WA SB 5579 Testimony by Greg Glassock CEO Olympic Tactical & Investigations LLC
Yesterday there were several hearings held at the WA State Senate in Olympia in the Law and Justice Committee, Chaired by Senator Padden. Some of our Senators have become aware of some of the numerous issues with I594 and it’s unintended consequences for citizens, LEO’s, and Private Sector professionals. HB 5579 was written to create an exemption for licensed armed security officers in WA State. I applaud the Senators for crafting this and the other bills heard yesterday! I testified to support this bill but also to add language including those armed professionals that were excluded in the original text of the bill. WA SB 5579 Testimony by Greg Glassock CEO Olympic Tactical & Investigations LLC
I was asked to testify in place of Jeff Slotnick, who has been my mentor for many years. I was and am honored to be asked to participate in our legislative process. Please find below my testimony from this hearing. I cannot take credit for all this, it was a team effort!
Testimony of Greg Glassock before the Senate Law and Justice Committee
February 9, 2015 1:30 pm
Thank you, Mr. Chair and members of the committee for allowing me to testify today on Senate Bill 5579. My name is Greg Glassock and I am the CEO of Olympic Tactical & Investigations LLC, a Washington State Corporation. My company is the largest professional training company in both Washington and Oregon providing firearms training and certification for armed professionals including private security, private investigators, bail recovery agents and police officers. OTI also operates one of Washington’s largest Private Investigator Agencies with about 12 licensed investigators. We also operate a WA Security Agency and OR security agency. I am also here to represent PNAI, the nation’s first PI association. In addition, I am an ICP/Master firearms instructor for our Criminal Justice Training Academy, and the assistant lead firearms instructor for the CJTC Private Security, Private Investigator and Bail Recovery Agent program.
Initiative 594, as written, has unintended consequences for the various licensed and corporate armed security, investigative, bail enforcement, armored transport, and certified firearms instructors in Washington state. Most of these issues concern the language regarding transfer of firearms and what constitutes a transfer under the new law. The definition of “transfer” under the new law is “the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans”
This new law places an undue burden on Washington State businesses in our industry as the company is required to “own” the firearms that are used by employees in the performance of their duties. State law already requires an extensive background check for the licensing of Principals and employees in the above professions. That requirement is codified in RCW 18.165-.170, .185 The definition of “transfer” in 594, would require a background check be conducted when an employee is issued a firearm at the beginning of the shift, and when the firearm is returned at the end of a shift. That would be two gross misdemeanors in a day. For just one officer.
Furthermore, there are training requirements for employees of these industries, and there are many scenarios that would constitute a transfer, thus violating the law as written. Example, a licensed, certified and credentialed firearms instructor is conducting training for their company either as an employee or contractor. All the following constitute transfers under the definition of 594 – (1) The instructor hands a student a firearm to the student; (2) the instructor demonstrates a technique using the student’s firearm; (3) A student has a malfunctioning firearm and hands it to the instructor. Even if you were to assume that this training occurred on a shooting range, which it often does not, the exemption in 594 is so ambiguous that there seem to be two interpretations, one is that the only firearms that can be “transferred” to someone is a firearm that is the property of the range (remains at all times, at an established shooting range) or that a firearm may be transferred to a person as long as the firearm does not leave the establishment with anyone but the owner.
There are no exemptions in 594 that address these issues, and it is absurd to believe that any of the above mentioned activities have to do with “public safety” or keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.
Senate Bill 5579 addresses the security guard industry, but does not address the other armed licensed professions including private investigators, bail enforcement, certified firearms instructors, or the armored transport, all which require extensive State and Federal background checks prior to employment. All of our industry is concerned that if the law were enforced as written, every proprietor or corporation would be in jeopardy of losing their license to conduct business in the state of Washington.
Thank you again for the opportunity to address these issues with the committee today. I am happy to answer any questions.
Here is a video link to this testimony. There were other bills heard yesterday on other exemptions and I think it is worth watching and listening to their testimony as well. http://tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2015020148#start=5554&stop=5896
I want to thank the following people and groups for stepping up to the plate for all of us!
Jeff Slotnick, SETRACON Inc.
Brian Judy, NRA
The 2nd Amendment Foundation
Phil Shave, Washington Arms Collectors
Troy Weller, Pierce County Security
The WA State Senate Law and Justice Committee