MYNORTHWEST NEWS

NRA wins Washington case, stops gun control initiative from going to ballot

Aug 17, 2018, 11:28 AM | Updated: 2:00 pm

responsible gun culture, NRA, I-1639, nra unsurance...

(AP)

(AP)

Organizers behind gun control Initiative 1639 did not comply with state signature gathering rules, according to a Thurston County superior court judge who ruled in favor of the NRA Friday. I-1639 will now be removed from the November ballot.

“The National Rifle Association is glad to see the court today recognized how negligent, if not worse, gun control advocates were in their signature-gathering for this ill-advised ballot initiative,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA.

RELATED: Initiative puts Sec. of State Wyman in awkward position

Gun rights advocates protested the manner in which I-1639 collected signatures in Washington state. Secretary of State Kim Wyman even commented that her office has never seen an initiative effort conducted in such a way — with tiny font, and without clear indications of how the initiative would change existing law.

“We’ve gone back and looked at initiatives that have been submitted before – we’ve never seen one with this format,” Wyman previously told KTTH Radio’s Todd Herman. “They literally included word-for-word everything they submitted when they first turned in their initiative. All the words are there, but it’s the way and the manner in which they presented them that is different … It’s the way they are presented that can be confusing to some.”

But Wyman also said that her authority as secretary of state did not extend to denying the initiative — she only ensured that they gathered the required number of signatures. This prompted the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation to file separate lawsuits over I-1639.

“We got involved because I-1639 tramples on the rights of Washington state voters, and because the way these anti-gun activists went about pushing their agenda was egregious,” Cox said. “We applaud this decision, and will remain vigilant in protecting the constitutional freedoms of all Americans.”

The initiative had many components.

“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,” said Tallman Trask with the Alliance For Gun Responsibility which was behind the initiative.

Trask explained to KIRO Radio in June that the initiative does three main things:

  • Raises the age to purchase semiautomatic assault weapons in Washington to 21 (currently 18).
  • Creates enhanced background checks for those weapons.
  • Requires safe storage of firearms, and charges gun owners if their weapon is obtained and used by an unauthorized person.

Much like a bill in the Legislature (SB 6620) that failed in the last session, those increased background checks for semiautomatic rifles would mean putting the buyer through both a federal and state background check. This is similar to what handgun customers in Washington currently go through. Right now, people buying semiautomatic rifles only have to pass the federal background check.

Kim Wyman’s office released a statement:

 

“No matter the issue, this office has a long track record of protecting the people’s constitutional right to initiative and referendum. Whenever questions are raised about petitions submitted by initiative-backers facing a statutory deadline, my office has consistently acted accordingly.

“I want to thank Judge Dixon for ruling on this matter in time for the state and counties to begin printing ballots for the November General Election. With the guidance now provided to us by the court, we can proceed with election preparations on schedule.”

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Neighbors in Mount Vernon are being praised for saving young kids from a burning home....

Samantha Lomibao, KIRO 7

Neighbors in Mount Vernon save young kids home alone from burning house

Neighbors in Mount Vernon are being praised for saving young kids from a burning home. The fire sparked on June 3.

4 hours ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret...

Julie Carr Smyth, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Michael Balsamo, Eric Tucker and Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press

Trump heads to convention as authorities investigate motive, security in assassination attempt

Trump called for unity and resilience after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign.

4 hours ago

Photo: More than 70 Seattle firefighters responded to a Columbia City fire after a construction sit...

Julia Dallas

Columbia City construction site goes up in flames; downs power lines, damages cars and home

More than 70 Seattle firefighters responded to a construction site in Columbia City after it went up in flames early Saturday morning.

6 hours ago

Image: At left, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9...

MyNorthwest Staff

‘It’s absolutely unacceptable:’ Washington officials react to Trump rally shooting

Washington officials have reacted to a shooting that broke out at a rally for former President Donald Trump on Saturday.

1 day ago

Auburn shooting...

Bill Kaczaraba

Auburn late-night shooting leaves one teenage boy dead

The Auburn community was shaken by a deadly shooting late Friday night. Police received reports of gunfire in the 500 Block of A Street SE.

1 day ago

Fitness guru Richard Simmons died Saturday at age 76. (AP)...

MARK KENNEDY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TV’s silly fitness guru Richard Simmons dies at 76

Richard Simmons, TV's court jester of physical fitness who built an empire by urging the overweight to exercise and eat better, has died.

1 day ago

NRA wins Washington case, stops gun control initiative from going to ballot