The geese are gathering on the river, leaves are turning colors and the days are much shorter now. For me, and for millions of other men and women throughout North America, that means hunting season is upon us.
Depending upon open season dates and my intended quarry, I am either a bow hunter or a gun hunter. When archery equipment is not suitable, my “go to” firearm is my trusty Remington, Model 1100, a 12 gauge shot-gun manufactured by the Remington Arms Company of Ilion, New York. It was introduced to the public in 1963 and became an immediate hit with hunters and skeet shooters alike.
I bought mine in 1975 from a friend and co-worker with the sole intention of using it for hunting. It is a gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun, and it came with two barrels. The first is a 30” ventilated rib for shot shells and the second barrel is shorter, rifled and designed for deer slugs. The tubular magazine holds four 2 3/4” shells and, with one in the chamber, it is fully loaded with a maximum of five rounds of ammunition. Over the years, this firearm has put a lot of wild game on the dining room table including venison, waterfowl and upland game birds.
Quite simply, this is the most versatile tool I have ever owned, bar none. There are literally millions of these Remingtons, and others like them made by different manufacturers, in the hands of peaceful, law-abiding sportsmen throughout America to include the State of Washington.
I acquired this firearm with no background check, no permit application and no letter from the County Sheriff stating I was “eligible to possess” a gun. My acquisition, possession and use of this firearm was completely legal then, when I lived in New York, and now, that I live in Maine. My easy access to acquire guns for lawful purposes is protected by the Second Amendment. No state or federal laws were broken and this type of transaction has been repeated countless times as hunters change their equipment and try different things in pursuit of wild game. Currently, there are at least 34 states where this or similar transactions are still allowed.
My Constitutional right to keep and bear arms was not infringed then, and should not be infringed now, or ever! But I-1639, also known as the Public Safety and Semiautomatic Assault Rifle Act, aims to change that. This initiative is a wolf in sheep’s clothing! It claims to make the public safer but is actually nothing more than a conglomeration of extreme, unproven gun control measures which have been denounced by all of Washington’s premier law enforcement associations. It will do nothing to stop crime but, if approved, it will actually make criminals out of tens of thousands of Washingtonians. But everyone, regardless of where you live, should be alarmed at this giant step towards tyranny because the merry band of billionaires pushing this initiative are proclaiming it to be a “Blue Print” for all states to follow in the future!
Here are some of the shocking high-lights of I-1639. First, by definition, my trusty shotgun becomes a rifle, when configured with its shorter, rifled slug barrel and is loaded with shot shells branded as the “Remington Slugger”, a single projectile which is a 7/8 oz. rifled slug. This ammunition is very popular among deer hunters. And because it is a “gas operated semi-automatic”, my model 1100 magically becomes a “semi-automatic assault rifle”. That is a new, very broad term intended to regulate as many long guns as possible and was created to scare the unknowing public while triggering some very unconstitutional and restrictive measures with severe penalties for non-compliance. For example, I-1639 would:
- Outlaw a hunter younger than 21 from using his parent’s gun unless he or she was standing right next to that teenager at all times!
- Impose a $25.00 State administrative fee and possible Dealer transaction fee for any private sale, adding to the cost of gun ownership.
- Wait the required time period of 10 to 60 days for permission to make a purchase.
- Make my private and confidential medical records available to the State.
- Prove that I have completed a recognized firearm safety training program within the last five years.
- Have the Chief of Police or Sheriff send a letter to the Dealer stating I am not a prohibited person and I am eligible to possess a firearm.
- Be subject to re-verification of eligibility at least annually or on a more frequently basis.
- Keep my firearm securely locked up and unavailable for self-defense or face charges of Community Endangerment should it ever be stolen!
Here are the definitions for this act:
(22) “Rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.
(25) “Semiautomatic assault rifle” means any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.
(29) “Shotgun” means a weapon with one or more barrels, designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
One can clearly see how hunters and recreational shooters have become the targets of this abusive initiative. State and Federal Constitutional rights are in jeopardy and every Washington law enforcement officer, who is sworn to uphold those constitutions, knows that this initiative will not prevent a single crime because criminals do not obey the law. The Liberty First Foundation believes our civil rights are too important to be compromised and as far as we can tell, the only crime to be prevented here is the passage of I-1639.
Please vote No on I-1639 and urge you family and friends to do the same. This initiative can be defeated if we all turn out to vote on November 6th. I-1639 is bad for Washington and bad for America.
Thank you for reading our essays. If you would like to help support our movement, click this link https://ko-fi.com/libertyfirstfoundation and buy us a cup of coffee. We and the Second Amendment appreciate your support!