Rantz: Democrats Attempt To Collapse Gun Stores Through “Insurmountable” Costs


Democrats in Washington State see the 2024 legislative session as a full-scale assault on gun rights. They are attempting to impose more than just a per-bullet charge and gun ownership licenses. Now, far-left lawmakers are attempting, under the pretense that it’s for public safety, to drive gun retailers out of business with excessive, unnecessary expenses. The fact that what they’re requesting is impractical is the point.

Shops that hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL) are bound by strict regulations that need substantial investments in security. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in license revocation, severe financial penalties, and jail time.

With HB 2118, the strict laws would be totally overturned and replaced with new ones that gun stores would not be able to comply with. There must be bars or grates, a security screen, or commercial-grade metal doors on each outside door or window. Additionally, during non-business hours, all firearms must be kept in vaults or locked fireproof safes. Additionally, a general liability insurance policy with at least $1,000,000 in coverage per incident must be held by the dealer. It also has to keep track of any trace requests from authorities for a period of six years.

Motion and sound detectors are essential components of any digital security system. Virtually every aspect of the firm, including commercial transactions, must be captured on camera and audio surveillance. They have to run all year round, twenty-four hours a day. It is required that the recordings be kept for a minimum of six years. The footage may only be seen by the authorized dealer, who may only distribute it to designated recipients, such as police enforcement, in certain situations.

On January 1, 2025, everything needs to be ready. This means that FFLs will have less than nine months following the last day of the legislative session on which the measure can pass. State Representative Amy Wallen, the bill’s sponsor, wanted it just that way.

Owners of gun stores express concern

Public commentators from the anti-gun lobby were marginalized by Democrats. Many people who live out of state testified on their behalf. On the other hand, proprietors of nearby gun stores opposed the bill in court, arguing that they already follow tight safety regulations.

Sporting Systems is a Vancouver-based company, and Heidi Lee is a co-owner. She claims that the reason she has never had a gun stolen from her shop is because of her security system and training. It features glass-paned doors, barred windows, and bollards. Glass break sensors and motion detectors are installed in the store’s round-the-clock security alarm system. Even so, the store establishes an occupancy cap. She is at her end when it comes to keeping things secure. She claimed that the only thing HB 2118 does is force her to close her doors.

She cautioned during a hearing on January 16 that “House Bill 2118 is not financially attainable for small businesses like mine.” “Your mom-and-pop stores are all gradually closing.” Drug-induced zombies and criminals are taking the place of the sense of community and safety. I will, however, still attend all hearings. I have no plans to leave.

It’s not cheap

Lee stated that even though her security system is excellent, it would cost at least $700,000 to modify their system to meet the requirements in the law. In a similar vein, Spokane’s Sharpshooting Indoor Range owner Jeremy Ball claimed he was told a sum he could never afford.

“The anticipated cost of the security system quote I received for this was $282,000. And the yearly backup fees are not included in that. For a family-run firm, that is an unaffordable expense, he clarified.

To ensure good quality, the surveillance video should be 1080p at an average rate of 5Mbps. This would require 117.1 gigabytes of storage per camera for six years of nonstop, round-the-clock video and audio recording. Without a video surveillance system (which includes installing cameras), the cost to the consumer would be at least $300,000 for external terabyte hard drives alone.

Owners of gun shops claim they will close. That is the goal.

One of the biggest gun stores in the state, Wade’s Eastside Gun Shop, is owned by Wade Gaughran and is located in Bellevue. The suggestion that gun stores don’t store weapons securely infuriated him. He also pointed out the true purpose of this bill.

“The local billionaires use the same alarm system that I have in my shop,” Gaughran clarified. We are performing at our best. This law makes it impossible for us to follow it and continue operating a business. We will be crushed under the weight of time, labor, and financial obligations. I am also a big dealer. Among the largest sellers in the state are myself. If this goes into effect, the smaller dealers—the ones who run their businesses out of strip malls and smaller stores—won’t be able to continue in operation. Thus, this bill is the death knell for FFL. And it appears that’s the goal. Not to control, but to aid in reducing crime. With one poorly thought-out regulation, it’s to drive us out of business and outlaw the selling of firearms in Washington.

Beyond price, Washington Democrats don’t seem to have done much research on any of their proposals. It probably explains why the measure duplicates so many federal mandates. To make the entire package appear reasonable, lawmakers added the redundant so-called “common sense” regulations—a term that proponents of the bill frequently used in their testimony.

Democrats have worked to keep criminals out of jail and have pushed for the early release of convicts, even as they have methodically attacked gun rights in Washington. Maybe that’s why Seattle had the highest reported number of killings in 2023.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.