18, 19, and 20-Year-Old Washington Residents Can No Longer Purchase Semi-Auto Rifles

The Washington law define’s “assault rifle” to include even .22-caliber firearms.

The first part of Washington State’s new slate of gun ban policies took effect this week and prohibited anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing any kind of semiautomatic rifle.

The measures passed in November when, spurred by a massive campaign funded by Michael Bloomberg, 59 percent of Washingtonians voted in favor of ballot initiative I-1639. Along with restricting the age to purchase a 10/22, I-1639 also 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.”

“Starting today, young adults between the ages of 18 to 20 will have their rights to purchase semi-automatic rifles stripped away,” Dave Workman, a spokesman for the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation, told the Associated Press.

In contrast to many other pieces of gun control legislation, Washington’s initiative expands the definition of “assault rifle” to include “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.”

SEE ALSO: Draconian I-1639 Ballot Measure Passes in Washington

Defining “assault rifle” in this way will prohibit legal adults from purchasing even .22-caliber rifles commonly used to train youngsters in safety and shooting fundamentals.

The Second Amendment Foundation joined the National Rifle Association in filing a lawsuit against I-1639. Plaintiffs also include firearms dealers in Spokane and Vancouver, a 19-year-old competitive shooter, a 19-year-old in the Army Reserves, and a 20-year-old recreational shooter.

The lawsuit challenges the measure on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution by preventing the sale of certain rifles to otherwise qualified adults under age 21.

“Eighteen-year-olds are serving right now in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria in the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces,” said NRA President and U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. “And he comes home and he’s 19 and he can’t buy a firearm? Where’s the common sense in that?”

He added that “classifying all semi-automatic rifles as an assault weapons” is “setting folks up for false expectations.”

The other components of I-1639, including the safe storage requirement and expanded background checks, are set to take effect on July 1.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • letcalhunt July 2, 2021, 5:38 pm

    But they can still die for their cuntry, the Socialist States of America.

  • Rod March 5, 2019, 11:15 am

    Watching the United States erode down to a 3rd world country is very disheartening! I see neither side of the political spectrum really doing anything to change the down hill slide of this nation! I see things such as accountability of the people themselves dissolving. These kids shoot up things because the adult parents of these kids either can not enforce their own Marshal law on these problem kids, or they just don’t even bother thinking it’s too much of a hassle or they think a kid has a right to rule over the household with their childish actions. The number one “right” adults need to enforce is search and seezure! Be nosy, ban things they do not want under their roof! Sure common sense of these parental laws in households must take place but we have many many social factors that need to change also in our society too! Like being involved in the child’s life! Adults making responsible decisions too!
    Just banning something is not going to fix anything! Find the root of the problem!

  • Thomas Hofius January 4, 2019, 10:15 pm

    I am one of those old republicans who support the Constitution. I carried a rifle to school to partipate in inter school programs. I got my first m-1 at 13 when I competed in high power matches in various states in the Midwest. The result of all of this, a lifelong competitive shooter with a record of safe firearms handeling, a lifetime of enjoyment and friends. If any American is capable of representing this country as a member of the armed forces, they deserve the full support of this nation and to be treated as any citizen who abides by law and wishes to exercise their rights under the Second Ammendment. The civilian marksmanship program allowed and encouraged thepossession and use of our nations service weapons and its record is that of safe firearms use and possession.

  • pete January 4, 2019, 7:41 pm

    And by the way, one of Wash state’s recent mall mass shootings by a young person was with a .22lr rifle. So there!

  • Pete January 4, 2019, 7:40 pm

    Thank goodness! I have not known many under 21 yr olds I trust with assault-style weapons of any make or caliber. When people who’s brains are not fully developed get sad or angry, bad things often happen (impulse non-control). The Army argument is nonsense, as young soldiers are desirable BECAUSE they are mentally pliable.

    • Gregory Romeu January 5, 2019, 9:13 pm

      Yet you sit back on your pompous ass and enjoy all the freedom, liberty and safety that they provide for you.

      You’re one of those American citizens that do not deserve the rights that you were given. You should be made to earn those rights. You are an embarrassment to this country!

  • Chastran January 4, 2019, 2:11 pm

    Washington State is begging to have its socks sued off. Federal law, the
    Constitution and its Amendments, override any state laws. A lawyer would win this case in a heartbeat and put Washington state in the financial poorhouse…

    • Lewis January 4, 2019, 6:12 pm

      Yet, many want 16 yr. olds to have the vote. Like the man said “young skulls full of mush”.

  • Lance January 4, 2019, 1:17 pm

    Actually, it doesn’t go into effect until July 01, 2019. But same crap, different date. I wonder if Washington could vote back in slavery (God forbid)?

    • DIYinSTL January 4, 2019, 4:53 pm

      Philosopher George Santayana wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” One must presume that the reason for the Democratic Left tearing down every Civil War edifice it can is to re-institute slavery.

  • Denny Parker January 4, 2019, 12:56 pm

    Wal Mart is already being sued in Michigan for refusing to sell a shotgun to a 20 year old returning veteran. Mich law allows purchase at 18. Violating 1. 2nd and 14th ammendment rights. Where is the ACLU on this one? I guess they only worry about your constitutional rights if you are black.

  • Alan L Robinson January 4, 2019, 12:47 pm

    I can’t tell you how many rabbits and squirrels I have taken with an assault 10/22 when I was 15.
    Damn good thing for this law, those innocent (but tasty!) little critters are safe now, as well as all the people of Washington!

  • Peter Brown January 4, 2019, 12:33 pm

    I had to live in the people’s republic of wa for several very long years. The fingerprints of the democraps there are everywhere. Agriculturally oriented people of wa have No voice in the democrap controlled govt which tries so hard to emulate the leftists of people’s republics of kalif and oregon. Money and power are held in death-grips in large cities such as seattle. Innocent people with firearms are presumed guilty. This fascist, anti-2nd Amendment movement against The People of wa should come as no surprise. Take a painful look at the people’s republic of kalif. The poor People of liberally dominated states will see more of the same; much more.
    Consider that a statue of communist vladimir lenin proudly stands in a seattle park! That’s seattle and that statue speaks volumes.

  • Michael J January 4, 2019, 11:28 am

    Don’t these politicians know 18yr olds can vote? Not that they will, but since they don’t teach government in public schools anymore what’s another right being restricted or taken away?

  • SuperG January 4, 2019, 10:26 am

    Wow, Washatoonia continues to advance its “suckage”. No wonder why businesses are moving out of there.

    • Peter Brown January 4, 2019, 12:34 pm

      I refuse to do business with states such as wash.

  • Jay January 4, 2019, 6:54 am

    Does this new anti-gun law now make them ineligible from serving in the military? I bet not!

    • krinkov545 January 4, 2019, 2:34 pm

      Overheard at Mcord Air Force base“Sorry Sarge I can’t legally use that M4 for guard duty”

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