Geoff Potter of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the committee conducting the pro-594 campaign.
If passed, I-594 won't prevent people from buying a gun online or at a private gun show, said Kristin Meilicke, of Edmonds, at an Edmonds City Council hearing on Tuesday.

39 comments:

  1. Great to put basic human rights up for popular vote. We should do the same for gay marriage or banning certain religions,

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    1. Which basic human rights are you talking about?

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    2. The natural right to self defense, and to own common defensive weapons as recognized in the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

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    3. Nowhere in the 2nd A do the words "self defense" appear, and arms are not defined as defensive weapons.

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    4. When the 2A was written, the "arms" they were talking about were the same for the government and the militiamen. How could such a concept possible apply today? How could anyone define exactly what "common defensive weapons" we're talking about today? Someone could easily demand the right to own stinger missiles, at least if you're bizarre idea about "common defensive weapons" made sense. How else is one to protect oneself against government drones and black helicopters?

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    5. Ah, so now it's not that the militia doesn't exist but that appropriate weapons would be too dangerous.

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    6. "How could anyone define exactly what "common defensive weapons" we're talking about today? Someone could easily demand the right to own stinger missiles, at least if you're bizarre idea about "common defensive weapons" made sense. How else is one to protect oneself against government drones and black helicopters?"

      The interesting thing Mike is that not many are asking for the Stingers, just semi-auto versions of the current light arms. Yet for some reason even that seems to be too scary.
      But then, we have but to look at Afghans did against the Russians not so very long ago.

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    7. "Ah, so now it's not that the militia doesn't exist but that appropriate weapons would be too dangerous."

      It's both.

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    8. We know for sure the 2nd A written over 250 years ago was not talking about the weapons available today in 2014.

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    9. "We know for sure the 2nd A written over 250 years ago was not talking about the weapons available today in 2014."

      Anon, we seemed to have no problem applying the First Amendment to technologies available now. Yet for some reason, the powers that be have trouble making the same logical leap in applying less drastic technological advances to the Second Amendment.
      After all, there were no electronics at all 250 years ago, and firearms were already in use.

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    10. Just like we know that the 1st Amendment, written over 250 years ago, was not talking about the modes of speech and publishing available today in 2014.


      You are a dumbass.

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    11. You and GC has this ridiculous notion that a PC is a protected right under the first amendment. I can only laugh at that. When GC said it I laughed. Talk about a dumbass.

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    12. ss, every time you guys compare the 2A to the 1A, you seem to leave out of the picture the fact that there are common sense restrictions on the 1st. It is not un-infringed either.

      About the weapons intended by arms in 1790 compared to the weapons that are available today, there's no comparison. Not even the most extreme gun-rights fanatic demands the right to own some of the heavy military weapons of war.

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    13. "Not even the most extreme gun-rights fanatic demands the right to own some of the heavy military weapons of war."

      I know that. And as I said earlier, most would be quite happy to let the existing laws remain in place. Others however aren't satisfied and wish to enact federal legislation restricting something used in a very small percentage of violent crime.

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    14. Let's see if you can list and properly describe some of those "common sense restrictions on the 1st."

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    15. Why, do you think there are none?

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    16. There are limitations to what is protected speech and what is not protected, but I have yet to hear any of these issues properly described by gun control proponents.

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    17. Instead, We get, "You can't yell fire in a crowded theater, and if you can restrict the first amendment that way, you can restrict the second in any way we want."

      If you can't see the problems in that argument--the inaccurate statements of law and inexact application of it, there's little that can be done to help you.

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    18. All rights come with limitations, that's the point. Do you have a problem with that? In other words the "shall not be infringed" part of the 2A is not to be taken literally at least not in its extreme sense.

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    19. "shall not be infringed" has been decided by judges for decades to not mean no limitations. Felons can be banned from a right to a gun. There are other examples. There are limitations on all rights.

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    20. Anonymous at 7:41 PM. BZZZZZ Wrong. For a long time the court never even discussed the meaning of "shall not be infringed." The scant jurisprudence on the topic mainly consisted of dodges wherein the court would state that the given situations were outside the scope of the amendment--a description of what could and couldn't be infringed was, therefore, outside the scope of the cases. The court only discussed what limitations were allowed in the situations where they found the amendment applicable.

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    21. Mike,

      My problem with your statement is that it is inexact, and that this lack of specificity leads to the erosion of rights. The government's ability to proscribe speech that directly incites violence or illegal activity is not because "the right to free speech is not unlimited" it is because direct incitements to violence are not considered protected speech.

      The government can't stop asshole racists from calling for the elimination of the rights of other races because that still falls under the category of protected speech. Meanwhile, it can stop them if they are holding a rally and calling for the people at the rally to start lynching passers by.

      Similarly, non-protected weapons, e.g. nuclear weapons, can be proscribed, but whatever weapons are protected, but whatever weapons are covered, for the sake of argument let's say at least muzzle loaders (though I think, and the court has agreed, it goes further), cannot be outlawed.

      As for the felons issue, the constitution says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law--the prohibition on felons, as well as other aspects of infamy, attach to them by the operation of due process. This isn't a matter of the right not being absolute--it is a matter of them losing a right as a punishment for a crime they have been convicted of.

      This is why I have this huge problem with your inaccurate, sloppy legal statements.

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    22. Doubt I'll keep checking this old thread--maybe you want to raise this issue in a new post--everyone could benefit from a better understanding of the issues involved as they apply to all rights.

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    23. Sorry anon., you are wrong. If you were right there would be no limitations, but there are and the courts have upheld those limitations. I guess the BZZZZ are the sounds you hear in your head.

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  2. Typical for today's society. Either, or. No compromise for common sense safety.

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  3. What really bugs me about the 594 debate is how so much of the code is left out of the discussion to make 594 look “reasonable”. Here is my modification of one of the paragraphs to better reflect what 594 really does.

    Most of the money, and nearly all the attention, is on Initiative 594, which would expand state criminal law to the private sales, loaning, and sharing of firearms, such as transactions conducted online and at gun shows, letting a friend check out your gun in your own home, or using a common gun for a CCW training class.

    It’s quite a bit less common of sense when we’re more honest about the bill, isn’t it?

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    1. Who wrote this?

      "letting a friend check out your gun in your own home"

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    2. The writers of the bill did by not exempting that activity. It's an illegal transfer.

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    3. Wrong. You wrote it. It's your deduction. You wrote it.

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    4. If you are saying it is not an illegal transfer then cite the section of code that exempts it. You provided a link to the text of the bill your post. I strongly suspect you never read it.

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    5. What I said is the bill does not contain the following nonsense that you made up:

      ""letting a friend check out your gun in your own home""

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    6. That's an illegal transfer under this initiative. Did you read the text of the bill?

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    7. Did you answer my question?

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    8. Ok, you asked for it. But don’t call me out on this and then keep saying “nuh-uh” without reading the bill like you did for the San Francisco Ban. Do your homework to refute it by reading and citing the bill, or admit that I am right.

      First, text of the bill:

      http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_483.pdf

      Here is the main private sale banning language (my bold emphasis):

      (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.
      […]
      (3) Where neither party to a prospective firearms transaction is a licensed dealer, the parties to the transaction shall complete the sale or transfer through a licensed dealer as follows:


      Summarized- if you are not a dealer, you can’t make a sale or transfer of a firearm. So what is a transfer?

      (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.

      The bill does not define what a loan is. But let us make a favorable assumption for you that a loan is some type of long term borrowing and does not include someone handling or using a gun in the presence of the owner. Still, you can see clearly that the restriction is not limited to loans- it goes beyond that with the wording “but not limited to”. The language here is “intended delivery”. At least if someone picks up your gun without your consent, you haven’t committed a crime. Awfully generous of them.

      So how do we know that the law is to apply to short term supervised handling? By looking at the exemptions. Below is the training exemption language:

      (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

      If the law isn’t banning short-term supervised handling of a gun, there would be no need for this exemption for “educational purposes”. So the handling must be educational, and the key line here is that it is only for educating a minor. The recipient of the temporary educational transfer must be under the age of eighteen.

      The rest of the bill contains no training exemptions for adults, no exemptions for the home, no exemptions for “neat gun, can I hold it?” If you want to prove me wrong- read the bill and show me where “letting a friend check out your gun in your own home” is exempt.

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    9. In other words, it was your interpretation that you claim is in the text. It's not. I don't see it like you do, perhaps because I don't have the agenda you do.

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    10. What is that supposed to mean? It also doesn’t explicitly say private gun sales that occur on Disney’s Space Mountain ride are illegal, but anybody would interpret it as such because it qualifies as a sale where no party is an FFL and it there is no exemption for sales or transfers that occur on roller coaster rides.

      Mike, did you read the initiative? What do you think a “transfer” means? I backed up what I said with text from the initiative. What are you using to back up your claims that I am wrong? You’re just saying “nuh-uh” again.

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    11. I also want to point out that the Schumer 2013 background check bill did have an exemption for showing someone a gun in your own home. A lot of the ideas and language for I-594 were taken from that bill, and this time they expressly left out an exemption that was put in last year to allow someone to let a friend handle their gun at their own home.

      From S. 374 Fix Gun Check Act of 2013:

      (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to—
      (A) bona fide gifts between spouses, between parents and their children, between siblings, or between grandparents and their grandchildren;
      (B) a transfer made from a decedent’s estate, pursuant to a legal will or the operation of law;
      (C) a temporary transfer of possession that occurs between an unlicensed transferor and an unlicensed transferee, if —
      (i) the temporary transfer of possession occurs in the home or curtilage of the unlicensed transferor;
      (ii) the firearm is not removed from that home or curtilage during the temporary transfer; and
      (iii) the transfer has a duration of less than 7 days; and


      https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s374/text

      Again, the text of I-594 says a transfer is any intended delivery. There is no exemption for short periods of time. There is no exemption for supervised handling. There is no exemption for in the home of the gun owner. You said you don’t see it that way. What specific section of text did you see that tells you this action is still legal?

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    12. "Transfer" does not include letting someone hold your gun for twenty seconds in the privacy of your home. I know you can "interpret" the words like that, but it's still nonsense.

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    13. Law doesn’t work that way, Mike. What argument is a defense attorney going to make that said action is not a crime?

      But let’s look at another longstanding law- transferring a gun to a known felon. Are you trying to tell me the crime doesn’t happen upon immediate receipt of the gun? That there is some arbitrary time period where it is not a felony punishable by ten years in prison, and then once this time threshold is exceeded, the transferor becomes a felon? And you are trying to tell us that if a gun owner gave his know felon buddy a gun to take a look at in his own home, and then the felon buddy negligently discharged the gun within five seconds, that you would argue that the gun owner committed no crime because the transfer was shorter than the 20 seconds which you just stated does not constitute a “transfer”? Bull. Shit. You would want the book thrown at him.

      But back to I-594. Even we accepted your baseless argument that there is some implied but not specified time function on the “intended delivery” clause, you can’t get around the fact that it is still a crime to train an adult with your gun in your own home. If you give hands on training to an adult friend on how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble a gun in your own home, or anywhere else, you’ve committed a crime. There is no way to interpret that otherwise, agreed? The law clearly states an age limitation that the handler for educational purposes be under the age of eighteen for it to be legal.

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