I-1639 mandates blatant age discrimination, requires additional costly firearm registration, increased waiting periods, costly mandatory government training, draconian firearm storage requirements and an unfair purchase tax.
The Washington State Sheriffs Association, Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs, Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association and the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association are all opposed to Initiative 1639.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having all these law-enforcement groups that serve and protect actively working against this initiative disguised as “gun safety.” It won’t make schools or communities safer, but it will treat more than a million gun owners like criminals.
Law-enforcement professionals recognize the extreme nature of I-1639. Not only does the initiative discriminate against gun owners, it classifies common recreational firearms as semiautomatic assault rifles and requires gun buyers to surrender their medical privacy in order to exercise a constitutionally-protected right.
I-1639 is not about so-called “assault weapons.” I-1639 targets all semi-automatic rifles, including commonly owned rifles used for self-defense, home protection, hunting and target shooting.
Most Read Opinion Stories
- Derailment report shows how much Sound Transit must improve | Editorial
- Congress’ theater of the absurd | Horsey cartoon
- Impeachment in the House is the victory | Charles M. Blow / Syndicated columnist
- A divided America needs a one-nation centrist party | Op-Ed
- Fighting for survival: A veteran’s take on homelessness | Op-Ed
I-1639 places Washingtonians at risk by restricting access to firearms for lawful self-defense while doing nothing to increase security in schools or target violent criminals.
The strict mandated requirement of this initiative will force individuals to lock up their firearms and render them useless in a self-defense situation, or face criminal prosecution.
It goes even further to state that if an offender does break into your house, and they steal your unsecured firearm, you may be held liable for the criminal’s actions, victimizing you twice — once by the criminal and again by the state.
This initiative would also prohibit all of Washington’s law-abiding adults aged 18 to 20 from exercising their constitutional right to self-defense. Current law already restricts them from purchasing handguns, and Initiative 1639 would restrict them from rifles as well, even though rifles are very rarely used to commit crimes.
In fact, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2017, Washington state recorded only a single confirmed homicide involving a rifle.
Nationally, rifles of any kind are involved in 2 to 3 percent of all murders, and Washington state experiences fewer homicides than single cities like Chicago, Baltimore or Washington, D.C., which have harsher restrictions on the constitutional and civil rights of individuals to keep and bear arms.
Washington’s law-abiding adults aged 18-20 are legally responsible enough to vote, get married, purchase a home, sign a contract and serve in our military. Yet I-1639’s proponents want you to believe these same adults cannot be trusted to defend themselves or their families and are attempting to use the crimes of a few as a justification to curtail the rights of many.
Washington deserves real solutions to keep our communities safe, solutions that will rightly target criminals, not you, your family and your law-abiding neighbors.
This extreme initiative mandates blatant age discrimination, requires additional costly firearm registration, increased waiting periods, costly mandatory training, draconian firearm storage requirements, unfair purchase tax, and more — none of which will stop criminals or protect our Washington schools.
This initiative is being bankrolled by a handful of out-of-state and wealthy Seattleites who are only concerned with pushing a failed California-style gun control agenda instead of real solutions that will keep all of Washington’s schools and communities safe.
Please vote no to reject this false security that only restricts your, your family’s, and friends’ and neighbors’ right to self-defense.