We had a campaign worker try to get us to vote yes on WA-594. We had to advise him about how he was misleading voters before he left us alone.
WA-594 in a ballot initiative to limit gun transfers in Washington. It basically makes just about any transfer of a firearm between two people — sale or not — illegal without an FFL handling the transfer and doing a background check.
This seems innocuous enough, right?
We pressed to see what the purpose of this would be? Obviously to cut down on criminal activity, right?
He agreed. “It can’t hurt” he added.
Then I pointed out that criminals are criminals because they don’t follow the laws.
But let’s take a look at it closer. While it has some exemptions for training of kids (under 18), for the most part all transfers, even between members of your family, are transfers under the law. Doing so will get you labeled a felon if you are caught doing it. Basically it’s putting up a huge barrier to you legally owning and using a firearm for both self defense and sporting purposes.
If, for instance, I’m at the trap range with my friend from work and he wants me to try out his new gun (sweet shooting gun I have to say) the act of him handing me the gun at the range would make us both felons. How is that a good thing?
All that’s going on is a ruse to make people think they’re doing something useful. It’s not.
A good read documenting the myths of 594 can be found here.
It’s easy to think that you’re doing something worthwhile and voting against your own interests if you just listen to the simple-minded rhetoric of the folks campaigning for 594. All you wind up with is laws that make honest people into criminals and the criminals won’t have any difference anyway.
Yes, it can hurt.
Like I told the campaign worker as he walked away: “I urge you to vote No on 594.”