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Let's Change Washington State's Silencer Laws

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by mxitman, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    This is from Carnaby and others from another forum just trying to get the ball rolling again.

    I've contacted Sen Hargrove and my own Senator without much luck. We need more support to get this done please pass this on.

    As many of you know, Washington State has strange laws regarding ownership and usage of firearm sound suppressors, also known in lay terms as "silencers."

    Currently, if we follow federal law, we are allowed by Washington State law to own sound suppressors (which I'll simply refer to as "suppressors" from here forward). We may also mount them on functional firearms. However, and here's the strange part, we may not actually fire any bullets through them. This is according to RCW 9.41.250(1)(c).

    You might start by inquiring with Senator Hargrove about the legislation he proposed to get this changed a few years back, and why it didn't go through. Here's his contact info:

    www.leg.wa.gov/senate/hargrove/

    And info relating to the bill with regards to changing restrictions on firearm noise suppressors, which he introduced in 2005: It didn't get very far, maybe we can bring it back.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/Summ...5167&year=2005

    which would have amended RCW 9.41.250 to read:

    (3) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any
    firearm unless the suppressor is legally registered and possessed in
    accordance with federal law, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

    Yeah, it's a stupid law the way things stand. At least you can get one here, though you've gotta at least as far as Oregon or Idaho to legally use it.

    Lets Get it Done!

    BTW I was thinking of making some shirts with that picture on it!
     
  2. JumpWing

    JumpWing NK WA Member

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    "Silence is Golden."
     
  3. ZeroRing

    ZeroRing 26th District, WA Active Member

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    Loud firearms OK, loud pipes on my ATV... NOT OK!!! :nuts:
     
  4. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    Who has a Senator who isn't an idiot? Ours is Rosa Franklin, Leg. District 29, not a good choice for sponsorship.

    Once you meet with a open-minded sponsor the rest goes pretty easily.

    If we could emphasize how it could make/save some bucks for Washington we'd be speaking their language.
     
  5. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    Yeah I was thinking along the same lines. I'm in the 1st Leg District and have met and talked with Mark Erick's my Representative about some issues but haven't talked to him since the election. He used to be the Chief of Police for the city of Bothell. I'm not sure his stance on this issue though. I wrote to him in October about it but he never got back to me. I think Senator Hargrove's plan to change the language is the most simplest.

    As long as you were able to purchase and own a silencer you could use it! It would still punish those who do so illegally. I think that's the best option.

    I'm not a big fan of taxing people or adding any more taxes onto us but I think some language that would work would be to change the line to read;

    This way you have to go through a background check, any of us who already have a CPL are good to go and it takes care of allot of legal issues with age etc. Plus the big bonus for the state would be the Fee's they collect for the CPL. along with every other agency who gets part of the fee's. I would think there would be a huge increase in those applying for CPL's so everyone wins, this state is way over budget so we would be helping them out. I'm sure there will be some people who won't like the idea of requiring the CPL to get a silencer but it's a good start and it's better than nothing!



    What do you guys think... should I run for office?....lol



    You can find your Legislator here, it's a good place to start.
     
  6. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    Just had a thought, with not much editing effort an amendment could specifically allow LEO agencies the use of them, too. This aspect might juice up the motivation for action.

    Seems like there is no such provision for LEO use right now in RCW 9.41.250, they just are refraining from arresting themselves, which is not an ideal situation.

    I need to think about the money aspect of this for awhile.
     
  7. ZeroRing

    ZeroRing 26th District, WA Active Member

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    You know, I think you've hit on probably THE best way to make this happen! Convince the "lawmakers" that as it stands now any LEO's that use them are technically committing a crime if they train with them.

    Therefore, since the law needs to be changed to "allow" LEO's to train with them "legally", it seems that allowing law abiding citizens the use of them as well makes sense too (especially since we can already "legally" own them).

    I would think a "common sense" Rep or Senator who is pro second amendment would see the logic in "fixing" this poorly worded existing law.

    Worth a try at least! :thumbup:
     
  8. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    I plan on contacting my Rep about this and seeing what he has to say. Being an ex LEO he should have a good background on the LEA handling of this issue.

    I'll keep you guys updated!
     
  9. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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  10. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    I just sent this letter to my 1st District Representative Mark Ericks, If anyone wants to use part of it, please go ahead just omit what doesn't apply to you!

    Lets get it done!


     
  11. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    here is another letter;

    Also a revision to mine to make in more concise and simpler to read;

     
  12. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    Update; I have received a few return emails in regards to my letters I just got this one recently;

     
  13. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    I contacted John Wasberg of the Attorney Generals office in Wa. State. He does all the criminal law updates for LEO's etc.

    He said the law as we read it pertains to individuals, not entities. Meaning a person can not use one, but a Gov. agency or entity is exempt as it's not an individual person.

    So then I threw at him, that a group such as (for example) XYZ Rifle club purchases a suppressor. It's not an individual purchase or use, but a group.

    He's researching it...
     
  14. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    Great work:thumbup:
     
  15. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Update,

    Talked with Wasberg this morning, in further review there's no written exception for LE use, or group either.

    Definition of "person" can be found in RCW 1.16.080

    He mentioned that Auburn P.D. has lobbied for a bill adding the exemption for LE use.

    He will be emailing a copy fo the proposed bill, and I will post it here when i get it.

    He also mentioned that it would be hard pressed to find a P/A that would prosecute the law as it stands today, as LEO's are using them. If the LE exception is added, then you would most likely see prosecution for it.

    Hopefully the whole law will be lifted, and will mirror Oregon.

    Stay tuned...
     
  16. ZeroRing

    ZeroRing 26th District, WA Active Member

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    Thanks for the updates and the efforts in follow up!! :thumbup:
     
  17. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    I sure can't wait to be the one to try this out. Oh yeah. :laugh: I'd bet you anything you like that within 24 hours of anyone of us showing up at a public range with a can on there, we'd be in jail faster'n you can say habeus corpus.

    I don't have the kind of defense money to try that theory out, and I'd lose my PI license in the process.

    But thanks for the commo and update. We need to keep the cards and letters going. In my experience a phone call, followed by a Fax is the most effective.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  18. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    nothing new on my end, anyone else hear anything?
     
  19. SonicBlue03

    SonicBlue03 Snohomish Well-Known Member

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    Is there a thread or sticky to keep track of things like this, as well as all other current legislation?
     
  20. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    Bad News... Just got this update from my Rep;Mark Ericks, Looks like we need to try again.