In an apparent fit of road rage, Preserve Marriage Washington Executive Board member and Washington state legislator Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) pulled a loaded gun on the driver of another car.

Preserve Marriage Washington is the group trying to repeal Washington’s new marriage equality law via Referendum 74. This is the kind of people they’ve got running the show. From The Spokesman-Review:

Leroy Norris…called police to report he had been driving on Monroe when a pickup truck [driven by Rep. Shea] cut him off and he had to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. He honked his horn, made some “aggressive lane changes” with the pickup, and the driver of that vehicle “flipped him off.” The driver of the pickup pulled a handgun from the passenger side of the car and pointed it at him, he said. He “freaked out” and drove away “crazy” because he thought his life was in danger, he added. …

Shea “thought he was being targeted due to his work,” the officer wrote in his report, and admitted pulling a handgun out of the glove box, which the other driver could have seen.

The officer asked to see the gun. “During our conversation, the defendant admitted to letting his concealed weapons permit expire several years ago,” the officer wrote. Shea asked about the law on carrying concealed weapons and the officer produced a copy for him to read, then told him it was illegal to have a loaded gun in his vehicle with no permit.

“His mouth became very dry (Cotton Mouth) as we continued to discuss the violation,” the officer wrote. “It was obvious to me he was extremely nervous …”

Shea’s lawyer chalks up the expired concealed weapons permit to “just the normal forgetfulness of people”, according to The Spokesman-Review. Sure, anyone can forget to renew a license, but Rep. Shea is not your average gun owner. He knows the rules better than most.

  • Shea is an elected member of the Washington state Legislature and as such has a duty to set an example of law-abiding behavior.
  • Shea serves on the House Judiciary Committee, the committee “with jurisdiction over most firearms legislation”, according to The Spokesman-Review.
  • Guns are frequently on Rep. Shea’s mind, judging by the seven firearms-related bills that he sponsored in the 2011-2012 legislative session alone.
  • Shea is a practicing attorney working for Casey Law Offices in Spokane, Washington, according to the Washington State Bar Association’s directory. Unlike his concealed weapons permit, Shea has managed to keep his law license active, which requires an annual renewal.

    There simply is no excuse for Rep. Matt Shea not to know and abide by the law.

    Allowing his concealed weapons permit to lapse and choosing to escalate the situation with the other driver raises questions about Rep. Shea’s temperament and fitness to serve in the legislature.

    It also raises questions about the judgment of the leadership of Preserve Marriage Washington, and calls into question once again whether they will run a law-abiding campaign. National Organization for Marriage, PMW’s parent organization, is notorious for ignoring campaign finance and other disclosure laws.

    Shea is up for re-election this November. He is being challenged by Democrat Amy Biviano.