The NRA sent out an alert today entitled, “Washington State Attorney General Takes Action Against Florida Gun Owners” encouraging members to contact the Washington Attorney General and ask him to rescind his decision to stop the recognition of Florida CCW licenses by Washington. The reason that Washington took this action is that Florida changed their statute to allow honorably discharged veterans under 21 to apply for a Florida license.
However anybody feels about mandatory CCW licensing, I think we can universally agree that this is a group that should be able to obtain a license to the extent that anyone is required to in order to carry. As a policy decision on the part of Washington I think that this is execrable- the problem with the alert (authored by Marion Hammer) is that it is barking up the wrong tree and maybe causing some collateral damage in the meantime.
I’ve been in contact with the person at the Washington AG’s office, who Ms. Hammer suggested contacting, regarding Washington recognition of the Idaho Enhanced CWL. This person was straightforward with me about Washington’s rules: if the other state complies with Washington’s statutory requirements then Washington will recognize; if not then it won’t.
These requirements are pretty simple as these things go: 1) you have to take Washington 2) you have to have an explicit mental health records check in your statute and 3) you can’t issue to people under 21. In this case Florida’s statute doesn’t meet requirement #3.
I don’t think there is any question that the current Washington Attorney General is not a fervent supporter of gun rights. But in this case he is just doing what he is supposed to be doing: applying the statute as written and not imposing his spin on it– if Florida has an issue it is with the Washington legislature.
Why am I concerned about this? Because I am working hard trying to get Washington (and other states) to recognize the new Idaho Enhanced license when it comes into existence on July 1 and I just want the Washington AG to apply their recognition law as written. Is it within his power to drag his feet over recognition?: Sure it is. Could he come up with some niggling reason why the Idaho statute isn’t in compliance with Washington’s: Sure he could. Has he done anything (yet) other than apply their law as written?: No he hasn’t.
I just don’t see how having gun owners across the country contact someone about something they don’t have the discretion to do anything about is going to encourage them to do the right thing– when it is in their power to do so.