Our three left coast states, Washington, Oregon, and California, are some of the worst states for freedom in the nation and Washington is looking to up the ante yet again with still more anti-Second Amendment measures in its new drive for Initiative 1639.
Initiative 1639 is a massive, 30-page “ballot initiative” looking to end a list of rights and sponsored by the “Alliance for Gun Responsibility.” It is bankrolled by tech billionaires and anti-gun interest groups, most from outside the state.
Advocates of this law — who in a fit of Orwellian pique have called the measure a “gun safety” law — have tried to cajole voters into believing that this law is only meant to regulate so-called “assault weapons.” But this is a flat out lie because what Initiative 1639 does is arbitrarily re-classify most rifles as “assault weapons.”
As Vote NO on I-1639 explains:
This Initiative adopts a new and bizarre definition of a “semiautomatic assault rifle.” Under this definition, many hunting guns, competitive shooting rifles, and target-shooting guns that match the current definition of “rifle” under current Washington State law would all become “assault rifles.” This definition goes beyond what has been used in other “assault weapon” bills and sweeps in any semiautomatic rifle, regardless of configuration or caliber. Popular rimfire rifles like the Ruger 10-22, Remington 597, or Marlin Model 60, lawfully used by countless young adults for recreational target shooting and small-game hunting, are included. These aren’t “machine guns” or “weapons of war” and aren’t regulated as such by the federal government.
But this bill does far more than just re-name all rifles an “assault weapon” that they can then turn around and ban.
Among a long list of other things, it also takes the right to own a rifle from everyone under 21 AND forces citizens to hand over their medical records to buy a gun.
Before we look at more of these provisions, let’s also again point out that this bill is 30 pages long, yet it is still be sold as a simple ballot initiative.
It is the height of idiocy to imagine that voters will have all read a full 30 pages of this “initiative” to see and understand what is in it! Ballot initiatives are supposed to be for simple questions that can be put in a few sentences, not for highly divisive, 30-page monsters that present implications that need a full public debate to unravel.
Anyway, this giant bill has a slew of disparate measures and every one of them takes away one group of citizens’ rights or another.
For instance, the bill would require that all firearms be always stored in locked safes or owners would face criminal charges. Right there that totally eliminates a gun owner’s ability to use a gun in a crisis.
The bill also loads a growing list of fees and charges onto gun owners from new taxes, to training fees, to storage costs. It also prohibits owners from selling their guns if they no longer want them unless they can check off all the new requirements with the would be new owner.
It would also put new restrictions on everyone under 21 from owning a rifle. Advocates falsely claim that this provision will stop school shootings with rifles. But the truth is only a tiny percent of shootings are perpetrated by shooters using a rifle. So, the provision really won’t stop much of anything.
The advocates say the same about crime in general, that this initiative will “prevent crime.” This is also bull based on the fact that less than 2 percent of crimes are committed by perpetrators using a rifle.
There are other glaring flaws in the logic the left uses to justify this clear attack on the freedom of Washingtonians, but the points above should be quite enough to oppose it. And oppose it the NRA and others intend to do.
According to a press release from CCRKBA:
The National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Washington Arms Collectors are united in their growing grassroots effort to defeat Initiative 1639, a 30-page maze of extremist gun control provisions.
NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation previously challenged the initiative’s validity in separate legal actions, winning initially in Thurston County Superior Court. That ruling was reversed by the state Supreme Court.
“We all recognize that I-1639 is a hodgepodge of gun control schemes, and we’re united in the effort to prevent it from passing and turning law-abiding citizens into criminals,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Gun prohibition lobbying groups based in New York and Seattle are using Washington State as a test tube for their insidious gun control crusade. We’re going to stop this nonsense before it spreads like a cancer to other states.”
“The six million members of the NRA enthusiastically welcome the Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms and the Washington Arms Collectors to this fight,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Washington gun owners deserve a coalition dedicated to defending their freedoms and the NRA is ready to lead the charge.”
“The Washington Arms Collectors joins the NRA, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and many others who recognize that I-1639 has no public safety value,” said Bill Burris, WAC President. “We must all take a stand against this attack on our basic civil rights.”
In all, what we have here is just another left-wing assault on our SecondAmendment rights. And it is an initiative based on lies, like all liberal initiatives are.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.