Gun owners, including Garrett Bosworth, 16, center, of Yakima, Wash., pose for a selfie photo as they display their weapons in the upper gallery of the House chambers, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The House was not in session when this photo was taken, and members of the group went to the gallery following a protest outside the Legislative building in opposition to Washington state's Initiative 594, which requires - with only a few exceptions - background checks on all gun sales and transfers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Local news reports
More than 200 gun rights activists, most of them carrying firearms, rallied on the steps of Washington’s Capitol on Thursday morning to protest the expansive background-check law state voters passed in November.
State legislators and other opponents of Initiative 594’s requirement of background checks on all gun sales and transfers voiced their belief that the new law unfairly infringes on their constitutional rights, and a handful of the protesters carried long guns into the public viewing gallery of the state House of Representatives just as the morning’s brief floor session ended.
A series of speakers urged the crowd outside the Capitol to work to build support to repeal Initiative 594, both by contacting their legislators and by lobbying their friends and relatives. Several I-594 opponents carried signs with messages including “Prosecute criminals not harass us” and “I will not comply” during the chilly morning rally.
“We’re not the bad guys, and they’re trying to make us the bad guys, but we let this happen,” said Adina Hicks, executive director of Protect Our Gun Rights Washington, one of several groups that organized the rally.
“Gun owners tend to be a live and let live kind of people,” Hicks said. “Can’t do that anymore.”
“This is a culture war, folks,” said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen. “They don’t like what we do, and they want to control what we do.”
State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, joined the rifle-brandishing protesters inside the Capitol and posed for pictures alongside them outside the House chamber. He declined an offer to accept a gun being handed to him without a background check. While outside, he enthusiastically told the crowd about several gun-rights bills he supports.
“Tyranny is not an option,” Shea said in a rising voice. “The right to bear arms is unalienable. It can’t be taken away by a majority vote. It can’t be taken away by the Legislature. It can’t be taken away by the Supreme Court. God gave us that.”Hahahaha, tyranny. Requiring a background check on private sales is tyranny. Hahahaha