On election day, voters in Washington state passed a ballot initiative that bans the sale of semi-automatic rifles to people under 21 and non-state residents and, before purchase, requires buyers to pass an enhanced background check and have proof of passing a firearms course. The initiative, called I-1639, was the only statewide gun control measure on the ballot in the country, and it passed with 60 percent of the vote. So naturally, the National Rifle Association and other gun rights extremists insist on fucking it all up.
The Associated Press reports that local second amendment activist group, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the National Rifle Association sued in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week in an effort to block the new measure. The groups claim that it violates the Second Amendment and regulates interstate commerce, which is a matter of federal, not state, discretion. While the pro-gun advocates say they don’t take issue with the background check aspect of the measure, they’ve asked the U.S. District Court in Seattle to block the entire thing pending the court’s determination whether the background checks can be separated from the age and purchase stipulations.
In a written statement, Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation condescendingly assumed that voters didn’t know what they were actually voting for:
We are disappointed that too many voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition. This measure will have a chilling effect on the exercise of the constitutional rights of honest citizens while having no impact on criminals, and we will not let it go unchallenged.
Law enforcement opposition apparently stems from the fact that I-1639 would require everyone—yes, even cops—to put firearms in secure gun storage and verify that they’ve passed a firearms course. A massive burden indeed!
Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Washington state’s Democratic governor Jay Inslee, told the AP that while Inslee’s office will look over the lawsuit, they “intend to defend the will of the voters in this state.”