Virginia And Washington: A Tale Of Two Governors

by Tommy Grant
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

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In the same week that Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed 30 measures that would have greatly curtailed the rights of lawful Virginians, all the way across the country a much different scenario was unfolding.

On March 27, Democrat Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a handful of anti-gun measures that will only hurt lawful citizens and not affect violent criminals.

Perhaps the worst measure, HB 2118, places a number of expensive, punitive requirements on Washington firearms retailers and will likely run many of them out of business. Under the new law, any FFL that does more than $1,000 of sales per year must run annual background checks on their employees, carry $1 million liability insurance, install steel doors or bars at the business and meet onerous requirements for storage and security systems with 24-hour audio and video surveillance.”

Another newly signed law, SB 5444, expands the so-called “sensitive places” where lawful citizens can no longer open carry. The new places include public transportation areas, libraries, zoos and aquariums.

Other bills that were signed by Gov. Inslee were HB 1903, which further victimizes gun owners for theft of their own property if they don’t report the theft of a firearm within 24 hours; HB 2021, which expands the authorized and/or required destruction of firearms acquired from gun buyback programs held by state and local government entities; and SB 5985, which codifies the unconstitutional provisions of Washington’s recent ban on commonly owned firearms into the section of state code on background checks.

Of course, the governor’s signing of the bills brought mixed responses, depending on the respondent’s political motivations.

“These bills will make Washington families safer,” said Kate Stockert, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Across his three terms, Gov. Jay Inslee has honored his word of protecting Washingtonians from gun violence. Under his leadership, our state has become a national leader in gun safety, and by signing these bills into law today he cements his legacy as one of the strongest governors against gun violence.”

Republican state Sen. Keith Wagoner, a member of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, had a different viewpoint.

“Once again, the Democrats pass firearm legislation that only hurts people that are already obeying the law,” Wagoner said.

Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, has said his organization is already working with its attorneys on a potential lawsuit to challenge the new laws.

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