State lawmakers pack heat at annual shootout
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Senator Pam Roach is packing an AR-15 and she's proud of it. The Republican from Auburn wrapped her weapon so no one would spot it in her back seat, saying, "You don't want anybody taking it, right?"
Roach is the ringleader for the annual legislative shootout at a firing range near the state capitol. The competition pits politicians from the House and Senate against each other. Their aides and lobbyists join in too.
Democratic Senator Jim Hargrove is a World War II buff and pulled out his collectible M-1 Garand.
"Every infantryman in WW II for the most part used this rifle," he said with ear plugs protecting him from the incredibly loud sound of his shots.
Off the range, lawmakers have been fired up over dueling gun control measures.
"I'm totally in support of 2nd amendment rights so I'm against those initiatives. I'll vote against both initiatives," Hargrove said.
Initiative 594 would require background checks for all gun sales. Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, who was shot by a gunman on a rampage in a parking lot, recently pushed for its passage.
Roach says 594 over reaches.
"594 has been devised to make it much for difficult for people, for individuals to exercise their 2nd amendment rights," she said.
Initiative 591 would limit mandatory checks to sales by licensed dealers and prohibit government officials from confiscating citizen's guns without due process.
Both measures have enough signatures to head to November's ballot. Roach says lawmakers won't bring up either one because neither would pass.
"It's a stalemate kind of thing," she said.
During the friendly competition at the firing range, democrats and republicans set aside difference and only took aim at shooting targets.