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Let's Change Washington State's Silencer Laws

Discussion in 'Activism' started by carnaby, Jan 15, 2008.

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  1. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    As many of you know, Washington State has strange laws regarding ownership and usage of firearm sound suppressors, also known in lay terms as "silencers."

    Currently, if we follow federal law, we are allowed by Washington State law to own sound suppressors (which I'll simply refer to as "suppressors" from here forward). We may also mount them on functional firearms. However, and here's the strange part, we may not actually fire any bullets through them. This is according to RCW 9.41.250(1)(c).

    I also noticed that in RCW 9.41.250(1)(b), it seems that my Buck Folding Alpha Hunter might be illegal, since it's blade "is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement"

    But that's another problem for another day. Today, I want to address our ridiculous suppressor law. Does anyone here know how we might get the ball rolling on such a process? It's a silly law and should be dealt with sooner, rather than later. Heck, even the Europeans do better on this issue than us, and that might get us a foot in the door. I know the Finns did a study not too long ago, and basically made suppressors over the counter items.

    So let's here any and all ideas about how to get this done :D
     
  2. thrasher64

    thrasher64 Member

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    Sign me up!

    Would love to get a can for my AR.. And be able to use it :banghead:

    Ideas? nothing here yet :(
     
  3. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    That is a strange law.
    What if, instead of using "... any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm," you were to use a device whose purpose was to stabilize the flow of gases out of the muzzle in order to increase accuracy?
     
  4. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    patentmike, come on up and give it a try :D
     
  5. Upriver

    Upriver Member

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    You might start by inquiring with Senator Hargrove about the legislation he proposed to get this changed a few years back, and why it didn't go through. Here's his contact info:

    www.leg.wa.gov/senate/hargrove/

    And info relating to the bill with regards to changing restrictions on firearm noise suppressors, which he introduced in 2005:

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/Summary.aspx?bill=5167&year=2005

    which would have amended RCW 9.41.250 to read:

    (3) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any
    firearm unless the suppressor is legally registered and possessed in
    accordance with federal law
    , is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

    Yeah, it's a stupid law the way things stand. At least you can get one here, though you've gotta at least as far as Oregon or Idaho to legally use it.
     
  6. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    I'll probably get a phone call from my Rep.. I'll talk to him about it too..
     
  7. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

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    Upriver: I like that amendment, esp. as it would essentially get WA out of the way wrt silencers / suppressors / firearm report amelioration devices* -- after all, if it's *not* in accordance w/ Fed law, there's plenty of teeth that can be snapped on your leg anyhow.

    I really like the contrast with places like Finland, where (as I understand it), it's considered rude to shoot (targets at least) *without* a silencer.

    timothy

    * Personally I like "silencer" better than certain more pedantically Korrekt terms, which I am using this quick reply to gently mock ;)
     
  8. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    Thanks Upriver, I'll give him a call/email tomorrow.
     
  9. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    Thanks for the invitation. The range closest to me was closed down by the city due to the noise. Gas suppressors make good neighbors.
     
  10. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    I sent emails to my two representatives and my senator:
    Just got this reply from my Representative, Jim McIntire:

    So it seems that any of you living in Senator hargrove's district need to contact him to ask him to submit a new bill of this nature. Let's go people, we can make this happen!
     
  11. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    Carnaby, That email is a work of art. Well done. I'm sorry you haven't gotten any traction yet, but I wish you luck.
     
  12. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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  13. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    The WA law also seems to make it illegal for law enforcement to use silencers as well.
     
  14. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    cough cough animal farm cough cough

    they can use them as long as they are doing the .gov's work....
     
  15. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

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    try Senator Pam Roach. she is a great place to get something moving with regard to gun rights.

    Bobby
     
  16. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    I really don't see how the law allows local and state law enforcement to use suppressors

    Where is the le exemption? Thanks
     
  17. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    The law does not allow it, but I heard that the AG has said that he won't enforce it wrt. LEO.
     
  18. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    Interesting.

    Wonder why the Dems won't ram through an LE exception?
     
  19. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

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    even the British let you have a silencer for rifles anyway
     
  20. Upriver

    Upriver Member

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    Three Reps and a Senator contacted using a variation of Carnaby's letter (nice job, BTW). Any chance someone in Jim Hargrove's district could send him a letter prompting a re-introduction?
     
  21. swifteagle

    swifteagle Member

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    It is odd that Washington will allow you to own a suppressor but not actually shoot through it. We might presume that the intent was to make it illegal for a criminal to use a suppressor to shoot his or her victim with a suppressor thereby reducing the likelihood of neighbors reporting hearing gunfire. Such a thought is absurd since a criminal willing to break the law that forbids murder will not care much about a law banning the use of a suppressor.

    How about they simply change the law to say that it is a crime to commit a crime with a suppressor. That will make the Liberals happy allowing them to live in their little dreamland that criminals actually care about their stupid Nanny State legislation while allowing the lawful use of suppressors to resume.
     
  22. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    Well that's easy, you can use other things as a suppressor... so we have to regulate the device intended for suppression... can't regulate the other things you know.. LOL

    Yes WA State laws are wacky... and they want to push a whole lot more onto us...
     
  23. Omega113

    Omega113 Member

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    Hey I have been reading through this thread and I have to say I am both impressed by your commitment to changing this law and baffled by the wording that this law was originally constructed.

    Carnaby, if you would let me I would like to use a modified version of your letter as the base text for an online petition that could be (after all the names are collected) sent to all the senators and representatives in Washington state.
     
  24. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    Sounds good, Omega. Let me know what I can do to help.
     
  25. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    Upriver:
    I would suggest that the amendment not include the words "...registered and..." Under current federal law, it is only "possessed in accordance with federal law" if it is registered. If federal law is changed, such as to move suppressors to Title I, then the state law would be messed up and would have to amended again in order to preserve the intent.

    To all: I'd like to help. I am still licensed to practice law in WA, though I now live in Ohio and, therefore, carry no weight with legislators as a constituent.
     
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