This revelation comes on the heels of Monday’s marathon hearings in Colorado where sheriffs testified against several gun control measures, including one that would prohibit concealed carry on college campuses in the Centennial State, despite court rulings that have upheld the practice. Colorado is one of the states in which sheriffs have stepped forward to oppose the Obama agenda.
Why are sheriffs in the Pacific Northwest so quiet? After all, they have the numbers on their side. For example, a check Tuesday afternoon with the Department of Licensing revealed that there are now 405,530 active concealed pistol licenses in Washington. That’s more than 9,500 new CPLs since Examiner last checked with the agency on Feb. 1, when there were 395,984 active CPLs.
In Oregon, according to the Oregon State Police, as of Feb. 26, there were 169,781 active concealed handgun licenses in circulation.
As this column noted, gun control issues are raging on both sides of the Columbia River. Anti-gun Democrats in both states, same as in Colorado, have literally pulled every tenet of their long-standing legislative wish list out of mothballs to see what might bet passed this year. While the gun prohibition lobby may see opportunity, the math may not be on their side with more than a half-million legally-licensed armed citizens north of the California border, ready to fight what they believe are extremist measures.
According to the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard, the 14 pro-rights sheriff’s associations are in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, New York, New Mexico, Nebraska, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming. These organizations, Bedard wrote, are “demanding Obama to stop his gun grab and instead focus on expanding the national background check system to include far more information on the mental health status of gun buyers than it does now.”
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs have an opportunity to be part of that, but as this column noted, WASPC’s stubbornness over a proposal to scrap this state’s questionable-value pistol registry as part of the package is jeopardizing a background check measure, Substitute House Bill 1588, sponsored by Reps. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle) and Mike Hope (R-Lake Stevens).
Having more than 405,000 CPLs in circulation north of the Columbia River cannot come as good news to the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, more popularly known in the firearms community as the Seattle Alliance for Gun Control. Sheriffs in Washington pay attention to the number, since it is almost a certainty that those armed citizens vote and their departments are largely responsible for issuing those carry licenses.