BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms this morning said legislation unveiled last Friday to repeal Washington State’s strong self-defense protection is “an outrageous attack on the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families.”

House Bill 2067, sponsored by anti-gun State Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48th District), would repeal a long-standing state statute that provides state reimbursement of all reasonable legal costs when a citizen is charged with a crime and later found not guilty by reason of self-defense. This bill was read for the first time on Saturday, and is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, April 13 at 3 p.m. before the House Ways and Means Committee, which Hunter chairs.

“What Hunter is trying to do,” said CCRKBA Legislative Director Joe Waldron, “is limit the citizens’ right of self-defense by eliminating any chance of reimbursement by the state if they must defend themselves in court.

“The Legislature is scratching for money anywhere they can find it,” he continued, “but in this case, Hunter is trying to balance the budget by jeopardizing the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens. That’s unconscionable, and the fact that he is trying to ram this through at the 11th hour with very little public notice is outrageous.”

Washington’s reimbursement statute, RCW 9A.16.110, is unique in the nation. It dates back more than 30 years, and is an important barrier that discourages unwarranted prosecution of citizens who defend themselves or their families, or other crime victims. The law provides for reimbursement of legal costs, and even lost wages due to confinement. These costs are awarded only when the claim of self-defense is sustained by a preponderance of the evidence.

“It is traumatic enough that a citizen must forcefully defend himself or herself, their family or some other person who is being attacked,” Waldron stated. “For that citizen to be subjected to a legal nightmare that could wipe them out financially is a moral insult. Our existing law protects citizens from this kind of legal abuse. We’re encouraging out members to call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to oppose this measure.”

House Ways & Means Committee:

Representative Ross Hunter (D-48), Chairman

(360) 786-7936

Representative Jeannie Darneille (D-27), Vice Chairman

(360) 786-7974

Representative Bob Hasegawa (D-11), Vice Chair

(360) 786-7862

Representative Gary Alexander (R-20)

(360) 786-7990

Representative Barbara Bailey (R-10)

(360) 786-7914

Representative Bruce Dammeier (R-25)

(360) 786-7948

Representative Ed Orcutt (R-18)

(360) 786-7812

Representative Reuven Carlyle (D-36)

(360) 786-7814

Representative Bruce Chandler (R-15)

(360) 786-7960

Representative Eileen Cody (D-34)

(360) 786-7978

Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36)

(360) 786-7860

Representative Kathy Haigh (D-35)

(360) 786-7966

Representative Larry Haler (R-8)

(360) 786-7986

Representative Bill Hinkle (R-13)

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Representative Zack Hudgins (D-11)

(360) 786-7956

Representative Sam Hunt (D-22)

(360) 786-7992

Representative Ruth Kagi (D-32)

(360) 786-7910

Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (D-46)

(360) 786-7818

Representative Timm Ormsby (D-3)

(360) 786-7946

Representative Kevin Parker (R-6)

(360) 786-7922

Representative Eric Pettigrew (D-37)

(360) 786-7838

Representative Charles Ross (R-14)

(360) 786-7856

Representative Joe Schmick (R-9)

(360) 786-7844

Representative Larry Seaquist (D-26)

(360) 786-7802

Representative Larry Springer (D-45)

(360) 786-7822

Representative Pat Sullivan (D-47)

(360) 786-7858

Representative J.T. Wilcox (R-2)

(360) 786-7912