I-1639; the Opposite of Public Safety and Common Sense
Article by UWCR Member, Zach Wildfang
I-1639 is a poorly written and deceptive bill designed to strip second amendment rights from law-abiding citizens by concealing unconstitutional laws within 30+ pages of legislation. This bill WILL not change the mindset of criminals. This bill DOES exploit victims of home invasion and theft. This bill IS illegally on the ballot. If passed, there will be several changes to current gun legislation far beyond raising the age of purchasing semi-automatic firearms. Anyone considering voting yes for this change should consider the consequences of EVERY aspect of the bill not just one or two valid pieces of legislation.
The biggest fault of I-1639 is the “secure gun storage” requirements listed in section five of the bill. Under this set of laws, every firearm must be stored in a safe, secure case, or with a trigger lock. Failure to do so may result in felony charges. The concern with this requirement is time, particularly the time it takes a gun owner to unlock their firearm in a situation of self-defense. Along with this concern would come the decision of a responsible gun owner has to make when choosing to abide by the law and “properly” store their tool of self-defense or safely store it in a location where they can defend themselves and loved ones. The wrong choice could either lead to a tragic loss of life or a felony charge for an individual wanted nothing more than safety.
I-1639 also makes legal open carry nearly impossible. The bill states that if one “Carries, exhibits, or displays the firearm in a public place in a manner that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons” then they WILL be charged with a gross misdemeanor. This clause is incredibly vague and will likely cause confusion and unlawful arrests of citizens legally carrying a firearm for self-defense. Once again, the desire for safety and empowerment is seen as grounds for arrest and criminal charges.
Lastly, I-1639 should not be on this ballot to begin with. Washington state law says that when collecting signatures to get initiatives onto a ballot, they must contain complete and clear legislation. When the required signatures were collected for I-1639, less than half of the full legislation was disclosed to supporters. This deception continues in the propaganda dispensed by the small group of wealthy contributors to the yes on 1639 organization.
If I-1639 truly is meant to protect local citizens then why does it criminalize those who wish to protect themselves? And why does “common sense legislation” require so many pages, sections, and subsections? The answer to this is up to you, the voter, but before voting yes on this bill, please read the entirety of its contents, consider its consequences, and don't fall victim to deception.
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