Photo by Visitor7/Wikimedia

Photo by Visitor7/Wikimedia

A bill before lawmakers would outlaw concealed carry on private property

Opponents say that such a move would undermine the safety and rights of gun owners.

A proposal before lawmakers could make it a crime for someone to carry a concealed weapon into another person’s home without permission.

The current law allows someone to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the state with a concealed weapon permit, the acquisition of which requires a background check with both state and federal databases.

SB 6415, and its companion bill in the house, HB 2738, would make it unlawful for someone to carry a concealed firearm into another person’s home without expressed permission, even with a license to carry. A violation of the law would be a misdemeanor. Also, the bill proposes that if convicted, he or she would have their concealed pistol license revoked for five years.

Senator Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, the bill’s prime sponsor, said he brought the bill before lawmakers after hearing from a constituent named Suzanne Cofer who found a handgun left behind in her home after a get together.

“It should be my right to keep guns out of my own home,” she said.

Paul Strophy with the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said the five year revocation penalty on the concealed carry bill is too extreme for the circumstances.

Tom Kwieciak, speaking on behalf of the National Rifle Association, agreed. He said those who have a concealed carry license go through extensive background checks and are the least likely gun owners to commit a crime.

“We think that 6415 targets some of the most responsible and law abiding citizens in the state and will do nothing to increase public safety,” Strophy said.

He also said a property owner already has the right to ask someone to leave if they are opposed to that person carrying a gun.

“This bill attempts to cast a scarlet letter on over 600,000 legitimate Washington state concealed pistol license holders,” said Phil Watson, speaking for the Firearms Policy Commission.

Watson also said that hundreds of professions require people to enter private property on a daily basis. Those workers, he said, should have a right to protect themselves by carrying a concealed firearm. To ask the property owner’s permission every time they have to do their job would be ridiculous, he said.

“Disclosing you have legally concealed firearms runs counter to the very purpose of concealing them in the first place and could cause undue confusion, panic, and unwarranted alarm from those not familiar with guns,” he said.

James McMahan, policy director for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs spoke in favor of the bill, but said it needs an amendment to protect law enforcement officers who carry firearms and enter private property in the line of duty.

The bill was heard on Tuesday Jan. 30 and is scheduled for executive action on Thursday Feb. 1.

A similar bill on firearm storage, SB5463, sponsored by Senator Guy Palumbo, D-Bothell, mandates civil penalties for unsafe firearm storage. The bill faced stiff opposition from gun rights activists during its hearing on Jan. 15.

Gun rights activists expressed opposition to any enforcement of the storage bill, resisting the idea that officers could mandate gun storage in their own homes.

This report was produced by the Olympia bureau of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

t
Court denies use of tattoos, prior cases as evidence in Auburn cop’s trial

Jeffrey Nelson is the first officer in state to face a murder charge since the passage of I-940.

File Photo
Renton first responders ‘endangered’ at illegal street race in Kent

Both the fire chief and the firefighters union issued statements regarding the May 21 incident.

Decatur High School senior and “American Idol” contestant Iam Tongi sits at home on March 1. His father Rodney spent a bonus from his job as an electrician to buy Iam’s guitar. Alex Bruell / The Mirror
It’s Iam: Federal Way student wins ‘American Idol’

The city of Federal Way is planning a celebration to honor the Decatur High student’s victory

King County Crime Dive podcast.
‘One-person crime wave’ sentenced for ghost gun and fentanyl | King County Crime Dive podcast

Also in this episode, a 17-year-old boy is injured while “surfing” on a vehicle.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Go early or late to beat Memorial Day weekend traffic

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Flowers and candles are left by the door of the Stars Bar & Grill in Federal Way, where two employees were shot and killed early Sunday morning, May 21. A third man was shot and taken to a hospital. ALEX BRUELL, Sound Publishing
2 employees killed, 1 customer injured at Federal Way bar shooting

Police looking for suspect in May 21 shooting at Stars Bar & Grill at 31216 Pacific Highway S.

t
Three Auburn residents arrested for killing Kent man at Southcenter Mall

Three suspects are ages 20, 18 and 16; Chris Wesolowicz, 30, died in 2022 parking garage shooting

File Photo
Renton woman pleads guilty to embezzling over $3M from local nonprofits

Prosecutors say she used the money for gambling, expensive trips and extensive purchases.

Police lights (File photo)
Man shot near Fred Meyer gas station in Federal Way

Officers located a man with apparent gunshot wounds around 12:30 p.m. Monday, May 15.

Most Read