The Seattle P-I.com is reporting that King County Executive Dow Constantine, upset about passage of Initiative 976, the $30 car tab measure Tuesday, is preparing a court challenge, and it’s likely that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan may do likewise.
Translation, they are willing to challenge “the will of the people” because their bureaucracies feed at the trough of car license fees, and they do not care to tighten their belts. The legal action will reportedly challenge the constitutionality of I-976.
But now would be a good time to ask Constantine and Durkan, both liberal Democrats, how they feel about the federal court challenge to Initiative 1639, the far-reaching and multi-tiered gun control measure passed by voters in November 2018. It’s a fair question, especially now that thousands of Evergreen State firearms owners and Second Amendment activists—working independently of the lawsuit—are busily circulating another initiative petition calling for repeal of the gun control law, which they believe is unconstitutional.
Whether the effort to send I-1094 to the Legislature in January will be successful remains to be seen. There’s no way to accurately count, or even estimate at this point, how many signatures have been gathered since the petitions hit the streets 12 days ago, but nearly every gun shop and even some other businesses have petitions available.
The federal lawsuit, backed by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, challenges provisions in I-1639 that allegedly violate the Second and 14th Amendment rights of young adults, and also allegedly run contrary to the Commerce Clause. If successful, the plaintiffs could literally gut I-1639, making the rest of it unenforceable. Already, sheriffs in a majority of Washington counties, have announced they will not actively enforce the gun control measure.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson didn’t like that and he said so in a letter to the sheriffs several months ago. He was quick to support I-1639 when it was still gathering signatures early in 2018.
Ferguson has declined to take action against cities that have adopted their own “safe storage” ordinances in apparent violation of Washington’s 35-year-old preemption law, but he may find himself in the awkward position of having to defend the car tab initiative against legal challenges by fellow liberal Democrats.
However, SAF and NRA have filed lawsuits against both the cities of Seattle and Edmonds, losing one at the trial court level and winning the other. Both of those cases are on a collision course with the preemption statute.
It would be fair to ask Durkan and Constantine—both gun control supporters in the past—how they feel about the I-1639 challenge as they reportedly prepare to do precisely the same thing regarding I-976. Why don’t they start a repeal initiative, taking their chances with voters the way that backers of the gun law repeal measure are doing?