All provisions of Washington State’s extremist new gun control law, passed by voters last November as Initiative 1639, kicked in Monday following what appears to have been a weekend buying blitz by people wanting to beat the deadline, according to KIRO News.
Likewise, in California where a new requirement for background checks to purchase ammunition took effect Monday, weekend sales there were reportedly brisk.
The Seattle Times reported over the weekend that the new law has “sparked a charged debate over firearms, public safety and constitutional rights.” Indeed, Washington State’s right-to-bear-arms constitutional provision is considered by many to be even stronger than the Second Amendment. It provides, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired…”
As noted in the Times report, and reported by Liberty Park Press previously, I-1639 brings with it some of the most restrictive gun regulations in the country. Under language in the measure, all semiautomatic rifles, regardless of caliber, model or appearance fall under the classification of “semiautomatic assault rifle.” There is a ten-day waiting period, nobody under age 21 may purchase such a firearm and for adults to purchase they must show proof that they have completed a firearm safety course within the past five years. Critics liken this to an unconstitutional “literacy test” requirement.
There is also a secure storage provision, yet in the language of I-1639 it says this: “Nothing in this section mandates how or where a firearm must be stored.” Ammoland described this as a “non-mandate mandate.”
There is an “enhanced background check” on the sale of semi-auto rifles, and people who knowingly allow firearms access to prohibited persons can be charged under an offense called “community endangerment” if the firearm is used in a crime.
Leading up to the new law’s effective date, the proprietor at Lynnwood Gun told KIRO that sales had spiked significantly. They sold 176 firearms on Friday June 28 and the next day, 136 firearms were sold, according to owner Tiffany Teasdale. A typical sales day sees about 40 firearm sales, she said.
Several other laws took effect Monday, including a change in handgun background checks that no longer allow concealed pistol license holders to take delivery of a handgun on the same day of the purchase. This is because the FBI no longer is doing handgun background checks via the NICS system. All background checks on handgun purchases now are done by local law enforcement, and that will require a 10-day waiting period.
This could change again when/if Washington establishes a single point of contact to do background checks.
Down in California, ammunition purchases will become heavily regulated as buyers must pay a $1 fee each time they purchase ammunition, according to the Manteca Bulletin. This apparently covers the cost of background check. Golden State retailers reported a spike in sales leading up to the imposition of the new law.