For years, Second Amendment activists have been ridiculed and disdained for insisting that the gun prohibition agenda is aimed at eroding the fundamental right to keep and bear arms, but on Capitol Hill and out in “the other Washington,” there is ample evidence that the “slippery slope” argument has merit.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that when the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives convenes next month, “We will pass common sense gun violence prevention legislation soon, and…it will be bipartisan,” which remains to be seen.
In the Evergreen State, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility—which has successfully pushed three citizen initiatives that incrementally increased restrictions on gun owners—announced its legislative agenda for 2019.
- Community and victim safety legislation which will provide law enforcement with the ability to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence arrest
- Expanding factors which a judge may consider when issuing an Extreme Risk Protection Order to include hate-based threats
- Restoring local authority to keep communities safe by limiting firearms in crowded public events or places like parks and libraries where our kids play and learn, and allowing them to limit the open carry of firearms
- Restricting access to high-capacity magazines
Like it or not, in the eyes of beleaguered Evergreen State rights activists these proposals constitute a stepped-up effort to peel away legal and constitutional protections they have zealously defended for decades. And experience has shown that if the gun prohibitionists don’t get their way in Olympia, they’ll get a handful of billionaires to bankroll another initiative. They have simply been emboldened to push for more, and that “slippery slope” is being greased by wealthy elitists.
In the U.S. House, there will be proposals to “strengthen” background checks on firearms, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wants to revive so-called “red flag” legislation that was co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
But in Washington state, there is heightened concern because Democrats hold strong majorities in both the House and Senate, and Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson are both ardent gun control advocates.
“RESTORE LOCAL AUTHORITY: For over 30 years, our local towns, cities, and counties have been blocked from taking action to prevent gun violence own their own because of the statewide preemption law. Local leaders are best positioned to know how best to protect their communities. We should restore their ability to limit firearm access and the open carrying of firearms in certain public places—like crowded events, public parks and libraries where kids play and learn.”—From the Alliance’s 2019 legislative agenda
Any change in the law that would allow local municipalities to adopt restrictions would constitute an erosion of state preemption, which was adopted in 1983 and strengthened in 1985, rights activists maintain. Preemption places sole authority for gun regulation in the hands of the legislature, and that is where it should stay, say gun owners.
There are presently more than 605,000 active concealed pistol licenses in the state, and those legally-licensed and armed citizens do not want to be facing a hodgepodge of conflicting local regulations when they may travel from one place to another through several jurisdictions. After all, they’ve been through a background check to obtain that license, and should not risk running afoul of some local ordinance while they’re exercising a constitutionally-delineated right.
At what point, gun owners wonder, will the courts finally have the backbone to put a stop to this, and remind anti-gunners that constitutional rights are never subject to a well-financed popularity vote?