OLYMPIA – A bill placing new restrictions on “open-carry” rules is yet another attack on Second Amendment rights that threatens to turn law-abiding gun owners into inadvertent lawbreakers, says Sen. Jeff Wilson, R-Longview.
Senate Bill 5038 bans the open carrying of firearms in public places while demonstrations are taking place, as well as at any time on the West Capitol Campus in Olympia. The measure passed the state Senate Thursday night after heated debate, 28-20, and was opposed by all members of the Senate Republican Caucus. The measure now moves to the House for further consideration.
“It’s very clear the only weapons the 19th District fears are bills like this one,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the measure is another example of the steady erosion of gun-ownership rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the constitution of the state of Washington. The law would do nothing to prevent violence by those intending to do harm, yet could snare law-abiding gun owners as they attempt to comply with ever-growing restrictions.
Wilson noted that gun sales have reached record levels as lawmakers in both Washingtons debate further gun restrictions – 70,000 in the state of Washington alone during the month of January. He called for greater education, and not just for gun owners.
“What I would like to see accompany such record gun sales is gun safety and education, because that helps teach tolerance. I believe education helps reduce ignorance, and of course a side effect called fear.
“I am concerned that this bill could take otherwise law-abiding citizens and turn them into misdemeanor offenders. So it ought not to be a surprise that I cannot support this in any way.”