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Meeting with Representative Petersen about silencer bill.

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Ranb, May 25, 2010.

  1. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    I and one of the members on the Northwest Firearms Forum met with Representative Jamie Petersen in Seattle to discuss House bill 1604. This bill would make an exception for those owners who own them legally. I thought it was amusing that I could not find an American to accompany me to the meeting, but that an Aussie was happy to. But I was happy to have him with as he is a better talker than I am.

    We were able to discuss the legalities of silencer ownership and the advantages of their use; particularly hearing protection and reduction of noise pollution. Petersen claims he is not actually against silencer use, but he had over 150 bills to consider and not one person told him that bill 1604 was a priority. So he of course did not take any action on it and let it die, again.

    Based on the general attitudes of WA gun owners towards silencers and the number of WA gun owners who tell me I am a criminal for owning silencers, I am not surprised that any Representative hasn't heard enough from their constituents to push this bill.

    Petersen made it very clear during the meeting that he needs someone to tell him the bill is a priority. He only gives hearings to those bills that are worthy of the committee's time. And so far according to him, no one in Olympia thinks bill 1604 is worthy of his time. I know I sound like a broken record, but we all need to contact our Representatives and ask them to give this bill some attention.

  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    i'm not from seattle, but i'll let one of my friends up there who owns silencers know.

    maybe you should post this in activism too, if you haven't already
  3. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    at least warshington gets to own silencers, just need to travel to oregon or idaho to enjoy them
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    hey Ranb, why don't you make up some banner ad graphics for your suppressor advocacy in WA and submit them to Derek?
  5. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a good idea.

  6. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    maybe this is a good time to hit up pandering hag Patty Murray? I bet she'd fight for you now as she is about to be terminated from the US Senate like the unborn children she refused to help in Washington. :uhoh::uhoh:
  7. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    I do not think she is interested in local politics.

  8. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    Ranb, did you ever get your silencers back from the Washington piggies? If things dont work out for ya soon on changing the laws in wa you may as well move down to oregon or over to idaho cuz its not worth risking your health dealing with a system that has no reason to be the way they are acting. Insanely controlling:banghead:.
  9. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    I think you have me confused with someone else. I have never had anything seized by the police. I would also never consent to a search or talk to the police about any crime without a lawyer present.

  10. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    reb, whoops, I thought that was you on the northwestfirearms site talking about your cans being taken away by cops while out shooting even though that person never used the silencers
  11. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    That was Bhowe. I commented on that thread several times, including posting replies from Deputy Haley about his version of the events Bhowe described.

  12. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    did Bhowe get his NFA toys back? If so, did the policeman apologize?
  13. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    You can read the thread on the forum. But I understand that Bhowe got them back after a while. Officer Haley felt completely justified in seizing them as far as I can tell. I heard something about the other guy facing charges, but do not know for sure. You will have to ask Bhowe.

    I asked Haley what law allowed him to seize evidence of a misdemeanor crime he did not witness, but he was not able to come up with anything except that he was trained to do so.

  14. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    Washington sure is a pretty state, too bad its going the way of ***********. I sense that progressive change here in Oregon too. :barf:
  15. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    It is going that way because that is the way most of the people in WA (including the gun owners) want it to go. Most of the people I contact and ask for assistance on amending the law to allow silencer use refuse to help. I do not ask for anything hard, write a letter, meet their Rep etc. But they will not do it.

  16. springwalk

    springwalk Well-Known Member

    Ran, when I left Minnesota for the army and was station out in your neck of the woods (Fort Lewis) I just stayed out here after my service as Minnesota wont let me bring my silencers into state. MN is extremely hunter oriented and everyone has guns, but virtually all owners have the typical view of silencers. "They are tools of assassins and poachers", so theres no chance there either. I think the best approach is to ask your representative just to push for accepting Federal Law as the standard and say nothing of silencers. The hollywood view of silencers isnt gonna go away most likely, so your gonna have to be crafty in getting it through. I hope Oregon stays in the good with nfa toys and all these Californicators moving in dont bring their policies up here like they so often try.
  17. kayak-man

    kayak-man Well-Known Member


    Thanks for bringing this up, as I had no idea that there was a bill like this floating around the capitol (yes, I know, I'm a poorly informed citizen). I'm going to write to Representative Rolfes today and ask her to give the bill a hearing. I just wanted to know if you had any other points other than suppressors reduce noise pollution - the last thing I want to do is send her a letter that amounts to "I think suppressors are really neat, so if you could just sort of pass this bill..."
    Are there any resources I could look at to get a better idea of how suppressors would be a benefit to our society?
    Also, did you choose Peterson for any specific reasons, or is it just that he is your districts representative?

    Thanks for everything,
  18. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    I chose Pedersen because he is the House Judiciary Chairman. He is the one who is refusing to give the bill a hearing in committee and letting it die each session. He will not give any bill a hearing unless he thinks it will pass the House and someone tells him it is a priority. He claims that not a single Rep told him it was. He says he only has time to give about 25% of the bills a hearing, so a bill like 1604 that no one cares about is not going to get one.

    Noise reduction is the most important thing to bring up. Rifle ranges in WA are being sued partly over noise complaints. In WA is illegal to use any kind of device to reduce the noise of a firearm, even if it is not attached to it. The Kitsap County prosecutor made this very clear when I asked him for his opinion on the box I made to insert a high powered rifle barrel into to reduce noise.

    Bill 1604 was the only bill that would have helped to reduce firearm noise in WA. But even if the new bill passes next session, it is not enough because it only allows those devices that are registered with the feds to be used. Downrange baffles, berms and shooting enclosures are all banned in WA and will continue to be illegal even if a silencer use bill is passed because the ATF does not register rifle range berms and other noise reduction measures.

    Even though some noise reduction devices are currently used at WA rifle ranges, it is only a matter of time in my opinion before they are attacked by the local prosecutors as a method of shutting down the range. RCW 9.41.250(c) needs to be amended more than bill 1604 would have, it needs to be eliminated, or at the very least, changed so that devices that aren't attached to the gun are not banned.

    Senator Kline is the other important person to convince as he is the Senate Judiciary chairman. While Pedersen says he has nothing against registered silencer use, Kline is an outspoken gun control fanatic. He used to try to convince me that silencers were illegal in the USA, but has recently backpedaled to being against their legal commerce.

    Cease Fire Washington, the WASPC and WACOPS (the two largest police associations in WA) have all agreed to take a neutral stance on registered silencer use in WA. Cease Fire says they have Kline’s ear, so I hope this helps. When I get letter from these groups I will post copies online so you can print them out and show them to anyone you talk to.

    If you talk to a Rep or Senator, make sure you bring printouts of 9.41.250 and the silencer use bill as they will most likely be unfamiliar with them. Pedersen was unfamiliar with the bill even though I had exchanged several e-mails on the subject before the meeting. Be familiar with the federal regulations on silencer registration and the severe penalties for the NFA tax evasion and silencer use in a crime. These range from a $10,000 fine and a year in prison to a quarter million dollar fine and life in prison.

    You can also inform them of the extremely low crime rate with silencers in the USA and how registered silencers are used in crime even less often then illegal ones. Those people who pay a $200 tax on each one and pass an FBI background check are less likely to abuse the privilege of owning one. I call it a privilege because the feds should not be allowed to license or tax a right.

    Here is a link to good info you can study before a meeting. http://www.scribd.com/doc/34895808/House-Bill-1604-r4 It is a summary of federal and state law and has some examples of ATF tax stamp applications. If you are familiar with the contents of this link, then you will know much more than almost any WA legislator currently in office. Make a copy that you can leave with the Rep for them to look at. If you are familiar with the law and regs, then you can just casually talk about it, then hand them the "proof" in your print out for them to look at later. It is important to make silencer use seem boring and routine, like putting a muffler on a motorcycle. And in a way it is. The ATF approves ALL tax stamp applications that are filled out properly. I have yet to see one denied that was error free. It is easier for a non-felon in the 37 states that allow them to get a tax stamp for a silencer (or other title 2 weapon) than it is to get a driver's license. It is more time consuming, but can be less expensive.


    Edited to add; The main benefit that silencers have for society is noise reduction. There is no need to bring up why the police and military want to use them. Their use should be encouraged for the same reason mufflers are used on engines. Imagine restricting muffler use on engines to those people who only lived in certain states, got a signature from the local sheriff and paid a $200 tax. Silencers and mufflers protect the hearing of everyone nearby, not just the firearm or engine user. This is why silencer use should be standard. You may want to use the more benign sounding words "firearm suppressor" or "sound suppressor". You could also explain that silencer and muffler are the legal terms used by the federal government. The word silencer as a gun muffler was coined by Maxim over 100 years ago when he was marketing his new suppressors. The word silencer is also commonly used to describe the devices used to suppress engine noise in countries other than the USA. I use the word silencer on gun forms because then everyone knows I am talking about a gun muffler and not a flash suppressor. When I had my meeting with Representative Haigh and started into my spiel about firearm suppressors, she asked if I meant silencers. So I kept on using the word silencer in the meeting.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  19. kayak-man

    kayak-man Well-Known Member


    I think I'll write to both Rolfes and Peterson, do you mind if I quote or paraphrase your previous post (number 18)

    You wouldn't happen to have been a defense attorney in Kitsap County area at one time, would you?
  20. Ranb

    Ranb Well-Known Member

    Quote all you like. Everything I know about the law I learned by watching Youtube videos and reading on the internet. :) But I have been learning a lot in the last three years about the political process here in WA.

    I might have an e-mail from Rolfe at home on my hard drive. If I do I will forward it to you. I can also post the e-mail I got from Hauge with his opinion of the broad nature of RCW 9.41.250(c) prohibiting anything that suppresses firearm noise in WA.

    The most important committment you can get from Rolfe right now is for her to agree to ask Pedersen to give the bill a hearing. She could tell you that she supports the bill 100%, but it means nothing if she can not talk Pederson into giving it a hearing. She was one of those who watched bill 1604 die for the last three sessions, so her support (if she ever did) and everyone else's was in vain.


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