OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Patrol is investigating online threats against House Republican leader J.T. Wilcox.
Those threats are apparently connected to his discipline for fellow Republican State Rep. Matt Shea. Shea was cheered enthusiastically by gun rights advocates at a rally on the state Capitol steps. This, in spite of the fact that a recent legislative investigation described Shea as a “domestic terrorist”.
State law allows gun owners to carry their weapons openly, and some at the rally decided to do so.
“It was interesting the Seattle Times said that calling Matt Shea a domestic terrorist has actually made him more popular, I love that, I love that. They’re finally figuring it out. And the fact is they’re trying to label us all,” Shea said to approval from the crowd.
The rally comes as lawmakers plan to discuss limits on high capacity magazines and a ban on sales of assault-style weapons. Gun rights advocates see such proposals as violating Second Amendment gun rights.
“The real enemies of this country aren’t being investigated. The real enemies aren’t being looked into. The real enemies of this country aren’t being reported on by the media,” said Shea.
House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox has suspended Shea from the Republican Caucus. In response, there have been threats against Wilcox online.
In a statement to KIRO-7, Wilcox said simply “It’s part of public life. I knew it might happen when I ran for office.”
But the day also saw rare agreement between gun rights and gun safety advocates on the issue of background checks.
At a hearing, both sides supported legislation to streamline background checks by consolidating the responsivity for conducting them with the State Patrol.
“We’re going to make it easier and simpler for people who are entitled to get guns and we’re going to make sure people don’t slip through the cracks who shouldn’t get guns,” said its co-sponsor Bainbridge Island Democrat Drew Hansen.
See video of the gun rights rally:
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