The gradual erosion of our constitutional rights has been happening in Washington state for years, and we won’t see a reprieve in 2020.
That’s because, as I write, several gun-control bills are working their way through the Democrat-controlled Legislature and have a good chance of becoming law this year.
When I campaigned for this office, I promised to vote against any new regulations on responsible gun owners. I will keep that promise. Such regulations limit a person’s ability to own firearms and are a violation of rights outlined in the Washington state and U.S. constitutions.
What’s more, gun-control won’t solve the problem. Passing gun laws won’t keep criminals from committing crimes. They’ll only limit our ability to defend ourselves.
Coming down the pike this session are the other side’s usual bans and burdensome regulations, but there’s one gun bill I want to highlight: House Bill 2467.
Because of changes at the federal level, completing a background check and purchasing a new gun is nearly impossible to do in a single trip to the store. This bill intends to change that. It directs the Washington State Patrol to establish a unit responsible for conducting state and federal background checks for dealers, which would greatly expediate the process for gun purchasers.
I like the sound of that. But there’s a catch: Buyers will be charged $18 for the service.
That might not seem like much, but any amount of money you’re charged to exercise a constitutional right is too much. Washington offers free postage for mailing your ballot. A stamp costs 55 cents, but some argue that having to buy that stamp constitutes a “poll tax” and impedes a person’s right to vote.
Why is it that charging a few cents for a stamp violates a person’s constitutional rights, but charging $18 for a background check doesn’t?
I’m working to eliminate that fee. If it’s removed, I will vote for this bill. If it’s not, I will vote against this bill. All the other gun-control bills are a violation of your rights and bring us no closer to curbing gun violence. I will vote against them as well.
You can join this fight by writing to legislators on the House Judiciary Committee and urging them to also vote no on these bad bills.
Jeremie Dufault is a Republican from Selah. He represents the 15th Legislative District in the Washington State House of Representatives.