I’m not surprised this is happening in Washington State. If this initiative passes, it will no doubt be challenged in court.
From Seattle Times: With an assist from two deep-pocketed allies, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility on Monday announced it had raised nearly $3 million for its latest Washington state ballot measure to further regulate firearms.
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer said they are giving $1 million each to the Alliance’s campaign to get Initiative 1639 onto the November election ballot.
The campaign hasn’t yet started gathering the signatures it needs by July because of three legal challenges against it, including one by the National Rifle Association, Alliance spokeswoman Katy Klein said.
The initiative comes after the latest string of mass killings, including the February shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, that killed 17 people and re-energized advocates for stricter regulations of so-called assault weapons. A shooting last Friday left 10 people dead at a Texas high school.
While gun-regulation advocates this year pushed a few new laws through the state Legislature — including a ban on bump stocks, which can make a semi-automatic rifle fire much like an automatic weapon — they could not find the votes for more sweeping regulations.
Enter I-1639, which among other things would raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon to 21 and require enhanced background checks, training and waiting periods to obtain those firearms.
The proposal would also require gun owners to keep firearms secured at home. Gun owners could face misdemeanor or felony charges in certain circumstances if they allow someone prohibited from obtaining a weapon access to a firearm.
In a tweet Monday, Allen announced his $1 million donation to the initiative campaign, which he called “a reasonable and necessary measure that will improve the safety of our schools and our communities …”
“I hope people throughout the state will support the campaign, so that we can qualify and pass this important initiative into law,” Allen said.
Hanauer and his wife gave another $1 million, according to a tweet by Hanauer and a spokeswoman for the Alliance.
Read the rest of the story here.
The “among other things” are described in the 30-page initiative. I’ve read through the initiative and it’s a doozy. The devil is in the details:
Sec. 3 Enhanced Background Checks (starting on page 3):
(2) In addition to the other requirements of this chapter, no dealer may deliver a semiautomatic assault rifle to the purchasers until:
(a) The purchaser provide proof that he or she has completed a recognized firearm safety training program within the last five years that, at a minimum, includes instruction on: (continues and lists, among other things, suicide prevention, secure gun storage, safe handling, etc.)
(b) The dealer is notified in writing by (i) the chief of police or the sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the purchaser resides that the purchaser is eligible to possess a firearm under RCW 9.41.040 and that the application to purchase is approved by the chief of police or sheriff; or (ii) the state that the purchaser is eligible to possess a firearm under RCW 9.41.010, as provided in subsection (3) (b) of this section; or
(c) The requirements or time periods in RCW 9.41.092 have been satisfied.
Sec. 4 Waiting Period (starting on page 9):
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and except for semiautomatic assault rifles under subsection (2) of this section, a licensed dealer may not deliver any firearms to a purchaser or transferee until the earlier of:
(b) Ten business days have elapsed from the date the licensed dealer requested the background check. However, for sales and transfers of pistols if the purchaser or transferee does not have a valid permanent Washington driver’s license or state identification card or has not been a resident of the state for the previous consecutive ninety days, then the time period in this subsection shall be extended from ten business days to sixty days.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a licensed dealer may not deliver a semiautomatic assault rifle to a purchaser or transferee until ten business days have elapsed from the date of the purchase application or, in the case of a transfer, ten business days have elapsed from the date of background check is initiatied.
Sec. 5. Secure Gun Storage (starting on page 10):
(1) A person who stores or leaves a firearm in a location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that a prohibited person may gain access to the firearms:
(Goes on to list those who are prohibited possessors.)
(6) Nothing in this section mandates how or where a firearm must be stored.
Sec. 6. Availability of Secure Gun Storage (starting on page 11):
(1) When selling or transferring any firearms, every dealer shall offer to sell or give the purchaser or transferee a secure gun storage device, or a trigger lock or similar device that is designed to prevent the unauthorized use or discharge of the firearm.
(2) Every store, shop, or sales outlet where firearms are sold, that is registered as a dealer in firearms with the department of licensing, shall conspicuously post, in a prominent location so that all patrons may take notice, the following warning sign, to be provided by the department of licensing, in block letters at least one inch in height:
WARNING: YOU MAY FACE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION IF YOU STORE OR LEAVE AN UNSECURED FIREARM WHERE A PERSON WHO IS PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING FIREARMS CAN AND DOES OBTAIN POSSESSION(noted twice in all caps)
Sec. 7 RCW 9.41.094(Waiver of Confidentiality) and 2018 c 201 s 6004 are each amended to read as follows (starting on page 12)
A signed application to purchase a pistol or semiautomatic assault rifle shall constitute a waiver of confidentiality and written request that the health care authority, mental health institutions, and other health care facilities release, to an inquiring court or law enforcement agency, information relevant to the applicant’s eligibility to purchase a pistol or semiautomatic assault rifle to an inquiring court or law enforcement agency.
Sec. 8 RCW 9.41.097(Supplying information on persons purchasing pistols or applying for concealed pistol licenses)and 2018 c 201 s 6005 are each amended to read as follows (starting on page 13)
(1) The health care authority, mental health institution, and other health care facilities shall, upon request of a court, law enforcement agency, or the state, supply such relevant information as is necessary to determine the eligibility of a person to possess a firearm or to be issues a concealed pistol license under RCW 9.41.070 or to purchase a pistol or semiautomatic assault rifle under RCW 9.41.090.
Definitions (starting on page 24)
(24) Secure Gun Storage means:
(a) A locked box, gun safe, or other secure locked storage space that is designed to prevent unauthorized use or discharge of a firearm; and (b) the act of keeping an unloaded firearm stored by such means.
(25) “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.
What do you know… their definition of “semiautomatic assault rifle” seems to describe all semiauto rifles as “assault” rifles.
I told you the devil was in the details…
Read the whole initiative here.