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Are self-defense rights being encroached by I-1639, gun storage laws?

(File, Associated Press)

The Edmonds City Council recently passed a gun storage similar to Seattle’s, and is the subject of lawsuit from the NRA alleging it violates the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute. With the upcoming vote on I-1639, gun activists are concerned that rights are being encroached all over the state.

“The big thing is that there’s no such thing as an assault weapon. That’s a political term. What they’ve decided to do is that everything that’s auto-loading. All of those are now assault weapons,” NRA Representative Mike Carpenter told the Todd Herman Show.

“They want you to believe that you can go buy a machine gun in retail, and that you can do anything you want with it, and so we’re going to claim that these things are machine guns and then we’re going to wave a magic wand and prevent bad people from getting them.”

RELATED: Will I-1639 ‘wake up’ gun owners in Washington state?

Bass says that these so-called “bad people” are now being classified as anyone who’s legally an adult and can pass a criminal background investigation. “You can old be enough to vote, old enough to enlist in the army, you can get married and sign contracts, but we don’t trust you to buy a semi-automatic rifle.”

He argues that assault rifles make up a tiny percentage of crime, and points to data from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs that showed that among the over 1100 criminal incidents involving handguns, four involved rifles of all kinds in the last year for which they had data.

Gun storage laws potentially undermines self-defense

Regarding the safe firearm storage, firearms instructor Brett Bass — who is also a plaintiff in the suit against Edmonds — believes it is undermining the very essence of why people purchase guns.

“Safe firearm storage is important, but firearms that are not in use have to be kept unloaded,” he said. “If you recall, one of the things that led to the Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment is that it required people to store their firearms in such a way that they were totally useless for self-defense purposes, which is the explicit reason that people choose to purchase firearms.”

“They’re talking about secure storage, but what they’re really talking about is victim disarmament.”

The general concern is that the public is being easily scared by misleading information, and that the government is trying to create an environment in which it’s difficult to not a break a gun law.

“It does nothing to prevent crime, but in fact it manufactures criminals out of our law abiding citizens,” Bass said.

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