First Connecticut, and then New York passed gun control laws this year - that many people believe are unconstitutional - turning hundreds of thousands of AR-15 owners into felons simply for not registering their guns. Now, Washington state gun owners intend to take things to a new level in response to Washington's new gun control law. At least 5,500 are planning to openly violate the heavy-handed law, I-594, during a rally at the state capitol in Olympia on December 13th. The law goes into effect on December 4th, after the Secretary of State certifies the election results. Not a single so-called mainstream media source has mentioned the unprecedented event, even though RSVPs continue to increase every day.
This is practically unheard of in the modern era; not only will 5,500 people deliberately violate the law through civil disobedience, but will violate felony gun laws. Washington is one of few remaining blue states that has remained friendly to gun owners, and so gun owners are furious that a handful of billionaires were able to come in and buy the election, contributing about half the $10 million poured into the race to support I-594, almost 10 times as much as the opposition. Unsuccessful at getting the legislature to pass the law, gun control proponents resorted to billionaires to push it through instead as an initiative. Their money provided the resources to afford to run continuous misleading ads on TV.
The Facebook page for "I-594 I Will Not Comply" states, "We will rally at the capitol, openly exchange guns, unveil and plan to break apart the entire legislation and violate I-594 in every possible way … We will buy and sell guns from whom we please, we will not submit to background checks, we will not give up our rights, WE WILL NOT comply."
Under I-594, transferring a gun to someone in most situations - such as loaning your gun to a family member or friend at the range - will constitute a felony. Most gun owners have transferred their gun at one point to a friend or relative to try shooting. One-third of Washington state residents are gun owners. Considering the population of Washington is about 7 million, that means as many as 2.3 million gun owners could now be felons for doing what they have commonly done in the past. And that is only the tip of the iceberg; the 18½-page law contains many other poorly written, vague and onerous restrictions, too many to list here.
The number of RSVPs for the protest is stunning. A rally against I-594 that took place in downtown Seattle last month only attracted around 300 people.
What are the police going to do if 5,500 gun owners all commit felonies transferring their guns to each other at once? It would be impossible to try and arrest all 5,500. Rank and file law enforcement opposes I-594, as do more than two-thirds of the elected county sheriffs in Washington. A recent candidate for Yakima County Sheriff is helping set up the rally.
The point of the rally is to show that the law is so ridiculous, burdensome and convoluted that it is unenforceable. Unlike much prior civil disobedience, the protest will be nonviolent, and there is no reason to believe otherwise. At the rally against I-594 in downtown Seattle last month, where most protesters came armed, the only law enforcement agent visible who showed up to monitor the event was a Washington Park Ranger who was unarmed. This is because gun owners are some of the most law-abiding people in the country, and law enforcement knows this. The fact they have been provoked to civil disobedience - felony civil disobedience - is very disturbing.
Hungry with the taste of victory, gun control advocates in Washington are now moving on to get more legislation passed that will ban assault weapons, require trigger locks, and more infringements upon the Second Amendment.
Fortunately, opponents such as Washington's Second Amendment Foundation, and likely the NRA as well, are intending to file a lawsuit to challenge I-594, and will be lobbying the legislature to change or rescind it.
Gallup just released a new poll revealing for the first time that a majority of Americans - in fact almost two-thirds - believe having a gun in the home makes it a safer place to live. Until society stops associating guns solely with bad guys, and acknowledges that guns are what innocent people must also use to fend off the bad guys, rights - infringing legislation like I-594 will continue to erode our right to self defense.
Tomorrow is Veterans Day. A life-long family friend, Orv Burns, who served in WWII in the Pacific Ocean theater, Orv Burns, said to me at church today about the passage of I-594 and how it will affect his family's ability merely to exchange guns while shooting or hunting, "The freedom to do this is what we fought for in that war."