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Proposed floor amendment 545 to SSB 6006 repealing the unconstitutional power to arbitrarily ban firearms possession during a declared state of emergency would bring state law into compliance with current case law on the matter. Laws and declarations similar to Washington State law concerning citizen possession of firearms during a declared state of emergency have been found to be unconstitutional.

The fact our state has never acted on this emergency “power” to restrict the lawful possession of legally owned firearms has left it on the books, unchallenged, as a litigant would lack standing on this unused law.

A relic of the 1960’s, laws of this nature were enacted to empower the government against those that may choose to exercise their freedoms clearly outlined in the Bill of Rights and the Washington State Constitution.

In addition, in upwards of 600,000 Washingtonians are extensively background checked and legally certified to carry firearms by the State of Washington. Is it to be assumed that this imagined “emergency power” also extends to these individuals? If so, it would be a stunning reversal for the state to summarily revoke these licenses in such an action. There would surely be both legal and political consequences for elected officials and the state if such an action were to ever occur.

During a declared emergency when 911 response resources would surely be stretched thin, citizens would likely be on their own to defend themselves and others. As recent geological research has outlined, Western Washington is one of the world’s most dangerous earthquake zones. A large earthquake could separate citizens for days or even weeks from vital emergency services.

Tell your representative to support SSB 6006 if it is amended by calling at 1-800-562-6000 and then send them an email today!