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Meeting with Rep Haigh on silencer bill.

Discussion in 'NFA Weapon Discussion' started by Ranb, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I am meeting with Representative Haigh about bill 1604 to allow silencer use in WA State. It will take place in her Shelton office on the morning of 19 July or the afternoon of 20 July. I would like to bring another person along as two heads are better than one. Anyone interested? Thanks.

    Ranb
     
  2. LuftPost

    LuftPost Seattle, WA Member

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    I'm in no way qualified for this, but I would be willing to go if there is no one else. My background is that i'm a manager for a research lab (molecular biology) at the UW hospital, but i'm also only 27 (some people think young = no experience).
     
  3. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I would be happy to have you come with. Youth and enthusiasm is what I need. I am an uneducated grouchy old man that tends to be blunt at times. I am still waiting for a reply from Haigh or her aide. I might only be able to give you a days notice. Thanks.

    Ranb
     
  4. LuftPost

    LuftPost Seattle, WA Member

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    I'm certainly all for this bill going through, and as such, I think we should meet up prior to the official meeting to strategize a game plan to make the biggest impact possible and make sure key points get across to her.
    As for the short notice on when we can meet with her, thats fine, my schedule is pretty flexible.
     
  5. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I am trying to meet with Haigh at 9am on the 19th. Will that work?

    Ranb
     
  6. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    Luftpost and I just got back from my meeting with Representative Kathy Haigh at her office in Shelton. It was a cordial meeting that lasted nearly an hour. I was a bit surprised that she seemed to be completely unfamiliar with bill 1604 and that it would legalize silencer use despite the many e-mails we have exchanged. But she was familiar with firearms as she has had occasion to use them to put down animals as part of her veterinary practice. She was also somewhat familiar with the purpose of sound suppressors and comfortable with calling them silencers. When I started talking about suppressors, she interrupted with "You mean silencers?" She was also interested in examining a 9mm silencer I brought with to the meeting.

    We started off with a discussion on how silencers are completely legal to own in the USA and 38 states allow civilians to own them and that WA is the only one of those states that ban their use. She agreed that it was strange that WA bans use. I showed her an ATF form 1 and explained how one goes about obtaining authorization to make or buy a silencer and that it was not a license or permit, just proof the tax was paid.

    Like my meeting with Chairman Pedersen last month, she made it clear that she would not sponsor or devote much time fighting for a bill that was doomed to fail like almost everyone believes 1604 will. She encouraged us to meet with Senator Kline and Sheldon and try to convince them to support the bill.

    I encourage everyone on this forum to meet with their Representative and Senator about making silencer use legal. I think it is the only way we will make any progress. You do not have to be a good speaker or well educated; I am neither. You just need to be enthusiastic and polite. Knowing a bit about gun law also helps. If anyone wants to talk to me before meeting with a representative, please let me know. I am also willing to take time off from work to attend any meeting that you may set up. Thank you.

    Randy Bragge
     
  7. GoCougs

    GoCougs Oly Member

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    I have met with Rep. Haigh but in an entirely different setting, I played with and was coached by her son while playing for the WSU rugby team. Random side bar. It'd be excellent to see this come to some sort of fruition.
     
  8. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    GoCougs,

    You are in district 22 right? Would you be willing to meet with Fraser, Williams and Hunt to discuss bill 1604? I can accompany you if you wish.

    Ranb
     
  9. GoCougs

    GoCougs Oly Member

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    Correct, but I am currently stationed in Kentucky so that kinda puts me out of contact sadly.
     
  10. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    OK. US Army?

    Ranb
     
  11. LuftPost

    LuftPost Seattle, WA Member

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    Spoke to Senator Adam Kline over the phone (office # 206-625-0800), after his secretary in Olympia gave me his office #, and I requested to make an appointment regarding 1604. He just started talking about it, and it was interesting at first because he thought I was against it and started talking about the assault weapons ban he tried for. He also then explained that there is no practical use for them, except for military snipers, to not give their position away. I then told him that I was in fact for it, I’m Democrat, that Kathy referred me to him, and he asked me to explain to him why I support it and asking if this was for pistol or rifle silencers (I said both, they are one and the same).
    So I explained that ownership is LEGAL in fact (he didn't know that), explained the process of getting one, told him of the 38 states where its legal to own, we are that 1 state that doesn’t allow use. Explained to him how it became illegal (the poachers, depression, etc), and the benefits to them- will protect shooters hearing and others nearby, the outdoor ranges lowering the audible volume (especially in the evening), being able to own and USE them (he said 'yeah, that doesn't make sense'), and increasing intrastate commerce (you're sending us to other states to use them, and in the process are helping their economy vs WA state). He asked about crimes with them, I explained that its very rare, but probably has happened, and gave the example of only 2 legal machine guns used since 1986, and that I have a pending inquiry with DOJ, FBI, ATF, Homeland Security about LEGAL silencers used in crime if he wanted that data (he didn't request it).
    He wanted to know who sponsored the bill, I told him, and asked for its status. I told him Pederson says that someone needs to tell him to make it a priority, and it will be introduced. His opinion is that its not going to go anywhere, but that he would consider it if the committee looks at it, but would not put any resources towards helping it along because he has more important bills to work with. He wants to hear opinions from safety committees, and police officers if it is ever to be heard by the judiciary committee.
    Told me to talk to Pederson, as that’s the only way it will even be considered, and then told me he had a lunch appointment and had to go. Asked him if I could still meet with him, he said I told him all he needed to know. I thanked him for his time, and the call was over. The call lasted 20 minutes.

    Thoughts on the call- he's not supportive, BUT appeared to have some sympathy when he realized they are already legal, and if use was to become legal, the advantages are reasonable. But he wont do anything to help it along (election year, he kept bringing that up), he won't sponsor it, but will consider it if it gets that far, provided there is 'official' testimony from LEO's and Safety Committees in support of it. He feels it doesn't have a chance though.
    I should have brought up Kathy's point about euthanasia of large animals, explained more about the reduction of audible volume (how its not really that quiet), and mentioned the gun-show loophole fears (to kill that idea, although it was never brought up).
     
  12. LuftPost

    LuftPost Seattle, WA Member

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    Randy, you should write up a document for people to use as a fact sheet for talking with their Senator/Rep's. Something that has dates, reasons to support 1604, references, raw data, links, answers to anything that could be asked. That way, like you said, we're as accurate about everything as possible and can present the argument at a higher standard than them.
    If you want help drafting something up, let me know.
    J
     
  13. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    Will do.

    Ranb
     
  14. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Nice work LuftPost!

    FYI, there is at least one authoritative review on use of silencers in crime. As you might expect, it's very rare.

    Western Criminology Review 2007 - Criminal Use of Firearm Silencers

    http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/Silencer-caselaw.pdf
     
  15. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I have printed out and given 8ball's link to Pedersen and Haigh. I think it is a great article to present to any legislator when arguing the merits of silencer use.

    There are two comments I need to make about it though. It refers to a permit being required to own a silencer. It is more correct to say that a tax is required to be paid and ATF authorization obtained. This is why many people call the various tax stamp applications (ATF forms 1, 4 and 5) a permit or license. When I showed my ATF form 1 to Pedersen and Haigh, I emphasized that it was merely a tax stamp application and proof the silencer was legally owned; not a permit or license. This is part of how I make silencer ownership appear to be a legitimate and routine thing.

    The other comment I usually highlight and comment on in the article is the claim that silencers are illegal in Texas. This claim is correct, but since registration is an affirmative defense to prosecution, the ATF routinely authorized the making and transfer of silencers in Texas. So in effect, silencers are routinely and legally owned in Texas, or at least tolerated by the legal authorities.

    Ranb
     
  16. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    Senator Kline said he wanted to hear from the police on the matter of silencer crime. Haigh and Pedersen also touched on this subject briefly.

    It would be a good idea if the members here wrote to their local sheriffs and requested information on silencer crime in their county.

    Here are some guidelines I suggest might be prudent to adhere to when writing to the police about certain crimes.

    1. Tell them you are discussing the merits of bill 1604 which would allow the use of registered silencers; but you need to know if silencers are used in any crime in your county.

    2. Do not take a position on whether or not you support the bill.

    3. Ask if the police have any records of crimes committed with silencers, legally owned or not.

    4. Do not ask them their opinion of silencer ownership or use. We want data only.

    5. If they are able to say that silencers have been involved in any crime, ask for a case number so that you can find out if there were any indictments or convictions. There may have been witnesses that said a silencer was used, but no arrest or seizure of the silencer.

    6. Send an actual letter, not e-mail. If the police answer with a letter using the police chief's letter head, then this makes it more real, more official looking.

    If the police have no data, then this is good as then we can say there is no silencer related crime in the county.

    If a silencer was used to commit a crime, the police will probably not be able to tell you if it was registered. From what I have heard, the ATF does not divulge registration details to anyone but the silencer owner.

    Being able to truthfully and confidently tell your Senator or Representative that the police say there is little or no silencer crime in your county is probably the best thing you can say to them when urging support for a silencer use bill.

    Ranb
     
  17. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    Here is an example of the letters I am sending to the Mason, Kitsap and a few other sheriffs asking for any info on silencer crime.

    I sent letters to the sheriff's in Mason, Kitsap, King and Thurston counties today.

    Ranb
     
  18. LuftPost

    LuftPost Seattle, WA Member

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    I have an appointment with Pederson on the 27th, 5pm, at the Capitol Hill (Seattle) office location.

    EDIT: They just called and changed the time on me. Its now set for August 3rd, 3pm, downtown Seattle.

    Also just sent a letter to the King County Sheriff per Ranb's template.
     
  19. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    Good job guys!
     
  20. crosse

    crosse Bellevue Active Member

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    i want to get on this bandwagon. what is the best plan of action currently? inquiring with local pd on the affected usage of suppressors in crimes locally?