Our firm advocates for the Second Amendment and strict compliance with Washington’s firearms preemption statute whenever an opportunity presents itself. When attorneys for various municipalities around Washington State issued legal opinions that RCW 9.41.290 “only applied to the regulation of firearms themselves” and excluded regulations that only secondarily affect firearms, many law firms and the Second Amendment Foundation took action. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office had already issued a legal opinion that thoroughly rebuts such opinions based on Cherry v Metro and another case that dealt with certain narrow issues applied to a venue for a gun show leased from the City of Sequim, Washington.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives will not allow transfer of ANY automatic weapon into Washington state since July 1, 1994 (except departmental purchases). Thus, there are no exceptions for antiques under Washington state law per RCW 9.41.190 and the definitions under RCW 9.41.010. Nevertheless, it is theoretically possible per Washington law to own an automatic weapon if you are in the armed forces, provided that BATFE will provide the $200.00 tax stamp.
Reprinted from King County Bar Association Bar Bulletin (September, 2011).
I read KCBA President Joe Bringman’s message in the Bar Bulletin (August, 2011 President’s Page). Many lawyers have the impression that the KCBA is taking political positions that conflict with the conservative principles which animate more than a few lawyers. The President’s comments related to state preemption of local gun control efforts might be commendable as an opinion piece or an expression of his personal opinion. Nevertheless, the fact that he was writing as President to KCBA members raises the issue of whether the President’s Page is an appropriate venue from which to advocate taking a questionable position regarding RCW 9.41.290. Read more
Christine Gregoire gave the legislature an additional thirty days- starting April 22nd- to produce a two-year state budget and it looks like the law makers finally have a budget after a special session that looked like it was about to go into another overtime. Gov. Gregoire signed three gun bills into law passed by lawmakers during the regular session. HB 1016 allows use of suppressors. Known as silencers, suppressors are common in many other states. Federal law requires some red tape with the BATFE, however. European gun enthusiasts have used silencers for years because it eliminates many of the complaints about noise that plague gun ranges. Read more
Amended LEOSA Empowers Retired Law Enforcement
LEOSA has been around for about seven years now; most officers across many states aren’t very familiar with the law. Despite the 2010 amendments, understanding the LEOSA and related laws seems to be subject to some interpretation but we have received some help from a federal law enforcement officer who is also a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and NRA instructor. He keeps himself very well versed in Washington State and federal laws that relate to LEOSA.
Active and retired LEOs should fully educate themselves on the firearm laws of any jurisdiction in which they are traveling and strive to always be in compliance with the various laws because their knowledge is what will ultimately protect them. We choose to carry concealed firearms for one purpose- to preserve life. The moment when the off-duty officer or retiree has to present that firearm and pull the trigger is critical because whether he was fully justified or not, those moments may land him in court explaining his actions. Things will be far more complicated if the court finds that the officer or retiree was in illegal possession of that firearm when he made the decision to deploy deadly force. Read more
The purpose of the LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS’ SAFETY ACT OF 2004 (18 U.S.C. Sec. 926B and 926C) is to supplement active law enforcement personnel in order to deter crime and prevent terrorist activity. The federal law accomplishes this by anticipating that additional armed law enforcement personnel that have already been trained will be present within each jurisdiction as officers travel from one jurisdiction to another while on business, vacationing or for any other reason.
The Act authorizes retired officers and active police officers from any jurisdiction within the United States to carry a concealed firearm within any jurisdiction of the United States; thus, increasing the likelihood that an armed officer will be present if circumstances warrant appropriate use of armed force. The retired officer must qualify annually per the standards that officers are required to meet for firearms proficiency within the agency from which he or she retired. For a retired officer to carry a weapon in all fifty states, the federal statute requires: Read more
Attorneys for various municipalities around Washington State have issued legal opinions that RCW 9.41.290 “only applies to the regulation of firearms themselves” and “excludes regulations that only secondarily affect firearms… that do not embody a punitive regulation”. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office issued a legal opinion last week that thoroughly rebuts such opinions based on Cherry v Metro and another case that dealt with certain narrow issues applied to a venue for a gun show leased from the City of Sequim, washington. Read more
The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) may have decided the most important Second Amendment case in history on June 28, 2010. A previous landmark 2008 gun case, DC vs. HELLER, held that the Second Amendment guarantees a personal right of self-defense. Yes, the U.S. Constitution actually means what the Founding Fathers thought they meant when they drafted it! The Bill of Rights only began to be applied to the states by means of the 14th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War to protect newly freed citizens from the tyranny of Southern regimes that deployed de jure force of law and de facto intimidation to perpetuate slavery.
In MCDONALD VS. CHICAGO, the Court acknowledged that the 14th Amendment aims at prohibiting firearms restrictions enacted against Blacks and enforced by armed white mobs often via the noose-end of a rope! Otis McDonald, the 76 year-old African-American Plaintiff in the case, is a neighborhood activist targeted who boldly he stood up to thugs that lay claim to the streets of Chicago. Read more
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed DC v Heller in a five to four landmark decision last year. Justice Scalia firmly placed the Court’s decision, which knocks down Washington DC’s ban on firearms within the bedrock of the Founding Fathers’ original intentions; i.e., the decision sets forth a principle scorned by tyrants over the centuries. It is in the people that the power of governmental force resides. The government’s use of deadly force ultimately derives from an individual’s duty to protect herself or himself, one’s family and neighbors.
The fact that the discussion of self-defense is usually framed in terms of rights is, perhaps, unfortunate in that Americans can easily become exhausted by the perpetual yapping about “rights“. We have welfare rights, immigration rights, First Amendment right to purvey obscenity. The “right” to keep and bear arms is first of all a duty. Many states, especially in the Eastern U.S., still have laws on the books requiring men of certain ages to have a military weapon and suitable ammunition in specific quantities in order to be ready to perform militia service: Read more
Suzerain- Main Entry: su·zer·ain
Pronunciation: ˈsü-zə-rən, -ˌrân; ˈsüz-rən
1 : a superior feudal lord to whom fealty is due: overlord;
2 : a dominant state controlling the foreign relations of a vassal state but allowing it sovereign authority in its internal affairs.
Jeremy Rabkin, a professor of law at George Mason University School of Law, recently authored an article published in Imprimis called “The Constitution and American Sovereignty”. In the article, Rabkin explains how the concept of national sovereignty, as we understand it today, developed during the Seventeenth century along with nationalism. Read more
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