Washington Supreme Court puts gun-regulations measure I-1639 back on November ballot

OLYMPIA — The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that the proposed gun-regulations measure, Initiative 1639, will appear on November’s election ballot. The ruling comes after a Thurston County judge earlier this month blocked the proposed initiative after Alan Gottlieb of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association challenged the legality of the campaign’s signature-gathering petitions. But in a four-page order released Friday, the justices wrote that state law “does not allow for pre-election judicial review of the form, process, substance, or constitutionality of an initiative petition.” Gun-rights advocates had argued the petitions violated state law because they did not include text formatting such as underlines and strike-throughs to demonstrate how exactly the initiative would change the language of existing gun laws. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which led the campaign, acknowledged that a technical error led to those elements being excluded. But the campaign has argued that the law doesn’t require that formatting and that the signature petitions displayed the entire proposal.

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