Washington’s I-1639 Could Set a Dangerous Precedent

While IP 43 and 44 may have failed in Oregon, similar ideas are on the November ballot in neighboring states.

Washington State currently has over 40 gun-related laws or regulations, and gun-control initiatives have done well on the ballot in recent years. In 2014, Washington voters passed a measure to implement background checks on private sales and transfer of firearms. In 2016, Washington voters passed a red flag law and in 2018 voters will have the option to further restrict Washington residents Second Amendment rights.

Washington’s Initiative 1639 would enhance background checks, raise the age to purchase semi-automatic firearms to 21 and introduce a 10-day waiting period on semi-automatic rifles. However, the most troubling aspect of this initiative is the addition of a class C felony for gun owners whose firearm is used or accessed by a person banned from possessing a firearm. This would become the strictest firearm storage law in the nation and could result in other states following Washington’s lead on firearm storage laws.

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