Initiative 1639 restricts semi-automatic rifle ownership to people who are least 21. The new law also enforces enhanced background checks and implements new safe storage requirements.
The initiative that was approved by voters just over a week ago has suddenly become controversial. We wondered why and looked into the numbers. The measure passed by a wide margin in the state's largest county Nearly 73% in King County. But in Spokane County, it was much closer passing by just 51%.
On Wednesday a lawsuit was filed against the State of Washington by the National Rifle Association. The NRA is claiming in the lawsuit that I-1639 violate the second and fourteen amendments of the United States Constitution.
The four young adult plaintiffs mentioned in the lawsuit claim that I-1639 will prevent them from buying a semi-automatic rifle before they turn 21-years-old.One of the four is Spokane local 19-year-old Nathaniel Casey who is a member of the U.S. Army reserves and already has been trained with fully automatic weapons. The suit claims that the training that Casey has already received "Exceeds anything beyond I-1639."
The lawsuit also states that 1639 "Impermissibly burdens their exercise of rights guaranteed by the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution." for those who are between the ages of 18 and 21."
Spokesman Tallman Trask for "Yes on 1639" said in a statement to KHQ: "It is no surprise that the NRA and the gun lobby would bring a lawsuit in an attempt to stop Initiative 1639 from coming into effect. They know they cannot defeat popular gun violence prevention measures on the ballot, so they try to use the courts. That has been their strategy to undermine the will of the people, both here in Washington and nationally."
But Republic, Washington police chief Loren Culp says he's instructing Republic police officers not to enforce I-1639 when it becomes law on January 1st, 2019 "I will not violate someone's constitutional rights because the majority of the people in the state think it's a good idea. I-1639 not only impairs but eliminates pretty much the constitutional rights for 18-21-year-olds."
Culp is calling Republic a second amendment sanctuary city and says he wants to stop the government from taking away gun rights. Culp also believes gun control will not slow down crime "If we had more armed good people there would be less idiots out there trying to commit crimes with guns," added Culp.