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Letter to the Editor | Several blatantly unconstitutional bills this session


January 29, 2020

I'm a software engineer by trade, and a maker for fun. I build and invent my own things, including what some people may call art. I also build my own firearms. 

Rep. Strom Peterson has co-sponsored several house bills this season and I'm starting to see the theme of a legislator that doesn't take his oath to uphold both the state and federal constitutions, as well as state law. He so far has co-sponsored several blatantly unconstitutional laws. 

HB 2529 - Would only allow initiatives and referendums in odd years. This is blatantly unconstitutional, and would require a change to the constitution. This is in Article 2, Section 1 of the state constitution.

HB 1073 - Addressing undetectable and untraceable firearms. This violates the First and Second amendments of the constitution, Article 1, Sections 23 (ex post facto law) and 24 of the state constitution, as well as instantly turn someone that's built their own firearms in the past into a criminal.

There is a very strong history of the way this country was founded by allowing people to build their own firearms for personal use. It's already illegal under federal law to sell or transfer an "untraceable" firearm. This serves no purpose and will not impact public safety at all. In fact, it is totally easy to buy parts at a hardware store, with off the shelf parts and tools to build a firearm. I told this to Rep. Peterson when I visited him Jan. 17; he just had a deer in the headlights look.

HB 2240 - Concerning high capacity magazines. In March of 2019, a federal district court judge struck down California's high-capacity magazine ban, noting that "under the simple test of Heller, California's § 32310 directly infringes Second Amendment rights." This also violates Article 1, Section 24 of the state constitution, as well as conflicts with the long held legal tenant about being innocent until proven guilty. The burden is put on the person that owns the magazines to prove they were bought before the ban, which is also codified in "RCW 10.58.020 Presumption of innocence—Conviction of lowest degree, when."

Perhaps Rep. Peterson should step down before he costs the state and tax payers lots of money in lawsuits that will ultimately be brought against these. One of the committees he's on is the Civil Rights & Judiciary committee. I find it rather disturbing that he hasn't learned anything while on that committee. 

Charles Eakins



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