An ambitious grassroots effort to qualify a citizen initiative to the Washington Legislature appears to be falling short of its 320,000 signature goal, and backers are pulling out all the stops with days to go before the deadline.
Initiative 1094 would repeal a 2018 gun control measure that placed restrictions on so-called “semiautomatic assault rifles.” That initiative is also being challenged in federal court.
One backer posted on Facebook Tuesday that the effort was “still about 120,000 signatures short,” reinforcing the notion that initiative campaigns face uphill odds unless paid signature gatherers are enlisted. Volunteers have been working feverishly to gather signatures at gun shows, sporting goods retailers including Bass Pro Shop and at gun stores across the state.
One can find the complete list of signing locations here.
But there is a darker side to this. Many Evergreen State gun owners have not signed, even after months of complaining about the new mandates imposed by gun control Initiative 1639, passed last year by about 60 percent of those casting ballots. It does raise the question: Are Washington gun owners “all mouth?”
Meanwhile, an Eatonville man has reportedly filed a petition to recall Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, according to KONA News. Ferguson, a Democrat, has supported gun control efforts and he also known for filing at least 50 lawsuits against the Donald Trump administration.
Ferguson has also been carrying on a strong legal effort against initiative guru and anti-tax activist Tim Eyman, who recently announced his candidacy for governor as an Independent.
A recall against Ferguson poses an even more daunting challenge than the I-1094 effort.
According to KONA, supporters must collect about 750,000 signatures in order to qualify for the 2020 ballot.
There already is an online petition to “impeach” Ferguson and Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee over their gun control support. As of Tuesday morning, that online petition, which has no force of law, had already garnered more than 71,000 online signatures in about six days, with more signatures posting every minute. That petition, at Change.org, was posted by a Kennewick man identified as Austin Thornhill. It suggests there is some momentum from gun owners, but they don’t make the effort to find a location to sign I-1094. Their enthusiasm stops at a computer keyboard.
Note: The online petition is not the same as the recall petition, which will be on a legal-sized printed sheet and require a signature, same as on I-1094.
Thornhill’s online petition says this:
“We the people of Washington State are calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee for not upholding the Oath of Office and protecting our State and Federal Constitution.
“Our Second Amendment has been under constant attack from these two elected officials and now they want to tell us what kind of weapons we can or can’t have and how many rounds we can hold in a magazine! “Enough is enough it’s time for action before it’s to (sic) late.
“It’s time we take a stand against our Government and give it back to the people of our great state.”
When AmmoLand reported Ferguson’s gun control proposals for 2020, the story appears to have been shared more than 28,000 times.
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