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I was cleaning out my Yahoo mailbox and I saw this old e-mail that I had forgotten about. It was one of my early attempts at trying to find out how to stay out of trouble in Washington State.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ran B [mailto:ranb40@yahoo.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2004 2:24 PM
To: ATG WWW Email AGO
Subject: RCW 9.41.250

Attorney General

Christine O. Gregoire

1121 Washington Street SE
PO Box 40100
Olympia, WA 98504-0100

Madam,

I have a question concerning RCW 9.41.250. It says in part; (3) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

I am interested in designing a device to reduce the amount of noise from a rifle range. The device would be a large box with baffles or other sound isolation material, which would reduce the noise of firearm muzzle blast. It would not attach to or touch the firearm in any way. I need to know if RCW 9.41.250 or any other Washington State regulation prohibits a device that doesn't attach to a firearm, but suppresses noise.

Thank you for any assistance in this matter.

Respectfully,

Randy Bragge

I received this f--ked up reply. You can judge people by the idiots they hire to represent them. Gregoire was found severely wanting.

I am fairly certain that there are no Washington court decisions or Washington Attorney General Opinions on point. I do know that federal law also prohibits possession of a "firearm silencer" or "firearm muffler." You may want to check with the local police department/sheriff's office and local prosecutor, as well as with the local offices of the Federal Bureau of ATF.

I'm sorry we cannot help you further.

Sincerely,

Chris Anthony
Ombudsman

Contrast this with the reply I got from Hauge telling me that while he supported registered silencer use, the box I made was illegal to use in his opinion. While I have issues with Hauge, he is miles above the AG's assistant.

Ranb
 
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I agree that it is nice that Hauge gave you an upfront straightforward answer to your question. I live in Oregon so I'm not familiar with who Hauge is so my opinion may not mean much but I think the answer you got from Gregoire's office was appropriate as well. It is not up to her or anyone in her office to interpret the specifics of a law, that is up to the judicial system when an actual case is presented to them where all merits of the case and facts are presented so a (hopefully) correct interpretation can be made. Without reading the specific law and using just the info you provided I agree with both responses, 1.) It sounds like it would be illegal and 2.) You should definitely speak with the authorities in your jurisdiction to see what they say.

Again, it is refreshing to see someone just come out and say what they think about an issue. Did you build said device?
 
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I agree that it is nice that Hauge gave you an upfront straightforward answer to your question. I live in Oregon so I'm not familiar with who Hauge is so my opinion may not mean much but I think the answer you got from Gregoire's office was appropriate as well. It is not up to her or anyone in her office to interpret the specifics of a law, that is up to the judicial system when an actual case is presented to them where all merits of the case and facts are presented so a (hopefully) correct interpretation can be made. Without reading the specific law and using just the info you provided I agree with both responses, 1.) It sounds like it would be illegal and 2.) You should definitely speak with the authorities in your jurisdiction to see what they say.

Again, it is refreshing to see someone just come out and say what they think about an issue. Did you build said device?


FYI, it is perfectly legal to own a "silencer" in Washington state, but due to the wording in RCW 9.41.250, you cannot use one.
 
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keystir, I guess you missed the part where Chris Anthony lied me and said;
I do know that federal law also prohibits possession of a "firearm silencer" or "firearm muffler."

There are two good reasons to think that something is illegal. Either you read the law or a competent legal authority told you it was illegal. There are of course no laws banning silencers at the federal level. There are federal laws requiring a tax and registration as well as penalties for misuse, but silencers are not banned at the federal level like he tries to claim. In others words, he lied to me.

Why he chose to just make something up and pass it off as the truth I do not know. But when I wrote back to him explaining what federal law actually said, he replied saying the AG does not respond to requests from residents. I guess he thought I was some kind of idiot that would believe whatever I was told.

And yes I did build the box eventually (a few weeks ago), but was told by Hauge that it would be illegal to use it. I am trying to get my state senator to get an opinion from the AG now.

This thread details my quest to build a high powered rifle enclosure to reduce noise, and my eventual failure to be able to use it. http://www.northwestfirearms.com/fo...need-50-cal-rifle-noise-reduction-device.html

Ranb
 
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FYI, it is perfectly legal to own a "silencer" in Washington state, but due to the wording in RCW 9.41.250, you cannot use one.

I am aware of the legalities of silencer possession as I make them as a hobby on ATF form 1's. :) I wanted to know back in 2004 if use of a device not attached to the gun (not a silencer by the federal definition) would be in violation of WA state law. Instead of giving me the information about the WA RCW I asked for, the idiot tried to tell me silencers were illegal in the USA. Very insulting.

But for what its worth, I do enjoy making them on my lathe. I have been working on changing the law, but not many people are intertested in putting any effort into it.

Ranb
 
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Thanks for setting me straight guys. You're right I did miss that part, He probably had no idea what the federal law said, made that up on the spot and figured it sounded good so maybe you would just go away. It is upsetting when people who work on our tax dollars give you a line of lip service. I applaud you for standing up for our rights and asking these types of questions. I apologize for my ignorance of your guys situation up there, but now I know a little more!! :s0155:
 
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