Chelan Commissioners Concerned Over Gun Bill In Legislature
Chelan County commissioners are raising concerns about a bill in the state legislature that would give towns, cities and counties the authority to regulate guns.
The measure would allow local governments to pass ordinances and regulations that are in addition to or more restrictive than requirements of state law.
Commissioner Kevin Overbay says the bill could severely limit the ability of people to carry firearms between counties across the state.
"If you were to want to hunt in western Washington, say out on the peninsula, and each county would have its own firearm regulation, you would potentially not be able to transport a firearm from county to county to county, based on that county's regulation," said Overbay.
The bill was heard Tuesday in the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary.
Overbay says he and a group of commissioners from other counties are in agreement that gun regulation should stay at the state level to ensure uniformity across Washington.
He also thinks the bill could possibly violate the federal Second Amendment right to bear arms.
“Anytime you start to regulate the use, or basically the carry of firearms, and so forth, it really bounces up against the second, and so it gives consideration and concern,” Overbay said.
Language in the bill says it's intended to give local governments the ability to adopt responsible regulations to help address an epidemic of firearm violence in their communities.
Local towns, cities and counties could regulate where firearms could be sold as long as businesses selling guns are not treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone.
Local governments could also restrict the location of a firearms business to 500 feet from school grounds
Chelan County commissioners Overbay and Shon Smith discussed to bill Tuesday morning, but did not take any formal action. Overbay said the bill is probably intended to provide local control, but may not have been completely thought through.
The bill is sponsored by 15 Washington House Democrats.