Draconian I-1639 Ballot Measure Passes in Washington

Bad news for Washington gun owners. The draconian ballot measure known as Initiative 1639 passed into law this week, garnering 60 percent of the votes.

I-1639 bans the sale of semiautomatic rifles to adults under the age of 21, creates a registry of gun owners, establishes a 10-day waiting period for certain purchases, holds gun owners liable for failing to secure firearms, and allows the state to charge a $25 fee on the sale of “assault rifles.”

I-1639 defines “assault rifle” as “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.” Included in this category is any semiautomatic long gun chambered in .22LR.

Gun stores in the Evergreen State are already prepping for the rollout of I-1639 which officially takes effect on July 1, 2019. Except for the age restriction, that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

“Now we’ve got a law that’s going to cause problems for us and it’s going to cause problems for consumers and the impact on crime is going to be zero,” said Wade Gaughran, the owner of Wade’s Eastside Guns in King County, during an interview with KOMONews.

Gaughran believes that while folks may rush out to purchase firearms before the start date, the overall effect on sales will be negative.

“So there’s going to be a rush for people buying guns and beat the law to the punch but I think ultimately though it will have a negative effect for a while on gun sales,” explained Gaughran.

What the NRA-ILA is saying about I-1639. (Photo: NRA-ILA)

But as bad as things look in the short term, in the long term there may be hope.  Pro-gun organizations plan to fight I-1639 in court.

“The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) will be jointly filing a court challenge to I-1639 and the chilling effect that it has of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” said Alan Gottlieb in an email to GunsAmerica.

Gottlieb is the founder of SAF, which is based in Bellevue, Washington.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 52 comments… add one }
  • archangel November 11, 2018, 8:21 pm

    “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.”

    Anyone else thinking of designing a solenoid powered rifle that has a switch that activates when you release the trigger so the spent gas is NOT what cycles the bolt and thereby makes the gun fall outside the definition of assault rifle?

  • tom mix November 11, 2018, 11:27 am

    i thought the Heller decision settled the storage nonsense

  • Just1Spark November 9, 2018, 6:26 pm

    When are people going to start asking “who counts the votes”?

    The secret ballot is for suckers.

  • bbbs53 November 9, 2018, 4:43 pm

    This liberal hell hole of a state just got decidedly worse. The petition circulated did not have the law on it as required by law nor the corrections and for all of the money collected by various opposed parties, the full law has NEVER been written out. It was advertised as “sensible” regulations, it is anything but. This long time gunsmith and firearms owner is leaving this state and taking my business and tax dollars with me way before any of it becomes law. After 10 years of trying to get decent government elected and watching my rights errode I am throwing in the towel and abandoning this garbage heap leaving it to the liberal buzzards. It was bad when I moved here for family reasons in ’08, now it can fall into the sea for all I care.

  • Jerry U November 9, 2018, 12:51 pm

    Come on guys! Gun control works, just look how well it has controlled crime in Chicago. I’m all for gun control. Stand steady and aim straight. That’s gun control.

  • watchdogman November 9, 2018, 12:09 pm

    Glad we moved out of that shithole state years ago. Could see it coming. Those remaining should remember vigilante justice.

  • skipNclair November 9, 2018, 12:08 pm

    Z regarding your comment, you would be absolutely correct if we were a nation under the rule of democracy, however, we are not and therefore your comment is incorrect. In a democracy which our forefathers hated with a passion, the mob rules, the mob being the majority, in a constitutional republic as we are supposed to be, but lost slowly since the days of Lincoln the Constitution protects the minority from the mob rule action. The will of the people does not write a law, men write laws and they should only be obeyed if they are backed by the constitution, thus creating the Constitutional Republic. A perfect example would be a lynch mob that has just caught a horse thief, dead to rights in the mob are 20 men, and upon capture 19 say let’s hang him on that tree over there, as they prepare him for this action, one man lets say the sheriff fires his weapon in the air gaining their attention and says to them, there will be no hanging today, he will be taken to stand trial and hung upon conviction only. That is where not only does the constitution protect him, but also the rights of the minority the sheriff, and of course again the thief. No law regardless of how it is written, or whoever wrote it or passed it is to be considered law if it does not adhere to the constitution. I hope you will now take the time to read again the 2nd amendment carefully, as it is probably the easiest one to understand and change your mind, and become part of the solution, instead of the problem. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. The key word though there be several is infringed. Any law regardless of how effective it may be for any purpose is not law if it does not adhere to this writing, May I suggest to those weak cowards that look for others for protection and try to deny others their right to protect as the constitution and God almighty himself wishes men to do, find a way other then stomping on the rights of people by thumbing their noses at God and trampling on the Constitution. The only way you can take away the 2nd amendment and not infringe on it, is by removing it from the Bill of rights through legislation by a 2/3 majority vote, and trust me that is never going to happen, so the socialist and their weak followers feel they need to chip away at it slowly while the ignorant applauded it, and the strong fight to keep it. Good luck with believing in anything half ass like you claim you do with the 2nd amendment.

    • Z November 9, 2018, 2:47 pm

      Well, you were on a roll until you went off the rails. Separation of church and state is also in the constitution.

      We do not have a true democracy, we have a republic founded upon the principals of representative democracy. A representative democracy means that we are in fact majority rule backed by law and therefore the majority have the right and the authority to amend the law.
      As for the second amendment, “infringed” is to be taken in context along with the words “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..”. A militia is defined as the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service. The military doesn’t enlist people under the age of 18 or over 38. Want to talk about wether or not anyone outside of that age bracket has a right to own a firearm as defined by the 2nd amendment?
      Citizens of this country have the right to own firearms as enumerated by the 2nd amendment and upheld in a number of Supreme Court decisions. The right to regulate the nature of that ownership is still granted to the states and determined through the legislative and voting process. What Washington has done may ultimately be determined to violate the constitution but it needs to play out through the legislative process just like your horse thief example. I understand that your sentiments are with the mob and god only makes an appearance when you seek moral authority.

      • Wes November 10, 2018, 10:07 am

        SkipNclair is spot on in everything he wrote. His grammar and punctuation is off but I suspect he is not originally from the US. This is understandable since only those not born here seem to truly understand the principles of this nation as founded.

        BTW, separation of church and state is NOT in the Constitution.

        • Z November 10, 2018, 5:23 pm

          Read the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the first amendment.

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

          You’re right that the exact wording “separation of church and state” aren’t in the constitution but you’d be ignoring the first amendment if you argue that the government recognizes the Christian version of god.

          • Mike V November 11, 2018, 6:20 pm

            Haha, I love your style. Even when you’re wrong you’re still right.

          • Z November 12, 2018, 11:57 am

            Mike V, you keep making it personal with snide comments and ad hominem attacks. Then you turn off comments in an attempt to have the last word?

            Stick to the facts.

          • Z November 12, 2018, 5:34 pm

            My bad Mike V, you didn’t turn off comments.

  • Richard Garcia November 9, 2018, 11:38 am

    Well, here the way I see it. This is going to come back to bite a lot of the people (liberals) in the ass that voted for this Seattle like, left-wing moron approach to solving the crime. It will have little to “no” effect on crime or criminals as to them obtaining a weapon(s). Let’s be real here’…, this is a State generating money and the insane left thinking they’re somehow safer, they believe their own lies and delusions about firearms. Second, when a State or any Government starts passing laws that try to make law-abiding people criminals there’s a real problem in that Government body, which means, it’s not about crime or weapons it’s about control of some else rights. The liberal left thinks the US Constitution is outdated and needs to be changed to fit their socialist, communist, progressive agenda, and since most State like Washington actually adopt the US Constitution to write the States Constitution it has to go in their psychotic minds, well all I can say is; good luck with that because in the end I don’t think the people whose rights they are manipulating are going to put up with it.

  • Alan Robinson November 9, 2018, 10:28 am

    Oh no! I gave my kids “Assault weapons” for their 14th B-Days?!?!
    Ya’know, that Ruger 10/22 IS a pretty lethal weapon for combat, right?
    So much for that family tradition.

  • Z November 9, 2018, 9:37 am

    Draconian means cruel or severe. It’s a ten day wait, a 25$ fee and a prohibition against people under 21 buying semiautomatics.

    If 60% of the voters in Washington support the legislation it’s the will of the people and not imposed on them by an outside power. If you hold up the second amendment as the law of the land, shouldn’t you respect the laws created by the citizens of Washington as well?

    • Noman November 9, 2018, 10:34 am

      You sir, are an idiot.

    • T November 9, 2018, 10:36 am

      I-1639 is a 30 page long gun control initiative with many more restrictions than stated in the article. One of the new law is that if your gun is stolen and later used in a crime you would be charged with a Class C Felony unless it was locked (trigger lock or safe) which could delay getting your gun to defend yourself even within your own home.

      I-1639 also classifies all semi-automatic rifles/shotguns as assults rifles and requires state approved training every five year before you can purchase one. It also give the state approval to view your medical record every year to determine if they think you are allowed to own any guns. Any you cannot sue the state for any mistakes they make.

      • Z November 9, 2018, 11:17 am

        That’s pretty f’d up. It would be nice if Blannelberry included that in his article.

    • Mike V November 9, 2018, 10:39 am

      Respect it because the majority says so with no care for what is said?

      Obviously you aren’t concerned with minority rights. Your cavalier disregard is disturbing.

      In your world the 40% that didn’t go along have to just accept their yoke with out complaint because the majority says so?

      As to whether the law is draconian, by your definition it certainly is. Any law that lumps the Marlin 60 in with the AR15 can only be described as severe in its scope.

      • Z November 9, 2018, 11:16 am

        I didn’t create the definition, check the dictionary.

        • Mike V November 9, 2018, 2:07 pm

          Last I checked you stated, ” Draconian means cruel or severe.”

          You didn’t say, “Websters says draconian means cruel or severe.”

          Your citation was at a minimum in agreement with the definition provided, by which you then proceeded to argue how this didn’t meet that definition.

          I clearly showed how by that definition you were wrong.

          This is where you throw your hands up and say you’re sorry. You have a bad take and it’s easily taken apart on all points.

          • Z November 9, 2018, 5:54 pm

            Placing your opinion on a pedestal doesn’t make it special nor does it negate anyone else’s opinion. The fact that you popped off on your keyboard without knowing the definition of “draconian” and your adhominem attacks doesn’t solidify or validate your contention.

            A ballot measure voted on and approved by the majority doesn’t rise to the level of authoritarianism and given that exercise of civil liberties are enshrined in the constitution I should think you’d be in favor of the act even if you don’t like the outcome.

    • AJ November 9, 2018, 10:41 am

      Absolutely not. Because it’s success in passing (not it’s actual effect on crime), will be used in other states to push similar legislation into effect.

      Gun control advocates are going to use it to their advantage. Mostly citing the passing of such a measure, without providing cause AND effect, as a way to further their agenda. The only reason 60% of voters would call for such a thing is that they are in fact ignorant on the matter. That is literally the only logical explanation.

      • Z November 9, 2018, 11:20 am

        I agree that it’s effect on crime will be minimal. At best it could hinder someone in the 18-21 age bracket from an impulsive act.

    • Darryl Phillips November 9, 2018, 10:42 am

      ??????????????? The Second Amendment states that Washington CANNOT create a law that will INFRINGE on the RIGHT of the PEOPLE to KEEP and BEAR ARMS. Talk about not obeying the Law! Or is your argument that if WA stops the People from obtaining arms in the first place that technically they don’t have arms to keep or bear and therefore their Rights have not been infringed? Special kind of stupid… the world the Liberal mind lives in.

      • Z November 9, 2018, 11:27 am

        I’m not arguing for anything, I’m asking, to what degree is a law to be respected. Do we only respect Constitutional amendments? The Constitution grants to the states any rights not reserved or enumerated explicitly in the Constitution as belonging to the government. Your argument hinges on the definition of infringement. The opposing argument is that of states rights to govern within their own borders. I’m not arguing against gun ownership, I’m asking why one part of the constitution deserves more respect than another.

        • Mike V November 9, 2018, 2:31 pm

          So what you’re saying is that the constitution says that a state can create any law it wants even if that law violates the same constitution?

          Your interpretation of the constitution makes it a worthless contradiction.

          • Z November 9, 2018, 6:23 pm

            1) That’s not remotley what I said, it’s what you incorrectly understood.
            2) The powers enumerated in the constitution as belonging to the government can not be subordinated by the states but any powers not identified as belonging to the government belong to the states. For example, there are federal laws for drinking and smoking ages but not for acquiring a drivers license. Because there is no federal drivers license age limit the individual states can determine the age requirement within their own borders. The age limit in Arkansas doesn’t apply to Colorado. In keeping with that example, each state sets the age limit and requirements for obtaining various firearms because the government doesn’t have that authority enumerated (delegated) by the constitution. This is the part where people like to puff up and rage about infringement and they have a point but it runs up against the Tenth Ammendment. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Since the founding fathers didn’t specify that deciding which weapons a citizen could have or how old they had to be as a Reserved Power of the United States, nor does the Constitution expressly prohibit the states from determining such things, the powers to do so, “are Reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
            The people of the state approved a ballot measure. It doesn’t get any more Constitutional than that.

    • BK November 9, 2018, 10:56 am

      I-1639 was invalid for a host of reasons and never should have been allowed on the ballot, except for a exteremly liberal anti-gun state supreme court and a RINO Secratary of state. It SHOULD loose a challenge from anyone. Previous initiatives that have tried to do more than one thing at a time have been ruled invalid. We’ll see if the rule of law prevails or if the liberals get there way.

      • Z November 9, 2018, 11:30 am

        Hopefully it is overturned on appeal. I’m curious about your broad use of the word liberal. If 60% of the voters approved the measure doesn’t that, by your connotation, mean that Washington is a majority liberal state and that they did in fact get their way?

        • BK November 9, 2018, 4:27 pm

          A majority of the population, and thereby voters, in this state are liberal. The ballot title and inititave explanatory statements were misleading and or false. Were the voters misinformed on purpose?

          • Z November 10, 2018, 5:33 pm

            It’s a possibility. It’s also possible that 60% of the voters understood what was at stake and thought it was a solution to the problem of mass shootings. We’ll see how it works out in the coming years. I certainly won’t be moving to Washington in the meantime.

    • SD November 9, 2018, 11:40 am

      So let’s see, by your logic if a majority in my state wanted and voted to make it legal to own fully automatic weapons, hand grenades, and tanks, you’d be okay with that right?

      • Z November 9, 2018, 11:59 am

        Hell yeah, I’d move to your state and buy all the toys I’ve been unable to purchase because of my states laws. I’m not in favor of restrictive gun laws. I know they only apply to law abiding people like myself. The flip side of that is that people who want to live in states with restrictive gun laws could just as easily move to states that already have them. It’s just not human nature to accept our environments. We constantly move into areas and seek to change them to accommodate our wants. If 60% of the voters in Washington decided that the measure should pass, then it’s an inhospitable environment to people who disagree with the measure and they can/should vote with their feet and move to a state that has laws in keeping with their interests. It’s just easier to complain on an Internet forum than to exercise the courage of one’s convictions.

    • BK November 9, 2018, 4:39 pm

      60 percent of the people that voted, not 60 percent of the registered voters. That’s probably the biggest part of the problem. It’s scary how few people decide whats best for all of us.

      • Z November 10, 2018, 8:16 pm

        Yeah, I think it’s a result of the outdated electoral college. We the people should have more direct input in which legislation winds up on ballots rather than special interest groups and their pet legislators.

  • joefoam November 9, 2018, 8:29 am

    Californians fled their state to resettle in WA, unfortunately they brought along their failed policies. They have been compared to locusts, descending on new territory, raping it, then moving on to ruin another state.

    • William Lynn November 9, 2018, 9:25 am

      Betoff O’Crook almost won in Texas too. Liberals are like locust. They ruin everything they touch then move somewhere nice and ruin it too. Then they bka e all their triubles and destruction on conservatives. They don’t follow the laws then use them against others because they know we do. They don’t like our Constitution yet they use it against us because they know we follow it. Communism works that way.

    • Ed Taylor November 9, 2018, 9:30 am

      They are doing the same thing in AZ and TX.

  • TrouserTrout November 9, 2018, 8:28 am

    Charging a fee for a God given right? What is next? Charging a fee before one can vote, charging a fee everything we post a comment on GA? Like I aways say, “they can suck my Glock”!

  • BigC November 9, 2018, 8:07 am

    There needs to be an age restriction put on the most dangerous weapon in the USA…..the VOTE!!! Giving 18 year-olds, living in their parents’ basement, the right to have a say in taxation, politics, etc. of hard-working adult taxpayers, is ludicrous and we’re beginning to see the folly of this approach!!

    The age needs to be raised to 21 and then require proof of having paid taxes, to show they have a dog in the fight!!

    This age limit should not apply to those serving in the armed forces…….of course!

    • Mike November 9, 2018, 10:09 am

      18 year olds aren’t capable of researching candidates or issues and checking a box on paper but this same age bracket should be the proud owners of sbr’s with drum magazines and of course they need to concealed carry a handgun in the mall. That’s your argument?

      • krinkov545 November 9, 2018, 4:50 pm

        Mike this isn’t democratic underground. Take vile poison ideas and logic over there.

        • Mike November 10, 2018, 5:44 pm

          Easy snowflake, don’t have meltdown because BigC made a stupid argument.

  • Jay November 9, 2018, 7:33 am

    One right at a time! One county, one city, one State at a time! Then BINGO, Control!

  • Kevin Cote November 9, 2018, 6:38 am

    Make your own , fuck them..its not a democracy and it is not a ” Law ”
    51% cannot rule 49% . Your precious Constitution says We are garaunteed a Republic form of government , keep it that way . Its time to educate yourselves , overcome the assumptions, presumptions and lies you all believe. Take charge of your lives and stop allowing sinful , faulted , corrupt man rule over you. We started as a God fearing country living in harmony with God as our Lord common law and because of our sloth , forgetfulness and reprobate minds we have allowed the deciever to rule us…

    • December November 9, 2018, 8:58 am

      Really? Grow up and quite believing in fairy tales.

      • Texas 2nd November 9, 2018, 9:28 am

        Shh….Really learn to spell and learn about God and why he gave you life.

  • jColes November 9, 2018, 5:03 am

    It’s the northern end of the insane Left Coast … Measures that horrify most Americans are blithely embraced by those who appear to be the barely conscious herd. I’m just happy the majority of that mental impairment resides in the “far-out” West and not anywhere close to where I live.

  • Warren willis November 9, 2018, 4:55 am

    The wave is coming gun control does nothing but punish people who are abiding by the laws

    • Z November 9, 2018, 9:46 am

      Which wave is that? I agree about gun laws only applying to the law abiding.

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