Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Get The Lead Out

My friend, Randy S. (who provided the incentive for my last post) included another RKBA related "heads up" which deserves some mention. Thanks to our mutual friend Bobby W. who informs us:

Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32) finally filed her lead shot tax bill. The bill imposes a $0.24 PER OUNCE excise tax on lead shot, either loaded in shotshells or bagged for reloading. That's a $6 INCREASE in the price of a box of 25 shotshells at one ounce per shell, or $7.50 a box for 1 1/4 ounce loads. A 25 pound bag of lead shot will carry an additional $96 charge. Oh, don't forget the sales tax increase because of the increased price at retail. That $0.50 tax on a box of reloads at the trap range just went up to over a dollar.

The excise tax collected will be deposited into a new "wild swan recovery account." Sounds like it's going to be party time for swans!

And, the bill contains an "emergency clause." That means the tax takes effect the minute the governor signs the bill. No time to stock up on shot or shotshells.

The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.
Oregon (where I live) is one of the very FEW states in the Union which doesn't have a Sales Tax. Kagi is a state senator in Washington State.

A reading of recent bills introduced in Washington shows that this bill (HB2211) was introduced Feb. 23, 2005.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2 (1) A tax is imposed on the privilege of handling toxic shot for sale in this state. The rate of the tax shall be equal to twenty-four cents per ounce of toxic shot. Fractional amounts shall be taxed proportionately

This followed another bill introduced by Kagi and refering to the subject of "Toxic Shot" :

HB1822 - Read first time 02/07/2005. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources, Ecology & Parks.
The bill includes the following verbiage:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 3 A new section is added to chapter 77.15 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Beginning January 1, 2006, it is unlawful to possess or use toxic shot on any land owned by the state that is located in department game management units four, five, or six.
(2) Beginning January 1, 2007, it is unlawful to possess or use toxic shot on any land owned by the state that is located in department game management units one, two, or three.
(3) Beginning January 1, 2008, it is unlawful to use toxic shot when hunting with a license issued by the department under chapter 77.32 RCW.
(4) A violation of this section is a natural resources infraction under chapter 7.84 RCW.

Brief Summary of Bill
  • Phases out over the next three years the use of most shot ammunition that contains lead.

Essentially, Kagi intends to make lead-based shot illegal in the state of Washington.
"Toxic shot" means shot ammunition, either packaged in shells or loose, that contains more than one percent lead, by weight.
In the meantime, she's going to tax the britches off anyone who uses lead shot. Consider this in incentive provided courtesy of your friendly neighborhood politico.

Well, a lot of states are working toward this end, and it's not an entirely 'bad thing' except for the innefficiency of steel shot in making a humane kill of game birds.

Bismuth doesn't seem to be any more dangerous to use than lead.
And apparently it's widely available.

Of course, copper-plated lead shot costs $25.99 for an 11-pound bag, and bismuth shot from the same supplier costs $104.99 for a 7-pound bag. Let me see: $15/lb for Bismuth, $2.27 for copper-plated lead. That only costs you $12.73/lb more to shoot bismuth. Figuring a 1-1/2 oz. charge per shot it's a mere fourteen cents per shot difference in price.

Don't miss.

Are we seeing a trend here? Perhaps. Read on.

This Kagli-sponsored bill was preceded by another RKBA bill sponsored by Kagi:

HB1627 - introduced January 31, 2005

Declares that no person in this state shall manufacture, possess, purchase, sell, or otherwise transfer any assault weapon, or any assault weapon conversion kit, except as authorized by this act. Any assault weapon or assault weapon conversion kit the manufacture, possession, purchase, sale, or other transfer of which is prohibited under this act is a public nuisance.

Provides that no person in this state shall possess or have under his or her control at one time both of the following: (1) A semiautomatic or pump-action rifle, semiautomatic pistol, or shotgun capable of accepting a detachable magazine; and

(2) Any magazine capable of use with that firearm that contains more than ten rounds of ammunition.

This is a LOT simpler than the complicated Oregon Senate bill introduce by Ginny Burdick.

It doesn't pay a whole lot of attention to the firearm; it simply states that if it is capable of accepting a magazine of more than ten rounds capacity, and it is accompanied by such a magazine .. it's an"Assault Weapon".

I have to admit, it's elegant in its simplicity.

No less egregious, of course, but at least it's easy to understand.

I haven't figured out yet what enforcement is likely to ensue. Burdick's Law stipulated that possession of an "Assault Weapon" was a Class-B Felony. I presume that Kagi's Law relies on a body of law which is conveniently applicable at will, which means that nobody really KNOWS what kind of trouble you could get into, in Washingon State, if you owned a S&W Model 59 and a 12-round magazine.

Oh, okay, I'm being facetious. If you read the text of HB1627 (link above) you will see that Kagi's Law is essentially the same as Burdick's Law. The difference is that instead of requiring a "Permit", including the serial number of the "Assault Weapon" as Burdick stipulates, Kagi specifically requires "registration".

At least she's more honest about it

As if that helps.

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