Former Mayor Michael “Big Gulp” Bloomberg is trying to buy another state -- and this time the state is Washington. If successful, simply owning a gun, without making a tiny mistake which would land you in jail, will be like dancing barefoot in a pit of scorpions.
Bloomberg’s proposal -- an initiative which will be voted on in the November election -- is 18 pages long. Eighteen pages!
So the only thing most Washingtonians will know about it is the lies Bloomberg is paying to spew over the airwaves.
Gun background checks: A repeated record of failure
Bloomberg claims that universal background checks -- and the inevitable universal gun registries -- will make Americans safer.
But Jared Loughner (who shot Gabrielle Giffords) passed a background check. James Holmes (the Aurora shooter) passed a background check. Ditto, Elliot Rodger in Santa Barbara and Naveed Afzal Haq in Seattle. Adam Lanza in Newtown stole his guns from his mom, who passed lots of background checks.
This, incidentally, even though the Brady Law was sold in the early 90’s as “the gun control which would stop crime and end the call for more gun control.”
The reality is that background checks are more of a burden to law-abiding citizens, than to criminals. Consider that more than 175,000 military veterans have been denied firearms because of PTSD-related symptoms.
And researcher John Lott has reported that roughly 95% of gun buyers who are initially denied by the FBI are actually “false positives.” It’s no wonder then that, as reported by the Department of Justice in 2012, the DOJ only prosecuted 44 criminals for illegally attempting to purchase a firearm -- and only 13 were convicted!
Background checks have utterly failed to take criminals off the street, which is the ONLY way to keep guns out of their hands.
But then again, the name of the game isn’t safety. It’s exploiting the victims of horrible tragedies in order to score political gain.
Detroit and Baltimore have background checks, gun bans and gun registries -- and yet both cities have murder rates that are amongst the highest in the nation.
But, if Bloomberg’s aim is not public safety, it’s making gun ownership such a trap-laden labyrinth that people throw up their hands and give up their guns.
After all, if Bloomberg has his way, one in sixteen law-abiding Washingtonians will be illegitimately banned from owning guns -- for no justifiable reason.
I-594 will create an illegitimate gun ban for 1 in 16 gun buyers
The dirty little secret of the Brady system is that 6.2% of law-abiding gun purchasers -- or one out of sixteen -- are illegally prevented from buying firearms.1
This is, in large part, because the Brady InstantCheck system seldom indicates that a purchaser is a “prohibited person.” But it frequently provides a non-committal “yellow light” which never changes to green or red -- normally because the person’s name is similar to someone else’s.
Most gun dealers will not sell a gun subject to a “yellow light,” even if the law allows them to after three, ten, or sixty days.2
And, while the FBI is legally required to correct these errors, more often than not, it simply tells the aggrieved party to “sue us” if unhappy with the erroneously imposed gun ban. Most people just give up -- or they simply buy a gun from a private individual.
But under Bloomberg’s initiative, private citizens buying from other private citizens will now have a one out of sixteen chance of being subject to an erroneous lifetime gun ban.
What if one out of sixteen lawful voters was illegally turned away from the polls? What if one out of sixteen innocent men was illegally sent to prison? What if one out of sixteen newspapers was shut down? None of these would be acceptable to anti-gun zealots who, with relish, deny the right of legitimate gun purchasers to exercise their Second Amendment rights one out of every sixteen times.
I-594 will make it much harder to buy a gun from your neighbor
If Bloomberg has his way, the practical problems of purchasing a gun from your next door neighbor will make it much more difficult.
If you want to buy a gun from your next door neighbor, both of you will have to take a day off of work and go to a gun dealer together. (In some places in Washington, that may be a hundred miles.) The dealer will enter your name into the Instant Check system, as you pray that:
* The system isn’t down (as it frequently is); or
* You don’t get an unjustified “yellow light.”
In this sense, Bloomberg is applying a New York “solution” to a Washington State context he knows (and cares) nothing about.
Incidentally, you will pay a $35-50 fee to the gun shop, in addition to the Washington State use tax.
I-594 will put the final piece in place to set up a national gun registry
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is currently going around the country and (illegally) making wholesale copies of all of the dealer gun records (4473’s).
If, under the Bloomberg initiative, everyone is required to have a 4473 (because everyone is required to undergo a background check), then everyone will be on the BATFE list.
I-594 will turn many honest adults gun and hunting parties into criminals
The prohibition on gun “transfers” without a background check will make criminals out of most adults learning how to use a gun -- not to mention hunting parties and shooting competitions.
Unless you fall within an exception, the crazy Bloomberg initiative outlaws simply handing a gun to another person -- an act which would make you a criminal. This is because section 2 (25) requires only two things for a “transfer”: (1) “intended delivery” of a firearm, and (2) lack of compensation. (“[D]elivery” is not defined.)
Even loony anti-gun states like California have broad exceptions to ameliorate the consequences of this broad language. In California, you can loan your gun for a hunting season -- or for 30 days if you personally know the individual. You can hand your gun to someone during safety training.
Not so in Washington under the Bloomberg initiative. Indeed, the fact that Bloomberg creates “exceptions” which are ridiculously narrow probably makes the problem worse, under the legal principle that what is not explicitly excepted is implicitly outlawed.
Consider the following:
* If your “hands-on” safety course occurs, in whole or in part, somewhere other than an “established shooting range,” you are a criminal. So’s your instructor. [Section 3(4)(f)(ii).]
* If you hand your hunting rifle to a non-hunter guide while climbing through thick brush, you are a criminal. So’s your guide. [Section 3(4)(f)(v).]
* If you show a friend your new gun at your home and let him hold it, you’re a criminal. So’s your friend. [Section 3 in general.]
* If you clean your friend’s gun at a motel after a day of hunting, you’re a criminal. So is your friend. [Section 3(4)(f)(v).]
Bloomberg’s minions argue that these examples are “one-in-a-million hypotheticals.” But we wish this gun grabbing mayor could see the e-mails we get every week from law-abiding gun owners who are facing long prison sentences -- and who have had their lives ruined by Bloomberg concoctions such as this.
It is often too late for them. But it is not too late for the residents of Washington State.
I-594 will turn many police officers into criminals
Police who “transfer” guns to other police outside the scope of their authority will be criminals.
The law enforcement exception applies only to a person acting within the “course” of his official duties. [Section 3(4)(D).]
So if someone in law enforcement even hands his gun to one of his brothers in law enforcement, he is a criminal.
I-594 would make it effectively illegal to teach kids to use firearms
Bloomberg understands that, if he can effectively outlaw training to the next generation in the safe and effective use of firearms, he will have outlawed the Second Amendment, without firing a shot.
So what does the initiative say about this?
Under section 3(4)(a), you can presumably gift your 18-year-old son a handgun. But, assuming you don’t want to do that, you can’t show him how to use the gun in your home, because:
* Your home is not “an established shooting range” [section 3(4)(f)(ii)];
* He is not “under eighteen” [section 3(4)(f)(iv)];
* You are not actually “hunting” at the time [section 3(4)(f)(v)]; and
* He is not your wife [section 3(4)(f)(i)].
If you take a 14-year-old hunting and he, in his excitement, goes ahead of you to inspect the turkey he has shot, even for a moment, you are a criminal under section 3(4)(f)(iv) [as, Bloomberg will argue, he is no longer under your “direct” supervision].
If you offer a gun to your 17-year-old in exchange for yard work, you are a criminal. The FFL cannot process the transfer under 18 U.S.C. 922 (b), and you no longer fall under the “gift” exception.
And, if you do not have a written permission slip on your person at all times while your 14- or 17-year-old is holding the gun, you are a criminal under 18 U.S.C. 922(x), which requires a parent to write and hold a permission slip, even while directly supervising has child.
No lawyer could remember all of this. And, certainly, no layman will. The intent is to create such a legal labyrinth that your kids cannot be taught the safe and effective use of firearms. And the Second Amendment will die.
Protecting your family from a home-invader would become a legal nightmare
Consider this example: Your home is being invaded by armed thugs. You and your neighbor are outside by the barbecue grill. You hand the neighbor a gun and say: “Sneak inside and get the kids. I’ll scream and serve as a decoy.”
In this example, you’re a criminal. The neighbor’s a criminal. And, as a result, your kids are probably dead. [Though you can send the funeral bills to billionaire Bloomberg.]
Under section 3(4)(c), you can only temporarily transfer a gun in an emergency to allow the transferee to defend himself or herself. The language excepts only a “temporary transfer … to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to the person to whom the firearm is transferred.” You can’t transfer the gun to your neighbor for the purpose of protecting a third party -- in this case, your kids.
In fact, you’re sending your neighbor into harm’s way. If protecting him were your consideration, you would have told him to get the heck out of there. So, for protecting your kids, both of you are criminals.
All the time, we hear from law-abiding gun owners who are prosecuted for serious crimes, potentially over a decade in prison, for shooting (or threatening) genuinely dangerous criminals -- all because of tiny, tiny technicalities
Oh, and you may also want to ask your neighbor, as the invaders are about to shoot your kids, whether he’s a disabled veteran under the Veterans Disarmament Act, because that would also make both of you criminals.
Of course, your family is really of no concern to Bloomberg, who surrounds himself with armed guards.
I-594 reflects Bloomberg’s vile racism
In New York, Bloomberg had police stop and frisk millions of African Americans and other minorities without probable cause -- just because they were black.
Bloomberg’s initiative would carry over a current requirement that a purchaser must wait two full months to pick up a gun -- merely because they didn’t have a Washington state driver’s license. And it would make no difference if they had a walletful of other acceptable ID’s.
We all understand that the people most likely to be impacted by this are minorities and the poor.
But, unlike current law, Bloomberg would dramatically expand the number of transactions in which minorities would be discriminated against in this way.
Remember the controversy over voter identification? And remember how the Bloombergs of the world claimed that requiring driver’s licenses to vote was racist because blacks, the poor, and minorities were less likely to have them.
And yet Bloomberg has no problem erecting an ID-related obstacle to the ability of the poor and minorities to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
ACTION: Distribute this Fact Sheet to everyone you know. Ask them to re-send it to everyone they know. Let every gun owner in Washington State -- or friend of a gun owner -- know that the Bloomberg initiative must be defeated.
(1) According to researcher John Lott, 8% of all gun purchases are currently blocked by the FBI. But, according to a study by the Department of Justice, only 1.8% of the 8% are blocked because they are “denied.” That means that 6.2% -- or one out of sixteen -- are neither “denied” nor “approved.” However, because most gun sellers won't sell a firearm under these circumstances, even after three days, these legal gun purchasers are permanently denied their constitutional rights by bureaucratic fiat. And even most challenged denials (or “red lights”) are found to be illegitimate because, for instance, expungements (which restore gun rights) are frequently not recorded.
(2) I-594 is much worse than the defeated Manchin-Toomey amendment in the U.S. Senate (from 2013) because a “yellow light” in Washington state would REQUIRE that the gun be withheld for ten to sixty days (for poor people without the proper ID).[See Section 4.] And, as a practical matter, the wrongly accused purchaser (under I-594) would never get his gun -- or any other gun.