I-1639: Washington state’s latest gun control initiative

Efforts to pass stricter gun laws in Washington failed in the Legislature this year, such as raising the age limit to buy semi-automatic rifles. But voters could get the final say if backers of I-1639 can gather enough signatures over the next few weeks. After some legal challenges over the ballot title of I-1639 were settled by a Thurston County Judge last week, backers of the initiative started an aggressive signature campaign under a tight deadline. They need to turn in about 260,000 valid signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office by July 6 to get the initiative on the November ballot. I-1639 I-1639 includes sweeping changes to the state’s gun laws, especially concerning semi-automatic rifles such as AR-15s. Tallman Trask is with the Alliance For Gun Responsibility, the group behind the statewide initiative. “The goal here is really to make sure that our schools and our communities are safe from the kind of gun violence that terrorizes our country and even our state and city regularly, and all too often,” Trask said. “To do that, it does three really important interconnected things: Raise the age to purchase semi-automatic assault weapons in the state to 21 from the current age of 18; It will create enhanced background checks for those weapons.” The third major component of I-1639 is related to safe storage of guns. It promotes charging gun owners if someone not allowed to have a gun gets a hold of their firearm because it wasn’t safely stored. That […]

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