New video shows problems with WA I-1639 as judge allows challenge

A new video produced by one of the plaintiffs in the federal court challenge of Initiative 1639 in Washington State has surfaced just days after a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, allowing plaintiffs to move forward.

Scene from a new video explaining the problems with I-1639 in Washington State. (YouTube, Sporting Systems)

The video was produced by Sporting Systems, a gun store in Southwest Washington that is involved in the lawsuit, which is spearheaded by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association. Joining in the legal action are Spokane’s Sharp Shooting Indoor range and gun store and four young adults.

It’s a combination of visual sarcasm and unpleasant reality, running slightly longer than 6 minutes.

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Earlier in the week, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton, a George W. Bush appointee, handed down his long-awaited decision on the motion to dismiss.

According to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “The important aspects of the motion to dismiss have been denied. Just as important, the judge’s ruling treats the Second Amendment as any other fundamental individual right that is constitutionally protected.”

An earlier challenge to Initiative 594, another gun control measure passed by Washington voters in 2014, was dismissed. This time around, the gun prohibition lobby is “on the defensive,” Gottlieb contended.

The federal lawsuit challenges provisions of the controversial, multi-faceted initiative on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution, according to SAF.

Under provisions of I-1639, young adults aged 18-20, are stripped of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms because they are not allowed to purchase and own any semiautomatic rifle, regardless of caliber or design. Language in the measure defined them all as “semiautomatic assault rifles.” There is a 10-day waiting period to buy such guns, including popular .22-caliber rimfire sporting models such as the Ruger 10/22 and Marlin Model 60, and even classics like the Remington Nylon 66. Buyers must provide proof of “safety training” within the last five years.

The 30-page initiative was passed by just under 60 percent of Washington voters last November, following a multi-million-dollar campaign largely financed by about a dozen people and entities primarily in and around the Seattle area. The measure was opposed by a majority of county sheriffs, the state’s five largest law enforcement organizations, gun rights and Second Amendment groups, and firearms retailers.

Since it was passed, at least 20 county sheriffs and more than a half-dozen county commissions have announced they will not enforce provisions of the initiative, at least not until court challenges run their course.

While the section that denies sales to young adults took effect Jan. 1 of this year, the bulk of the initiative components go into effect July 1.


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