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Thread: Washington and gun rights 1961... why?

  1. #1
    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    S. Kitsap, Washington state

    Washington and gun rights 1961... why?

    So after reading lots of material, I still am at a loss to know, why was Washington among the first states to enact serious pro-gun rights legislation in the 1960s?

    Washington was the second state to enact shall issue concealed carry in 1961, after New Hampshire in 1959.

    so there was little geographical influence. I sought out to answer this question, and still don't know. I went to the Kitsap law library and got the session laws, it turns out our CCW law prior to 1961 was worded along the lines of "the sheriff shall issue a license to someone of suitable character who has substatial reason or is in unusual danger" (ie, buddies with the sheriff) but in 1961 the law was changed to the current incarnation and stated "a person's constitutional right to bear arms shall not be denied unless (then goes on to explain the disqualifiers)

    keep in mind, the next state to go shall issue after Washington was Connecticutt, 8 years later, and from that time until 1990 only 10 states were shall issue. 20 years later nearly every other state is.

    my question remains, who did Washington enact shall issue, enact state preemption, and eliminate the requirement to change pistol registration upon sale (between 35 and 61 every pistol sale required a pistol purchase form be filled) why? did they do those 40 years before it was popular? I can't find any notes in the house journal or session laws indicating why these sweeping changes were made.

    does anyone have any idea, know anyone alive at the time who knew, or does anyone know if any newspapers who's archives i can check that covered this at the time? that would be helpful.

    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

    NRA Member

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Yelm, WA
    My understanding is that almost all gun control laws in each state had their original roots in racism or some such discriminatory issues.

    What you found here:

    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    ..."the sheriff shall issue a license to someone of suitable character who has substatial reason..."
    sort of confirms that the licenses could be obtained by anyone that the sheriff "liked". "But we don't need/want those people to have guns".
    In other places, simply carrying a firearm was illegal: "But no one's going to arrest you, Mr. Bowman, be realistic."

    Not sure where 1961 fits in with Washington's path toward recognizing equal rights... (I'm not originally from WA)


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