Gun-rights initiatives to receive public hearing Jan. 29

padden_pqSen. Mike Padden will devote the Senate Law and Justice Committee’s Jan. 29 meeting to public hearings on the two gun-rights initiatives before the Legislature. His panel will begin taking testimony about Initiative 591 and Initiative 594 at 1:30 p.m. that day in Senate Hearing Room 1.

Padden, R-Spokane Valley, realizes the Legislature is expected to exercise its constitutional right to place the two measures on the November general-election ballot, rather than vote on them at the Capitol. That makes the hearing one week from today all the more important, he said.

“More often than not initiatives go straight to the people, rather than the Legislature, meaning lawmakers don’t get to ask questions about the consequences – and we all know how laws sometimes have unintended consequences,” said Padden. “Bringing these two measures before our committee, and the public, will allow for questions that might not be answered otherwise. That helps us and it can only help to inform the voters,” he said.

I-591 would prohibit government agencies from confiscating guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required.

I-594 would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.

Padden has moved next Wednesday’s committee meeting to a larger hearing room so more people may attend.