The King County, WA Board of Health meets tonight (July 17th) to conclude its Gun Safety Action Plan Summit, a two-day meeting designed to push sweeping gun control laws at the local level. What is the Gun Safety Action Plan, you ask? It’s a multi-step approach to putting new gun control laws on the books passed by the King County Council last October. At the time, it consisted of five main points:
- requiring gun owners to lock up firearms and ammunition when not in use or “under the control” of the gun owner.
- require signs warning of the dangers of gun ownership be posted at gun stores and ranges
- a youth-led commission to “assess and provide recommendations for reducing gun violence that they experience.”
- a working group designed to look at ways to push gun control laws under the guise of “public health”
- requiring the King County Sheriff to destroy forfeited firearms, instead of selling them to law abiding citizens or FFL’s.
That’s not the end of the Gun Safety Action Plan agenda, but there’s a hurdle standing in the way of their gun control wish list: firearms pre-emption law. Right now, state law in Washington mandates a uniform firearms law standard across the entire state, and determined by the state legislature through the normal legislative process. Anti-gun advocates hate firearms pre-emption laws. They want localities to be able to set their own gun control laws mandating possession, use, storage, sale, and purchase. It’s more expensive for 2A organizations to sue a dozen different communities over unconstitutional gun laws than it is to challenge a bad law at the state level. It’s easier for gun owners to get caught in a patchwork system where laws may vary depending on what side of the street you’re on. Most importantly for gun control activists, it gives them wins. It gives them territory.
Earlier this year, a bill that would have gutted firearms pre-emption died in the legislature, but the anti-gun Alliance for Gun Responsibility has made passage of similar legislation a priority for next year’s session. If that happens, King County’s gun laws will suddenly look a lot different, according to the local lawmakers behind the Gun Safety Action Plan. As their own website promises, the county council will move to immediately:
- ban the sale and possession of semi-automatic, “high velocity” weapons.
- ban the sale and possession of “high capacity magazines”
- raise the age to 21 for all firearms sales and possession
- establish a waiting period for taking possession of a firearm after a legal purchase has been made
- require firearm safety training before taking possession of a legally purchased firearm
Show this agenda the next time you hear a gun control activist say “no one wants your guns”. Here are county officials frankly and honestly admitting that, yeah, actually they do want your guns. Actually, they want you to not have your guns. And your magazines. They want to make it a crime for you to teach your child actual gun safety, and how to shoot responsibly. And they want to make exercising your 2nd Amendment rights contingent on you getting permission from them first.