Seattle Region Erupts in Violence; CPL Application Process Still ‘Suspended’
Article first appeared on Ammoland.com
The slain officer was identified as Jonathan Shoop, who had been with the department just over one year. The suspect was tentatively identified as Henry Eugene Washington, according to KIRO news, the CBS affiliate in Seattle.
That murder came on the heels of a shooting at a Renton shopping center immediately south of Seattle in which a 15-year-old was wounded, which happened about the same time six people were injured in a shooting at a bus stop in Kent, a community located south and east of Seattle.
Seattle is still recovering from the “CHOP” zone shootings that left two black teens dead in separate incidents and at least four others wounded before police moved in to reclaim the six-block area in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
BULLETIN: AmmoLand News has just learned that this year’s Gun Rights Policy Conference will be a virtual online event only, according to Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. SAF co-sponsors the event with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
In a statement, Gottlieb noted, “We will definitely miss the face-to-face personal contact with so many friends and activists. By switching to an online virtual event for the 2020 conference, we will reach a far broader audience. Between the actual event, and future visits, we hope to reach at least 300,000 gun owners and rights activists, which will be important in this critical election year.
“This year’s theme remains the same,” Gottlieb continued. “We’re calling this year’s event ‘Elect Freedom,’ and we will provide updates on confirmed speakers and the multi-media platforms where activists can join us Sept. 19 and 20. We expect to have more first-time presentations and more first-time speakers than ever before.
“We are living in extraordinary times,” Gottlieb observed. “This decision was made after carefully analyzing and considering all of the circumstances. Given the current COVID-19 environment and constraints on travel, as well as the inability of our reserved hotel to accommodate us, we will make this year’s ‘virtual’ GRPC the important and memorable event of 2020. Together we will all make the Second Amendment great again.”
This is the 35th annual GRPC and Gottlieb expects to have almost 100 gun rights speakers participating.
While violence has spiked upward in Seattle and other parts of Washington’s King County, and the Seattle City Council is pushing to cut their police budget by 50 percent, neither the Seattle Police nor the King County Sheriff’s Department is accepting new applications from law-abiding citizens for concealed pistol licenses (CPLs). It has been months since both agencies “suspended” taking new applications because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The reason—some call it an excuse—is that the application process requires fingerprinting.
Over the past four months, Washington’s active CPL number has slipped by more than 5,000 a number that suggests thousands of state residents are frustrated in their efforts to carry concealed legally.
Prior to the March “suspension,” monthly CPL numbers were consistently on the rise, peaking at more than 650,000 on April 1.
Seattle and King County aren’t the only Washington agencies that suspended the taking of new CPL applications, a decision that appears to be in violation of state law, which includes the following (emphasis added):
“The chief of police of a municipality or the sheriff of a county shall within thirty days after the filing of an application of any person, issue a license to such person to carry a pistol concealed on his or her person within this state for five years from date of issue, for the purposes of protection or while engaged in business, sport, or while traveling. However, if the applicant does not have a valid permanent Washington driver’s license or Washington state identification card or has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive ninety days, the issuing authority shall have up to sixty days after the filing of the application to issue a license. The issuing authority shall not refuse to accept completed applications for concealed pistol licenses during regular business hours.”
There is no exemption for a viral outbreak, and a suspension that continues for months could present a legal problem.
Visitors to the Seattle Police website find this message:
“To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the Seattle Police Department has closed police headquarters front counter services and our precinct facilities to the public. Closures will be extended until further notice.”
A similar notice appears on the King County Sheriff’s website:
“Until further notice, in an abundance of caution our in-person lobby hours of operation are 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. We are unable to provide fingerprinting services at this time. We are unable to process NEW concealed Pistol License applications at this time. We will continue to process CPL Renewal and Replacement applications. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
However, the KCSO does provide an online link to a CPL application form, but without the fingerprints, would-be applicants are stuck, although there are private fingerprinting services available.
Unfortunately, according to a KCSO spokesman, the CPL processing unit has advised the following: “Fingerprints are part of the application process and will be taken by the LEA processing the application. Fingerprints are submitted electronically from our print system. The fee for prints is inclusive in the application fee. We will not process any Original CPL applications at this time. No exceptions.”
With violence tucking upward, just how long citizens are expected to remain patient is up for speculation.
Other agencies are opening back up. Cowlitz County, for example, publishes an application form online and says this on its website:
“Due to an expected influx of fingerprints, please expect a delay when you come in. There are only two people allowed in the lobby at a time and masks are required, they will be provided if you do not have one. Before we take you back for fingerprints, we will have you sanitize your hands and ask you a couple basic questions. Thank you for your patience as we work through this.”
Citizens must apply for a CPL in their county/city of residence, so if Cowlitz County can do this, why can’t King or any other jurisdiction? Demand for carry licenses is not likely to diminish with this new violence spike. The slaying of a Bothell cop isn’t likely to change things either.
In a remarkable coincidence, Paul Pastor, the popular longtime sheriff of Pierce County—who will be retiring later this year following a long career in law enforcement—recently posted a message on Facebook that attracted hundreds of reactions and more than 60 supportive comments. At the time, there had been 116 law enforcement deaths so far in 2020, including 27 by gunfire. Pierce neighbors King County to the south.
“Those We Have Lost
“As I look at the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty so far this year (end of first week in July), I am concerned.
I am concerned that so far this year, we have lost 116 men and women nationwide to line of duty death.
116 who serve as officers as deputies and as troopers. 116 which is 38% higher than this time last year.
“We have lost 32 to gunfire or other felony assaults. And we have lost 51 to COVID infections. Of the 33 remaining, 23 were due to vehicle accidents. Usually those lost to vehicle accidents outnumber those who are lost to gunfire and felony assaults. Not this year.
“As I have said before, these people put their lives at risk and the well-being of their families at risk for us. If this trend continues, and I pray that it does not, we will lose over two hundred men and women in the line of duty making 2020 one of the highest years of loss in the last 15 years.
“Yes, I believe in ethical conduct in police service. And yes, I believe in accountability. I have a very long track record of enforcing accountability through discipline and dismissal.
“I am also concerned about an environment in which I believe we do not do enough to protect the lives and safety of the many men and women who take risks to protect us.”
AmmoLand News spoke exclusively with Pastor, learning his frustration at politicians around the country—including Seattle—who are determined to gut local law enforcement in what appears to many conservatives to be an effort to appease the Far Left.
“We are losing too many people,” Pastor said, with a tone of sadness, “and I’ve gone to too many police funerals. I don’t want to go to any more.”
But now with the slaying of Bothell’s Officer Shoop, he’s probably going to attend that one, too.
Pastor’s career behind the badge includes service in the sheriff’s department in the mid-1980s. He left in 1991 to be Police Chief in Everett, a city north of Seattle in neighboring Snohomish County. He moved on to be Undersheriff in Clark County along the Columbia River immediately north of Portland, Oregon. He returned to Pierce County four years later as second-in-command and then became sheriff for more than a dozen years.
Pastor understands violent confrontations, something he believes most people do not.
“People have a misconception that combat is choreographed,” he observed. “They watch it on television where Jackie Chan can defeat 18 guys. In the real world it isn’t choreographed…This imaginary idea that there are experts at combat and physical confrontation; there are veterans and survivors, not experts.
“Many people have never been in a physical fight in their lives,” he stated.
Pastor added something else: “I don’t understand the approach to defunding police… I think it’s a slogan rather than a thought-out position.”
There is no small irony in the current push to defund police agencies. People who promote this idea are typically anti-gun-rights. The Seattle City Council is totally on the political left, including Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a self-identified Socialist.
So when they declare war on police, it leaves private citizens concerned for their personal safety. Over the past few months, FBI background check data indicates record gun sales that began with the coronavirus outbreak and shifted into high gear when cities erupted in rioting and property destruction.
“I know people are concerned about disorder,” Pastor acknowledged. “When people talk about defunding the police, that makes them nervous.”
When it happened in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death while being restrained by four officers who have since been fired and charged with felonies, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms advised local residents to “arm themselves.” While Minneapolis paid for private security for at least three council members, CCRKBA’s Alan Gottlieb noted that average citizens don’t have that luxury, and with arbitrary cuts to police, people will be their own first responders. CCRKBA is advising King County and Seattle residents to demand their respective agencies resume taking CPL applications.
Washington, say many long-time resident gun owners, had decent gun laws until the billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobby—based in Seattle by no small coincidence—began buying gun control via public initiative campaigns. As the gun laws have become stricter beginning with passage of Initiative 594 in 2014, the number of annual homicides has crept upwards.
And this thought may be entering a few minds: If someone is willing to kill an armed police officer or open fire on people at a bus stop or in a Target store, what’s next?
About Dave Workman