Gun control Initiative I-1639 passed handily in Washington State, leaving Second Amendment activists furious, aiming at least part of their wrath at lethargic gun owners who evidently did not vote, and planning their next moves, which could involve lots of time in court, and lots of money for attorneys.
And in the aftermath, I-1639 is still being portrayed as a “gun safety” measure when, according to opponents, it is no such thing. Gun rights leader Alan Gottlieb called it “30 pages of gun control disguised as gun safety.” He is chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.
The only gun control issue on the ballot anywhere in the United States, the battle against I-1639 didn’t attract a single donation from any firearms company, putting the lie to assertions that “outside money” was helping to fight the scheme. The National Rifle Association donated $200,000, according to the Public Disclosure Commission, while CCRKBA—based in Bellevue—kicked in more, about $246,000 in cash and “in-kind” contributions.
Both the NRA and CCRKBA have tens of thousands of Evergreen State members, so it was their money being spent. On the other hand, according to PDC reports, the New York-based Everytown for Gun Safety contributed $450,000 cash and their Action Fund added another $59,500 “in kind” contribution.
The Seattle-based and billionaire-financed gun prohibition lobby outspent rights groups about 10-to-1, raising more than $5 million.
The far-reaching initiative will strip young adults of their right to buy and possess so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles,” which are so broadly defined as to include self-loading .22-caliber target and hunting rifles, starting Jan. 1. Other tenets of the initiative take effect July 1, 2019, barring a successful court challenge.
Those provisions include:
- Proof of training within the previous five years to buy a semi-auto rifle (critics call this a “literacy test”);
- A so-called “secure storage” requirement, while “nothing in this section;
- A so-called “enhanced background check” that includes a waiver of medical privacy;
- A $25 fee for paperwork for the check (critics call this a “poll tax”);
- Annual background checks on gun owners to determine whether they may still legally possess firearms;
- Creation of a new crime: “Community endangerment” that carries criminal penalties up to a Class C felony;
- A 10-day waiting period on the sale/transfer of a so-called “semiautomatic assault rifle.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, another measure—this one directed at use of force by police officers—also passed. The state’s rank-and-file law enforcement professionals uniformly opposed I-1639, and their professional organizations opposed Initiative 940. That’s the measure that critics say will literally tie the hands of police officers and sheriffs’ deputies.
I-1639 backers have made no secret that this is just one more step toward what they envision is “common sense gun safety,” to cut down on so-called “gun violence.” Many other states have the citizen initiative process and this sort of thing could be coming to them soon. It will possibly require a court ruling that constitutionally-enumerated rights are not subject to a popular vote before such efforts are ground to a halt.
In the meantime, what has happened in Washington State will likely now be used as a warning to rights activists in other states to be prepared. As CCRKBA’s Gottlieb noted prior to the election, it’s “all hands on deck, battle stations.”
How did the midterm elections turnout in your state? Did you state enact any new gun control legislation such as I-1639 in Washington? Share your answer and state in the comment section.
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M. Nosky says
I voted against this initiative and 940 and was shocked they passed. Honestly if one looks at all the restrictions that California has passed and what is happening there it’s easy to see the laws they passed aren’t working. So why would they be able to work in Washington?
Being an outsider from down east I have noticed the exact same issue with voters in my state. Democrats migrating from Blue states to escape overreaching bureaucracy that then turn around and vote to enact the same idiotic overreach all over again, aka “Do-gooders”. Being an adult means making choices based on facts, not emotions.
This is happening in Texas!! Of all places, there are thousands of blue Californians moving here and actually changing our laws to look like CA. Their money is the problem too. They are paying $40k or more over asking price just to get the homes they want. Our taxes in the past 5 years has almost tripled. The blues are brainwashing our kids into thinking more gun laws will keep them safe.
As we all know this is not about safety it’s about control. One small step at a time taking away your rights.
I will not comply to any unconstitutional law of any kind .
Lunacy. We need to thanks and void all unconstitutional regulations and laws and any new crimes deemed unconstitutional. Conservative voter showout here in Maine was very poor. Not sure why conservatives are being so lazy? This is a constitutional issue, not a state issue. Status quo gun control is like a plague that effects us all eventually. It’s time to get up and fight and put an end to this tyranny once and for all. Who could imagine unconstitutional laws like this would even be allowed on the ballet? Lunacy.
Steven Chissus says
I also voted against I-1639 and 940, as every red blooded Washingtonian should have. If you look at the overlaid voting map of Washington counties, you’ll see where the concentrated populations are and how it passed, where the big business and colleges are located. As with most initiatives, the Eastern part of our state is ignored, but has to pay for mistakes of the West side.
we need to repeal this law asap
It passed and will appear on numerous state ballots now. The urban centers of our country contain the majority of voters who see guns associated with violence and unnecessary in modern society so they will continue to vote away your rights. Their logic is get rid of the guns, get rid of crime. If it only worked that way it would be great but logical thinkers know better. Mankind is a violent species and removing one weapon will not change human nature. Until it is challenged in the Supreme court it is the law of the land, so unless you can convince the majority of voters to oppose these regulations get used to losing your rights.
There was no gun control on the ballot in Georgia. The biggest race was for governor between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams. Kemp appears to have won, but Abrams is trying to scrounge up some more votes from somewhere and force a runoff. If that happens it will be on December 4. No US Senate race here. The biggest loss was Karen Handel in the House.
Patrick Moody says
All it takes for evil to win is for good folks to do nothing. End of story.
Kalashnikov Dude says
Interesting how many folks ignored Trumps personal attack on our 2nd Amendment. Banning plastic gun accessories which possess not a chamber, barrel, trigger, nor the means to support any one or more in any function that could be described as a firearm. With his pen and his phone, no less. And Trump himself called for the US Congress to “send him a bill” to revoke the 2nd Amendment outright for everybody under twenty one. Nearly every Republican candidate in my state the mid terms swore their allegiance to Trump and his agenda. Up and down, right and left. When I attempted to to get an answer from each on a simple, forthright question, “Is our Bill Of Rights, and the 2nd Amendment the highest law of our land?” I failed miserably. They failed miserably. I did not vote for them. Period. That’s how it is. The lip service given to the Bill Of Rights for Criminy sake! By the politicians in this country is appalling. When they do the BS they do to my rights, they do not get my vote. I tore up my ballot in disgust. I voted every time I was eligible since I was eighteen. Figured that out and come to the ugly realization that the contract between government and We The People is so grievously broken that it has caused an effect of every man for himself. It’s been that way for some time. Voting has been watered down to two parties with the same paymasters and agendas. Voting will not fix the problems this nation has, and the situation will continue to degrade. It’s going to take a little bit more of a hands on approach. From a lot of determined individuals. To include you and me. I got old waiting for this and watching it come to pass. Nobody is listening anyway. I don’t have enough faith in the rest of you to do what needs doing. Brings us back to that every man for himself deal. Good luck with that.
Robert Ellison says
I live in Washington state and voted against it. My close friends voted against it, yet it was passed by such a wide margin. I hate it. I’ve been wanting to get out of King County and the I-5 corridor because it’s too close to Seattle. Yet, this was a state initiative and it was most of the Seattle and I-5 corridor that voted for I-1639, while the rest of the state didn’t get off their asses and vote.
I’m now looking to move out of state…Idaho is looking pretty good right now.
steve morgan says
As worded I -1639 makes it a felony if your house is burglarized and anything capable of causing harm to another human being falls into the hands of a felon. A person commiting a burglary is commiting a felony, therefore if he or she steals a gun, knife, or hammer you can be charged with a felony as well. My thoughts on this that the second ammendment isnt the target, the fouth ammendment is .
I cant think of one politician that would care if the unwashed masses kill each other but unrestrained access to bank accounts, real estate, etc in the name of public safety would greatly enhance a number of billionaires bank account s