Letter - I-594 is sensible effort to prevent illegal gun sales

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“Preprogrammed robot,” “gun ban extremist,” “left-wing radical,” “closet Marxist.” This is how Curtis Stone describes supporters of Initiative 594 like me. He states I “engage in disinformation, propaganda and evasiveness.”

I would describe myself as a concerned citizen who believes in the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, but who also agrees with the eight out of 10 Washingtonians who support universal background checks.

Initiative 594 is endorsed by the Washington State Public Health Association, the Faith Action Network, the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and dozens of other community organizations. A more complete list of supporters and a link to the complete text of the initiative can be found on the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility website at wagunresponsibility.org.

Licensed dealers in Washington are required to conduct a background check for firearms sales, to help ensure guns stay out of the hands of criminals.

I-594 simply extends these existing background checks to all gun sales. I have no objection to private gun ownership. I do however object to a private party selling a weapon to a convicted criminal, no questions asked, especially when a background check typically takes only 90 seconds.

A survey of prisoners who committed crimes with handguns found that nearly 80 percent of them got those guns through private transfers. When private sellers are required to complete a background check on a prospective buyer, these sales will be greatly reduced.

The rights of law-abiding gun owners will not be affected. They will still be able to buy the same guns they buy today after passing an instant background check — the same check they would have to pass if they bought a gun from a licensed dealer.

The federal government is legally prohibited from creating a registry of any kind. Background checks submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System are destroyed within 24 hours.

I-594 does not change this requirement. Background checks work — since enactment in 1998, over 2 million gun sales to people prohibited from possessing guns were stopped.

I-594 won’t stop all gun sales to criminals or the mentally ill, but it is a common-sense, simple step to help prevent illegal gun sales. Please support I-594 to help make our communities safer.

Cecile Ervin

Walla Walla

Comments

Cowboy01 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So you are another person who believes that the punishment of the criminal should be placed on the shoulders of the law abiding citizen? So the bad guy who knows it is a felony to even be in the same room with a firearm goes out and buys a firearm the law-abiding citizen should be punished? You really need to open your eyes, it’s not about keeping the criminals hands off firearms, it’s about the $45 to $50 its going to cost to do those background checks, if not more, Good revenue for the state for sure! Bad guys will get what they want no matter what, they will just break into your house to get it. Stop supporting punishment for all for the one bad apple. Criminals will be criminals no matter what, if you take all the firearms away from the citizens the bad guys will still continue to get them do you NOT understand this? 594 stops nothing for the criminals NOTHING!!! How is that so hard to understand? Ignorance must be bliss!!!

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chicoli 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Cowboy, there are many law abiding citizens that are safe until they commit a crime. Not too long ago a local guy who, up to the point when he killed his wife he was a "good guy with a gun", a law abiding citizen. There are many others who, in appearance, are good guys but have anger problems and impulsivity, reason enough not to bear arms as this are candidates for crimes waiting to happen.

Mr. Zimmerman, who proved to be a the facto scumbag murdered an innocent boy, had threatened his wife with a gun, and still has his firearm, "legally". Like him there are many so called "good guys with a gun" who should not have a gun.

If we could only save the life of a single boy or girl, I think it is worthy for all of us to wait a few extra minutes for a proper background check. Real macho, good guys should not be intimidated by a simple, fast efficient background check. How is this so hard to understand, it is beyond the most simple capacity to grasp common sense!

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barracuda 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If I remember correctly...and while I dislike the court outcome, Zimmerman was found to be innocent by a jury. Unless you know otherwise, he still ok to own a gun....

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Cowboy01 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The law abiding citizen already went through the background check to begin with, and any time you buy a gun you get a background check unless licensed otherwise. You make absolutely no point here, and Zimmerman was found justified. Furthermore this will not save anyone, if someone wants to do something stupid, they’re going to do it regardless of law, you should know this, and you should also know that the state is loving the dollar signs about this bill. Fast and efficient, YA RIGHT!!!

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barracuda 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I-594 is about as smart as attempting to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

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chicoli 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Common, barracuda, you're more intelligent than this. Many drunk drivers with DWIs get their licenses suspended. How tough is it for sober people to own or drive cars? Well, you should demonstrate you're a safe driver by taking a TEST, and demonstrate prove of liability insurance. I wish we could only pass legislation to require a TEST and prove of insurance before you could own a gun! You see, to own a gun is not really that tough in this Country. In Tennessee you can buy a gun at a hot dog stand, hot dog included! But their murder rate is very costly, indeed!

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barracuda 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Surly you are smarter than that! Paco, drunk drivers drive everyday! It is illegal to drive drunk! And there are people who drive without insurance and licenses every day. That is a proven fact! You can expect to convince me that all of the DWI offenders stop driving. The law don't always work! Wow!

We will disagree........... If I want to sell my neighbor a pistol for his personnel protection, we must go through a lot of paperwork, and pay a fee to the state to prove nothing... Something the state already knows (we both have permits) they just want gun serial numbers and the money. And it will not stop any criminal from getting this gun if he wants to break into his house and steal the gun... This bill will do nothing to stop the idiots from getting guns!

And you are correct, guns are easy to get... they are stolen every day! And again, this law wont change that fact!

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Chas 5 months, 3 weeks ago

More guns make us more safe? Guns deaths, actual facts—prove this to be false. If an individual accidentally discharges a firearm in a public place, if their children discharge a firearm the parent has left unsupervised, if they are convicted of violence by any manner, their guns and right to possess them should be lost, irrevocably, for life.

Our rights have always been contingent upon good and lawful behavior. "Stand your Ground" laws are perversions of American justice that reach back to our earliest colonial era. Gunpowder was the greatest explosives available until the late 19th century. Town armories controlled the supply and how much anyone could possess. The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a lesson the Signers, Framers, knew well.

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barracuda 5 months, 2 weeks ago

There are a lot of crimes committed by "illegal" guns. Some are illegally obtained guns (stolen). Some of the people are convicted felons. Some of the guns are illegally modified.

How is this new law going to change these stats?

It is not going to change the stats at all!

So, why is this new law needed?

Answer: Money and control!

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Igor 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Outstanding! I'd could support private background checks if I could be assured that our government would not use the information supplied for the NICS check to compile an owner's registry. But I don't trust our government, state or federal, to obey the law. In fact, after six years of Obama, I pretty much expect that government won't obey the law.

For those fools that think that disarming the law abiding will decrease crime, I commend John Lott's book, More Guns, Less Crime. For every accidental shooting, there are hundreds of cases where people with firearms prevented a crime.

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PearlY 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What is this, the third letter by Ms. Ervin, repeating her standard false talking points? Yet she refuses to deal with the facts that are pointed out in response.

Ms. Ervin, you're not the only one who objects to a convicted criminal buying a gun - which is already illegal. I do too, but the fact is, this law will do NOTHING to stop that, because convicted criminals will buy their guns from fellow criminals or have their girlfriends, unconvicted drinking buddies, or others buy their guns for them through straw purchases. That's how they get their guns now, as the Department of Justice has found in its studies, and that's how they'll continue to get their guns if this law is passed. It will make no difference.

So please, Ms. Ervin, stop pretending you're a Second Amendment supporter. You are not trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. You are trying to criminalize the innocent transactions of law-abiding citizens and make it more burdensome and dangerous for law-abiding citizens to own firearms.

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barracuda 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I have been made aware that amost very little numbers of readers read this blog sight. Most get the paper version.

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namvet60 5 months, 1 week ago

You never hear about these types of stories or outcomes because it would hinder the movement of gun control. I get the 1st Freedom and read these stories all the time and appreciate every one of them.

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