‘There is no law in Washington state’ after anti-gun measure reinstated

Evergreen State gun rights activists are furious and fired up, having spent the weekend organizing and energizing the grassroots to oppose Initiative 1639, the anti-gun measure that had been booted of the November ballot by a Thurston County Superior Court judge, but reinstated by the liberal state Supreme Court last Friday.

The Washington State Supreme Court has reinstated I-1639 to the November ballot, and gun rights activists are furious. (Dave Workman)

Alan Gottlieb, a plaintiff in one of two lawsuits trying to keep the initiative off the ballot, issued a statement last Friday that resonated with angry gun owners across the state.

“Today, the Washington State Supreme Court abrogated its duty to protect the state constitution and state election laws by allowing Initiative 1639 back on the November ballot.
“The court never addressed the merits of the complaints against I-1639, instead choosing to ignore the law.
“Essentially, the court has unanimously decided to nullify the state election law. Henceforth, if an initiative petition is left blank on the reverse side by its sponsor, there is no way that can be challenged for not complying with state law.”—Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president, Second Amendment Foundation

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The National Rifle Association had filed a separate action. The state high court essentially came up with a way to allow the initiative on the ballot, which cheered the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby.

But writing at MyNorthwest.com, radio personality Todd Herman took off the gloves.

“There is no law in Washington state,” he wrote. “On Friday, the Seattle Supreme Court — formerly the Washington State Supreme Court –killed it. The so-called justices killed the law…They hate guns, they hate gun owners, solely due to those factors they unanimously approved Initiative I-1639. The so-called court openly defied the clear and simple language of Washington state law. The so-called judges killed the law.”

“This is a serious matter. If King County voters press I-1639 upon Washington state, gun owners will have a moral obligation to refuse to comply. We will not be breaking the law because, in Washington state, there is no law.”—Todd Herman, writing at MyNorthwest.com

Washington state gun rights activists are scrambling to organize their opposition. Volunteers are being encouraged to contact the “No On Initiative 1639” via email at: [email protected] They can also support SaveOurSecurity.net, headed by veteran activist Phil Watson.

There is also an information booth at the Washington State fair, Aug. 31-Sept. 23 (closed every Tuesday), according to one of the opposition organizers.

As CFL noted earlier this month, anti-gunners have raised and spent a fortune to get the initiative on the ballot, and they will be raising and spending another one to convince voters to pass it. If I-1639 is passed, and there is no court challenge to nullify, here are some of the problems, according to opponents:

I-1639 would strip 18-20-year-olds—who can vote, enter the military and even get married and start families—from purchasing or owning a semi-automatic modern sporting rifle, classified by the measure as a “semiautomatic assault rifle”;

The definition encompasses even popular .22-caliber rimfire semi-auto rifles in the definition, found on page 27 of the 30-page initiative:

“Semiautomatic assault rifle” means any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge. ‘Semiautomatic assault rifle’ does not include antique firearms, any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable, or any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action,” a definition that critics say includes popular sporting rifles such as the Ruger 10/22, Marlin Model 60 and Browning SA-22.

The measure requires the state Department of Licensing to keep records on all sales of so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles,” which translates to a de facto registry;

It creates a 10-day waiting period for the purchase of so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles”;

The initiative authorizes the Department of Licensing to require gun dealers to charge a fee of $25 to comply with the new requirements, which opponents call a tax on the exercise of a constitutional right.

It mandates so-called “secure storage” of firearms, which may be unenforceable, say opponents.

Earlier, CFL’s Faye Higbee wrote about this here.


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