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Thread: GOAL Alert - Domestic Misdemeanor Expansions afoot!

  1. #1
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    This GOAL Alert just in from Joe Waldron:

    GOAL ALERT 1-2010 1 February 2010

    One almost slipped past us! House Bill 2778 appears to adopt federal restrictions on firearm possession in cases of domestic violence or "no-contact" or other family-related restraining orders.
    Federal law is already bad enough. Banning possession of firearms, a fundamental constitutional right, for a misdemeanor simple assault conviction is already unconscionable. The same is true with regard to firearm bans on individuals subject to certain restraining orders -- individuals who have committed no crime whatsoever.
    But HB 2778 goes much further than that. Bill sponsors claim the bill merely incorporate the federal prohibitions into state law. But rather than simply quote federal law, or cite it in existing Washington law, it adds entirely new language that far exceeds the already oppressive federal restrictions.

    From the NRA Legislative Counsel:
    Adding "harassment" to the provisions of the federal DV law would exceed the scope of the federal law. "Harassment" under Washington law may not even contain an element of the use of or threatened use of force.
    "Family or household members" as defined in RCW 9.41.040(2) is broader than the definitions of "intimate partner" in federal law.
    The surrender of firearms and prohibitions contained in RCW 9.41.800 would apply to ex parte restraining orders, where the subject of the order would not even have the opportunity to defend him- or herself.

    HB 2778 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on 21 January. It was subjected to a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee today (1 February) and will likely come out of that committee in a few days. Then it goes to the full House for a floor vote by all Representatives.
    You are urged to call both of your Representatives and ask them to oppose this poorly drafted legislation. A substitute MAY be offered that would limit the impact of the bill to that of federal law. While that is infinitely preferable to the version under consideration at this time, the bottom line is, do we really want to deny a fundamental constitutional right to someone who has not been convicted of a serious crime? Or in the case of a restraining order, NO CRIME?
    You may contact your Representatives via the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or directly via the contact information available at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx When your legislative district pops up, it will include links to your Representatives' web site, with office and e-mail addresses and direct telephone numbers.

    In no way does our opposition to HB 2778 imply we condone domestic violence, in any form. As my father taught me many years ago, boys don't hit girls. Period. This is simply a poorly written bill that does not deserve serious consideration.

    -------END------

    Here are the emails for the Ways And Means committee, where the bill awaits a vote now.

    linville.kelli@leg.wa.gov, ericks.mark@leg.wa.gov, sullivan.pat@leg.wa.gov, alexander.gary@leg.wa.gov, bailey.barbara@leg.wa.gov, dammeier.bruce@leg.wa.gov, chandler.bruce@leg.wa.gov, cody.eileen@leg.wa.gov, conway.steve@leg.wa.gov, darneille.j@leg.wa.gov, haigh.kathy@leg.wa.gov, hinkle.bill@leg.wa.gov, hunt.sam@leg.wa.gov, hunter.ross@leg.wa.gov, kagi.ruth@leg.wa.gov, kenney.phyllis@leg.wa.gov, kessler.lynn@leg.wa.gov, pettigrew.eric@leg.wa.gov, priest.skip@leg.wa.gov, ross.charles@leg.wa.gov, schmick.joe@leg.wa.gov, seaquist.larry@leg.wa.gov,


  2. #2
    Regular Member swatspyder's Avatar
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    9 Sec. 310. RCW 9.41.040 and 2009 c 293 s 1 are each amended to read
    10 as follows:
    11 (1)(a) A person, whether an adult or juvenile, is guilty of the
    12 crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree, if the
    13 person owns, has in his or her possession, or has in his or her control
    14 any firearm after having previously been convicted or found not guilty
    15 by reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any serious offense
    16 as defined in this chapter.
    17 (b) Unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree is a class
    18 B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
    19 (2)(a) A person, whether an adult or juvenile, is guilty of the
    20 crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree, if the
    21 person does not qualify under subsection (1) of this section for the
    22 crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree and the
    23 person owns, has in his or her possession, or has in his or her control
    24 any firearm:
    25 (i) After having previously been convicted or found not guilty by
    26 reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any felony not
    27 specifically listed as prohibiting firearm possession under subsection
    28 (1) of this section((, or));
    29 (ii) After having previously been convicted or found not guilty by
    30
    reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any of the following
    31 crimes when committed by one family or household member against
    32 another, committed on or after July 1, 1993: Assault in the fourth
    33 degree, coercion, stalking, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass in
    34 the first degree, harassment, or violation of the provisions of a
    35 protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or
    36
    excluding the person from a residence (RCW 26.50.060, 26.50.070,
    37 26.50.130, or 10.99.040);

    HB 2778 p. 18

    1 (((ii))) (iii) During any period of time that the person is subject
    2 to an order issued under chapter 10.99, 26.50, or 26.52 RCW that:
    3 (A) Was issued after a hearing of which the person received actual
    4 notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate; and
    5 (B) Restrains the person from causing physical harm or bodily
    6 injury, assaulting, sexually assaulting, molesting, harassing,
    7 threatening, or stalking, a family or household member of the person,
    8 or a minor child of the family or household member;
    9 (iv) After having previously been involuntarily committed for
    10 mental health treatment under RCW 71.05.240, 71.05.320, 71.34.740,
    11 71.34.750, chapter 10.77 RCW, or equivalent statutes of another
    12 jurisdiction, unless his or her right to possess a firearm has been
    13 restored as provided in RCW 9.41.047;
    14 (((iii))) (v) If the person is under eighteen years of age, except
    15 as provided in RCW 9.41.042; and/or
    16 (((iv))) (vi) If the person is free on bond or personal
    17 recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a serious offense
    18 as defined in RCW 9.41.010.
    19 (b) Unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree is a
    20 class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.
    21 (3) Notwithstanding RCW 9.41.047 or any other provisions of law, as
    22 used in this chapter, a person has been "convicted", whether in an
    23 adult court or adjudicated in a juvenile court, at such time as a plea
    24 of guilty has been accepted, or a verdict of guilty has been filed,
    25 notwithstanding the pendency of any future proceedings including but
    26 not limited to sentencing or disposition, post-trial or post-
    27 factfinding motions, and appeals. Conviction includes a dismissal
    28 entered after a period of probation, suspension or deferral of
    29 sentence, and also includes equivalent dispositions by courts in
    30 jurisdictions other than Washington state. A person shall not be
    31 precluded from possession of a firearm if the conviction has been the
    32 subject of a pardon, annulment, certificate of rehabilitation, or other
    33 equivalent procedure based on a finding of the rehabilitation of the
    34 person convicted or the conviction or disposition has been the subject
    35 of a pardon, annulment, or other equivalent procedure based on a
    36 finding of innocence. Where no record of the court's disposition of
    37 the charges can be found, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that
    38 the person was not convicted of the charge.

    p. 19 HB 2778

    1 (4) Notwithstanding subsection (1) or (2) of this section, a person
    2 convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of an offense
    3 prohibiting the possession of a firearm under this section other than
    4 murder, manslaughter, robbery, rape, indecent liberties, arson,
    5 assault, kidnapping, extortion, burglary, or violations with respect to
    6 controlled substances under RCW 69.50.401 and 69.50.410, who received
    7 a probationary sentence under RCW 9.95.200, and who received a
    8 dismissal of the charge under RCW 9.95.240, shall not be precluded from
    9 possession of a firearm as a result of the conviction or finding of not
    10 guilty by reason of insanity. Notwithstanding any other provisions of
    11 this section, if a person is prohibited from possession of a firearm
    12 under subsection (1) or (2) of this section and has not previously been
    13 convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a sex offense
    14 prohibiting firearm ownership under subsection (1) or (2) of this
    15 section and/or any felony defined under any law as a class A felony or
    16 with a maximum sentence of at least twenty years, or both, the
    17 individual may petition a court of record to have his or her right to
    18 possess a firearm restored:
    19 (a) Under RCW 9.41.047; and/or
    20 (b)(i) If the conviction or finding of not guilty by reason of
    21 insanity was for a felony offense, after five or more consecutive years
    22 in the community without being convicted or found not guilty by reason
    23 of insanity or currently charged with any felony, gross misdemeanor, or
    24 misdemeanor crimes, if the individual has no prior felony convictions
    25 that prohibit the possession of a firearm counted as part of the
    26 offender score under RCW 9.94A.525; or
    27 (ii) If the conviction or finding of not guilty by reason of
    28 insanity was for a nonfelony offense, after three or more consecutive
    29 years in the community without being convicted or found not guilty by
    30 reason of insanity or currently charged with any felony, gross
    31 misdemeanor, or misdemeanor crimes, if the individual has no prior
    32 felony convictions that prohibit the possession of a firearm counted as
    33 part of the offender score under RCW 9.94A.525 and the individual has
    34 completed all conditions of the sentence.
    35 (5) In addition to any other penalty provided for by law, if a
    36 person under the age of eighteen years is found by a court to have
    37 possessed a firearm in a vehicle in violation of subsection (1) or (2)
    38 of this section or to have committed an offense while armed with a

    HB 2778 p. 20

    1 firearm during which offense a motor vehicle served an integral
    2 function, the court shall notify the department of licensing within
    3 twenty-four hours and the person's privilege to drive shall be revoked
    4 under RCW 46.20.265.
    5 (6) Nothing in chapter 129, Laws of 1995 shall ever be construed or
    6 interpreted as preventing an offender from being charged and
    7 subsequently convicted for the separate felony crimes of theft of a
    8 firearm or possession of a stolen firearm, or both, in addition to
    9 being charged and subsequently convicted under this section for
    10 unlawful possession of a firearm in the first or second degree.
    11 Notwithstanding any other law, if the offender is convicted under this
    12 section for unlawful possession of a firearm in the first or second
    13 degree and for the felony crimes of theft of a firearm or possession of
    14 a stolen firearm, or both, then the offender shall serve consecutive
    15 sentences for each of the felony crimes of conviction listed in this
    16 subsection.
    17 (7) Each firearm unlawfully possessed under this section shall be
    18 a separate offense.
    19 Sec. 311. RCW 9.41.800 and 2002 c 302 s 704 are each amended to
    20 read as follows:
    21 (1) Any court when entering an order authorized under RCW
    22 9A.46.080, 10.14.080, 10.99.040, 10.99.045, 26.09.050, 26.09.060,
    23 26.10.040, 26.10.115, 26.26.130, 26.50.060, 26.50.070, or 26.26.590
    24 shall, upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence, that a party
    25 has: Used, displayed, or threatened to use a firearm or other
    26 dangerous weapon in a felony, or previously committed any offense that
    27 makes him or her ineligible to possess a firearm under the provisions
    28 of RCW 9.41.040:
    29 (a) Require the party to surrender any firearm or other dangerous
    30 weapon;
    31 (b) Require the party to surrender any concealed pistol license
    32 issued under RCW 9.41.070;
    33 (c) Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a firearm or
    34 other dangerous weapon;
    35 (d) Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a concealed
    36 pistol license.

    p. 21 HB 2778

    1 (2) Any court when entering an order authorized under RCW
    2 9A.46.080, 10.14.080, 10.99.040, 10.99.045, 26.09.050, 26.09.060,
    3 26.10.040, 26.10.115, 26.26.130, 26.50.060, 26.50.070, or 26.26.590
    4 may, upon a showing by a preponderance of the evidence but not by clear
    5 and convincing evidence, that a party has: Used, displayed, or
    6 threatened to use a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a felony, or
    7 previously committed any offense that makes him or her ineligible to
    8 possess a pistol under the provisions of RCW 9.41.040:
    9 (a) Require the party to surrender any firearm or other dangerous
    10 weapon;
    11 (b) Require the party to surrender a concealed pistol license
    12 issued under RCW 9.41.070;
    13 (c) Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a firearm or
    14 other dangerous weapon;
    15 (d) Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a concealed
    16 pistol license.
    17 (3) Any court when entering an order under RCW 10.99.040,
    18 10.99.045, or 26.50.060 that restrains the party from causing physical
    19 harm or bodily injury, assaulting, sexually assaulting, molesting,
    20 harassing, threatening, or stalking, a family or household member of
    21 the party, or a minor child of the family or household member, shall:
    22 (a) Require the party to surrender any firearm or other dangerous
    23 weapon; and
    24 (b) Prohibit the party from obtaining or possessing a firearm or
    25 other dangerous weapon.
    26 (4) The court may order temporary surrender of a firearm or other
    27 dangerous weapon without notice to the other party if it finds, on the
    28 basis of the moving affidavit or other evidence, that irreparable
    29 injury could result if an order is not issued until the time for
    30 response has elapsed.
    31 (((4))) (5) In addition to the provisions of subsections (1), (2),
    32 ((and)) (3), and (4) of this section, the court may enter an order
    33 requiring a party to comply with the provisions in subsection (1) of
    34 this section if it finds that the possession of a firearm or other
    35 dangerous weapon by any party presents a serious and imminent threat to
    36 public health or safety, or to the health or safety of any individual.
    37 (((5))) (6) The requirements of subsections (1), (2), and (((4)))

    HB 2778 p. 22

    1 (5) of this section may be for a period of time less than the duration
    2 of the order.
    3 (((6))) (7) The court may require the party to surrender any
    4 firearm or other dangerous weapon in his or her immediate possession or
    5 control or subject to his or her immediate possession or control to the
    6 sheriff of the county having jurisdiction of the proceeding, the chief
    7 of police of the municipality having jurisdiction, or to the restrained
    8 or enjoined party's counsel or to any person designated by the court.

  3. #3
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    This is what I just sent them this morning.



    Dear Members of the House Ways And Means Committee,

    I'm writing to urge you in the strongest terms to oppose HB 2778 until the language has been removed that expands domestic misdemeanor prohibitions on gun ownership.

    All of the existing state and federal misdemeanor prohibitions are an outrage and have been so since they were enacted. People have died because they were disarmed by these laws, and these laws have not contributed to making domestic violence victims safer. They have only provided greater cause for contention, and at times have provided people with a weapon with which to threaten household members. One phony accusation is all that's needed to empower police to raid one's home. This writer has been called to jury duty in two cases of phony accusations resulting in domestic charges.

    These laws are clear and blatant violations of the State and Federal constitutions and need to be repealed. Until that happens however, the state should not be exacerbating this crime to bring us into "conformity" with Federal law. Unconstitutional Federal laws are the cause of the rise of the Tenth Amendment movement, and are the last thing on Earth we need to conform with. The current bill even compounds this outrage by adding "harassment" to the prohibited categories. If enacted, we will have a disqualifying crime on the books that does not even require showing a threat of harm; merely bothering someone will suffice.

    How long will it be before the case is made that non-domestic misdemeanors aren't really that different, and we need to close that "loophole"? Where does this end exactly, and where is the line supposed to be, if not with felony convictions?

    The State needs to get out of the business of micromanaging relationships and back to the business of prosecuting actual crimes, regardless of where they occur. Attached please find a bill that addresses this issue properly, by repealing the state domestic misdemeanor prohibitions. This bill would remove a major cause of contention in rocky relationships and restore respect for people's right to protect home and family. Even a mean stepdad isn't likely to allow his family to be harmed by an intruder.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Schmadeka
    Freedom Restoration Project of Washington
    http://frpwa.com

  4. #4
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    This is from the latest GOAL Post regarding this bill:

    "HB 2778, the bill that would combine the worst of federal and state restrictions for firearm possession by individuals convicted of certain domestic violence-related misdemeanors or subject to certain restraining orders sits in the House Ways & Means Committee. Fiscal committee cut-off is Tuesday, 9 February. Assuming it passes out of Ways & Means, it will go to House Rules, awaiting a pull to the floor for a vote of the full House. Amendments will be offered to eliminate or reduce the firearms provisions of the bill." END

    The cutoff is tomorrow, and when they pass these thingsit's usually at the last minute. So if you haven't written to the Ways and Means committeeat the email addresses above, tonight would be a good time.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Washintonian_For_Liberty's Avatar
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    I already wrote one of the co-sponsors, Marcie Maxwell. I've been writing her almost on a weekly basis... she now responds to my emails "Hi John..." or "How are you John,?"

    Most of the time, she's able to say she's not on the committee discussing these bills, but this time... I got her. Since she is a sponsor, I really don't think I'll change her mind... but we have to start saying NO!!!

    NO!! My Inalienable rights are NOT UP FOR A VOTE!!!

    NO!! My natural rights cannot be TAKEN AWAY FOR ARBITRARY REASONS!!!

    NO!! Preemptive laws of ALL KINDS are an abomination and completely unconstitutional.

    We must draw a line in the sand... we must... or they WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE ARE ENSLAVED!!!
    Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. ~ George Washington

  6. #6
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    According to the legislative website, it hasn't moved out of the Ways And Means committee. So assuming yesterday was the cutoff and they didn't vote togive themselves extra time, we should be good on that one.



  7. #7
    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Washintonian_For_Liberty wrote:
    I already wrote one of the co-sponsors, Marcie Maxwell. I've been writing her almost on a weekly basis... she now responds to my emails "Hi John..." or "How are you John,?"

    Most of the time, she's able to say she's not on the committee discussing these bills, but this time... I got her. Since she is a sponsor, I really don't think I'll change her mind... but we have to start saying NO!!!

    NO!! My Inalienable rights are NOT UP FOR A VOTE!!!

    NO!! My natural rights cannot be TAKEN AWAY FOR ARBITRARY REASONS!!!

    NO!! Preemptive laws of ALL KINDS are an abomination and completely unconstitutional.

    We must draw a line in the sand... we must... or they WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE ARE ENSLAVED!!!
    I like it!!!!!!

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