A ballot initiative in Washington state that allows voters to decide whether or not to approve a long list of draconian restrictions on the Second Amendment is facing new opposition from organizations such as the National Rifle Association.
“We all recognize that I-1639 is a hodgepodge of gun control schemes, and we’re united in the effort to prevent it from passing and turning law-abiding citizens into criminals,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee For The Right to Keep And Bear Arms, one of the groups working to defeat the plan.
“Gun prohibition lobbying groups based in New York and Seattle are using Washington state as a test tube for their insidious gun control crusade. We’re going to stop this nonsense before it spreads like a cancer to other states.”
The coalition formed after the gun control initiative was placed on the 2018 ballot.
It would, according to a campaign website, require gun owners to lock up their firearms or become criminals.
“This strict mandate renders firearms useless in a self-defense situation by requiring them to be locked up,” the campaign explains. “The different between someone saving their family and becoming a victim of crime sometimes comes down to a few crucial seconds.”
It also strips from young adults their rights to have long firearms. And it would let the government “collect and use gun owner information to enforce compliance and authorize gun confiscations.”
The proposal would collect data during gun sales, and it all could be used to enforce new “verification” processes.
There’s also a 10-day waiting period and a provision that gun owners must sign away their medical history privacy rights.
The National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Washington Arms Collectors announced they are uniting in the grassroots effort to defeat Initiative 1639, “a 30-page maze of extremist gun control provisions.”
NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation previously challenged the initiative’s validity in separate legal actions, winning initially in Thurston County Superior Court. That ruling was reversed by the state Supreme Court.
It involved a state requirement that the entire proposal be available on petitions for signers to read. The issue arose when promoters miniaturized the plan so that all 30 pages of legalese fit on one sheet of paper, making it virtually unreadable for many.
“The six million members of the NRA enthusiastically welcome the Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms and the Washington Arms Collectors to this fight,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Washington gun owners deserve a coalition dedicated to defending their freedoms and the NRA is ready to lead the charge.”
Bill Burriss of the Washington Arms Collectors added that the proposal “has no public safety value.
“We must all take a stand against this attack on our basic civil rights.”
The Spokesman-Review newspaper of Spokane reported a superior court judge decided the size of the type didn’t meet the state’s requirements.
But the famously anti-gun Washington Supreme Court reversed that decision.
The state legislature had tried similar plans and failed to get them passed.
But the report warned, “While the text refers repeatedly to ‘semiautomatic assault rifle’ – and supporters routinely use the term in campaign materials – the definition in I-1639 covers any rifle that allows a round to be fired by pulling the trigger after the previous round has been fired.”
Opponents note the definition covers just about any semi-automatic rifle, from target shooting guns to hunting rifles.
Microsoft’s Paul Allen already has contributed some $1.2 million to the campaign to restrict the Second Amendment, the report said. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer added another $1 million.
If voters approve, it likely still will face challenges, analysts explained, because it deals with several subjects, and state initiatives are required to have only one.