Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, spoke to a group of Second Amendment activists at the state Capitol on Friday, Jan. 13.. The group of about 150 gun owners -- some of them openly carrying rifles and handguns -- peacefully gathered on the steps of the Legislative Building. The "Rally 4 UR rights" event, sponsored by the Gun Rights Coalition, brought gun owners together to draw attention to their constitutionally protected right to bear arms. Other lawmakers who also spoke at the event included, Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union and Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen.
Walsh, a long-time gun rights proponent, talked to the crowd about legislative priorities and protecting the rights of Washingtonians to own guns. "You are doing your part, as all free citizens should, to make sure the authority you delegate to us here in the Legislature is used well. By doing this, by coming here, you're helping all of us keep our republic," said Walsh. "We come to appreciate gun rights through different paths. Some of us are hunters and have that tradition. Others care about personal security, protecting our families, our property, our persons. However we come to this movement, we all do a great thing -- we provide the externality, the public good, of national sovereignty. That flows from personal autonomy."
He also spoke out against the restrictive gun-related legislation recently proposed by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. "We speak often of the federal Constitution's Second Amendment," continued Walsh. "But we must not forget our State Constitution's Article 1, Section 24. That speaks even more clearly to the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right. Not a collective right. This is critically important."
Ferguson's newly introduced legislation would ban the sale of so-called "assault style" weapons and high capacity magazines. He also proposed a second bill that would make it more difficult to own firearms by requiring "assault style" weapons to be licensed - similar to a concealed-weapons permit. The bill would also raise the minimum age required to buy "assault" weapons and certain magazines.
Walsh urged people to call their lawmakers to express their opposition to Ferguson's proposals.
For more information about Rep. Walsh, visit: RepresentativeJimWalsh.com.