That tremor in the Washington State political landscape was not an earthquake but the announcement by the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association that it is joining with three other major state law enforcement groups to oppose a billionaire-backed gun control measure on the November ballot, Initiative 1639.
The Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, Washington State Sheriffs Association and Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs are announced their opposition to the 30-page gun control measure earlier. Together, these groups represent thousands of law enforcement professionals—men and women—serving on state highways, in counties, cities and towns across the Evergreen State.
But the establishment news media seems to be ignoring this as if it were toxic waste.
The Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility is behind I-1639. It received the bulk of its campaign money so far from less than a dozen wealthy elitists. This measure would raise the minimum age for purchasing a semiautomatic rifle to 21, and would classify all semi-auto rifles in the state as “semiautomatic assault rifles.”
It would also require potential gun buyers to waive their medical privacy in order to exercise their Second Amendment rights. In addition, it charges a $25 fee for the additional paperwork required to conduct a so-called “enhanced background check.”
“Unenforceable gun control laws are not effective. Individual accountability, stiff penalties for firearms violations and consistent, swift court sentences are far better deterrents than adding additional restrictions to law abiding firearms owners.”—Jeff Merrill, president WSPTA
The measure requires proof of firearms safety training within the previous five years for any semiautomatic rifle purchase, and there is a ten-day waiting period.
Gun rights activists across the country are watching the initiative campaign carefully because if the measure passes in Washington, it could become the game plan for similar gun control efforts in other states that have the citizen initiative process.
According to a news release from WSPTA President Jeff Merrill, “Local, County and State law enforcement officers from across Washington are united in opposition to I-1639. Concerns include the inability to enforce ‘feel good’ provisions within the proposal. Unenforceable gun control laws are not effective. Individual accountability, stiff penalties for firearms violations and consistent, swift court sentences are far better deterrents than adding additional restrictions to law abiding firearms owners.”
The Seattle Times on Tuesday offered another look at the measure, which the newspaper endorsed last week.
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