Presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) appeared at a rally in Seattle, Washington with a message that included her plan to restrict gun ownership.
Washington State has become a test tube for gun control extremism and Warren is just the latest political elite who hopes to use that to their advantage.
The state has one of the strongest state constitutional right-to-bear-arms provisions in the nation but the last decade has seen a series of billionaire-backed anti-gun initiatives passed. As a result, a state that once had solid 2nd Amendment friendly gun laws is now considered to be one of the most restrictive.
Her visit followed closely after Tacoma Councilman Ryan Mello announced his desire to follow Seattle’s lead in increased taxes on firearms and ammunition. His plan includes a $25 fee on every gun sale, a 5-cent tax on every centerfire cartridge, a 2-cent fee on every rimfire round sold, and yet to be disclosed even stricter measure.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports Mello is seeking “a higher tax on high-velocity ammunition, or more military-style ammunition such as ‘hollow point bullets’.”
Like much of America, Washington State is a tale of two electorates – cities plagued by criminal gun violence and the rest of its law-abiding gun owners being asked to pay the bill in higher taxes and even more restrictive gun rights.
Bellevue, WA has been called a city “behind enemy lines.” One of its most notable citizens is Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and one of the most recognized leaders in the Second Amendment community.
Gottlieb told Ammoland he has seen this all before. After the City of Seattle adopted a similar tax in 2015, he led in a lawsuit opposing the tax.
Despite the language of state statutes, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the tax. Now, the gun rights battle lines are even more distinct.
Progressive in the state’s government endorse Warren’s plan to limit gun rights. NPR reports Warren wants:
Stricter background checks, and the creation of a federal licensing system, limiting the number of firearms someone could buy, raising the minimum age to 21 for purchasing a gun, holding gun manufacturers liable (and, in some cases, even holding gun industry CEOs personally liable).
NPR reports that Warren “wants to raise taxes for gun manufacturers from 10% to 30% on guns and from 11% to 50% on ammunition.”
But 2nd Amendment advocates aren’t giving up without a fight.
Phil Fortunato, a pro-rights Republican and veteran state lawmaker is running for governor. Fortunato came right out of the gate in January with legislation to ensure the privacy of Washington’s more than 620,000 concealed pistol license holders. Though the measure didn’t pass, it got the attention of the other side.
Fortunato followed that up a bill that must have legislative anti-gunners in a stir. His proposal would require lawmakers to take a firearms safety/training course before proposing gun control legislation. The winsome lawmaker told reporters:
There’s a little bit of a problem with somebody drafting legislation that doesn’t have the faintest idea at what the heck is going on with guns. It’s a little disturbing to me as a gun owner to have these people, (who) have no idea what they’re talking about, draft gun legislation.
There hasn’t been a Republican in Washington’s governor’s office for over 30 years, and an increasing number of the Evergreen State’s residents appear to think that’s long enough.
With two other Republicans announcing their decision to run for governor, there is a fired-up base that has gained surprising strength in Western Washington.
Small-town Police Chief Loren Culp, another Republican who has his eyes in the governorship, authored American Cop. There he tells of growing up in both the westside and eastside counties of Jefferson and Ferry, serving as a sergeant in the Army and being a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Culp came to prominence by being the first Evergreen State law enforcement official to refuse to enforce initiative 1639, the radical gun control measure that was rejected in a majority of the state’s counties despite passing due to the more populated cities of Seattle and Tacoma.
Progressive groups like the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility are paying attention because it looks like the people of Washington have had enough of being used as a testing ground for radical gun-control.