Gun bans or just the threat of a gun ban, is good not only for firearms retailer sales, but also for driving new members and their money to gun rights organizations, and in some cases – as happened with a proposed change in Washington’s long-standing self-defense statute – the threat ignites activism to stop legislation before it starts.
BULLETIN: Emily Miller at the Washington Times was reporting late Friday that NBC's David Gregory is getting off without so much as a wrist slap after his on-air grandstanding display of a 30-round magazine, which is prohibited in Washington, D.C., during a combative interview with NRA's Wayne LaPierre last month. This column discussed Gregory's exhibition.
A House measure that would have required victims of criminal attack to retreat in Washington State has been pulled. Underscoring this victory, Alan Gottlieb at the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, told Examiner that memberships are climbing and there has been one on-line contribution every three seconds in recent days.
Likewise, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms – SAF’s grassroots sister organization at Bellevue’s Liberty Park complex – is also experiencing a stunning volume of new and renewed memberships.
The National Rifle Association reportedly added 100,000 new members to its rolls over the course of 18 days.
The news coincides with this week’s revelations that the Obama administration is pushing ahead with plans to ban so-called “assault weapons” and require universal background checks for all firearms transactions. Some firearms industry sources also fear an Obama executive order that might affect imports of firearms and/or ammunition magazines as early as next week, during the 2013 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. This column will be reporting from there all next week.
In Olympia, anti-gun Seattle Democrat Sen. Ed Murray has announced he will move for a statewide ban on semiautomatic rifles, but he may face the same onslaught that brought down House Bill 1012, the anti-self-defense measure proposed by Rep. Sherry Appleton last month. Public reaction was overwhelmingly negative. This column earlier discussed that bill, which apparently helped fire up the opposition.
Newfound gun rights activism is also showing in the number of concealed pistol licenses. Washington ended the year with more than 392,700 CPLs in circulation, and the number is still climbing. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office recently advised that “The number of applicants has jumped to three or four times the amount per day compared to the numbers prior to" the Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut.
Battle lines have clearly been drawn, and it appears that the firearms community has facts on its side, according to various sources.
New research by the Justice Department shows violent crime is down among youths, with data suggesting the threat of knife attack is far greater than being injured by gunfire. The facts go even farther, as crime data from the FBI show more people have been killed with hammers than rifles in the past six years. A recent Gallup poll shows public support for some gun laws, but opposition for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
On Thursday, the NRA and representatives from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and other gun groups met with Vice President Joe Biden for what they hoped would be a fruitful discussion on violence. What they got, by some accounts, was little more than a lecture from the anti-gun vice president about the administration’s views. This column was among the first to report the NRA’s reaction.
This week’s announcement of a gun “buyback” in Seattle – something of a misnomer because Seattle never owned those firearms it hopes to purchase – also has Evergreen State activists fired up. Efforts by anti-gunners to silence the firearms community's planned Gun Appreciation Day threw gasoline on that flame.
On Saturday, Jan. 19, a planned pro-gun demonstration in Olympia could attract hundreds of activists who may go there instead of attend the big Washington Arms Collectors gun show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds, where SAF and CCRKBA will kick off its “Bucket of Bucks” fund raising effort. The challenge will be to fill a bucket with dollar bills or larger denominations to help pay for SAF legal activities and CCRKBA grassroots efforts.
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