Will Washington’s I-1639 gun control measure face a court challenge?

Nov 7, 2018, 12:33 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm

I-1639 could face a court challenge...



Now that Washington state’s sweeping gun control measure I-1639 is likely passing, it could end up facing a court challenge from gun rights activists.

RELATED: Arguing for, and against, I-1639 gun control regulations

Early results for I-1639 show an overwhelming 60 percent of voters supporting the initiative. Now, Bellevue-based 2nd Amendment Foundation’s Dave Workman warns that the fight is far from over.

“I suspect there could be several [court challenges],” Workman told KTTH’s Jason Rantz.

In a largely liberal judicial region, it remains to be seen how any challenge in court would actually play out.

“We all know that we have a very liberal state Supreme Court in this state, and we also know that we are in the 9th US Circuit,” noted Workman. “The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is the most liberal in the country.”

The 9th Circuit currently has the highest percentage of judges appointed by Democratic presidents, and controversially ruled against President Trump’s travel ban in 2017.

That doesn’t mean the 2nd Amendment Foundation or the NRA is going to give up on getting I-1639 overturned any time soon.

“It’s going to take a lot of money, some really good attorneys, and it’s going to take some time and patience,” said Workman.

Check local election results

Workman cited a lengthy history of court cases for gun rights activists filed by the 2nd Amendment Foundation, including the landmark McDonald v. Chicago decision in 2010 that overturned a handgun ban.

In tandem with the NRA, the 2nd Amendment Foundation also successfully petitioned a Thurston County judge to remove I-1639 from the ballot in July 2018. That decision was ultimately overturned by the state Supreme Court.

If I-1639 stands, it will represent the most sweeping, comprehensive gun control legislation in any state. It enacts waiting periods and background checks on the purchase of semi-automatic weapons, an increase to the minimum age for purchasing semiautomatic weapons from 18 to 21, storage requirements for firearms, and a class-C felony for any gun owner whose firearm is used by an unlicensed party.

“This really will have nothing more than a chilling effect on law abiding citizens,” cautioned Workman, describing the legislation’s safe storage requirement as “a legal trainwreck.”

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Will Washington’s I-1639 gun control measure face a court challenge?