The Governor’s 20 Without the Governor

WSRPA Board members met with Secretary of State Kim Wyman in Olympia to sign the annual Governor’s 20 certificates after receiving this letter from Jay Inslee’s office ahead of the banquet:

The certificates that were signed last May will be the final certificates signed by the governor … Governor Inslee is no longer able to support any program affiliated with the National Rifle Association (NRA), due to the organization’s obstructive efforts to undermine common sense gun safety measures, including those that enjoy broad public support.  We understand competitors will be disappointed by this decision; however, the Governor [sic] believes constructive conversations and meaningful action around gun safety are necessary to better protect our families and communities.
-Office of Governor Inslee

While it’s no secret that all things gun related have gotten contentious in politics lately, many thought the Governor’s 20 to be above the fray. For those unfamiliar:

The NRA Governor’s 20 Program was designed to recognize the top twenty law enforcement officers from each state for excellence in Police Combat Competition. Each state’s program is administered by the respective league or association. Typically, the top three scores for each officer is averaged, and the top twenty officers ranked and recognized at a banquet at the end of their season.

In Washington, the Governor’s 20 is a statewide shooting competition with a 100-year plus legacy that takes place annually. Traditionally the Governor of the state signs the certificates to recognize the top civilian marksmanship athletes.  The Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association oversees the civilian match.  Many states participate in a Governor’s 20. The NRA sets the standards of the match so that competitors can qualify for a designation and all the states have uniform rules.  There is a civilian match and a law enforcement match. Last year’s match was won by a 16-year-old girl who also represents the state as a junior in National Matches at Camp Perry.

In light of the Governor’s stance on the NRA, WSRPA representative Jane Milhans reached out to Kim Wyman’s office to find a way to get these certificates signed and keep the tradition of the Governor’s 20 going by arranging for Kim to sign them in the Governor’s stead.

Thanks to Jane’s quick thinking and Kim’s willingness to support the event, the Governor’s 20 went on as scheduled. Here are some highlights from the competition:

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