Opponents Say New Gun Initiative Won’t Solve Crime, but Will Add Costs

Opponents Say New Gun Initiative Won’t Solve Crime, but Will Add Costs

Gun Rights

At least 150 people attended the Gun Rights Coalition’s Rally 4 UR Rights in early January at the state Capitol in Olympia. Dave Kellett has mixed opinions on Washington state’s latest round of voter-approved gun-control legislation. On the one hand, the lead trainer at The Range in Yakima said his company will come out ahead by offering the enhanced firearms training required under Initiative 1639. “It’s gold for firearms businesses,” Kellett said. But he and other gun-rights advocates pushed hard against the measure, seeing it as further infringement on a constitutional right. Under the new law, the age for buying a semi-automatic assault rifle is raised from 18 to 21, a change that will take effect in January. The law will also require people buying semi-automatic rifles to undergo an enhanced background check, which also looks at mental health records, as well as going through firearms safety training, including lessons on suicide awareness. It also allows gun owners to be charged with “community endangerment” if someone who is not legally allowed to have a gun gets theirs and brandishes it, fires it or uses it in a crime. Depending on the circumstances, the offense can be either a felony or a gross misdemeanor. Those aspects of the law go into effect July 1, 2019. I-1639 passed with slightly more than 60 percent of the vote in unofficial statewide tallies. In Yakima County, which tends to lean more conservative than the state as a whole, almost 58 percent of voters […]

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