Gun Rights Changes in Washington State Law

by Jordan McDowell Content Strategist

The great state of Washington is renowned for its beautiful mountains, lakes, and rivers. It’s a great place to live: no income tax, plenty of wide-open land for sale, and a right to privacy.

It’s also a land known for its self-determination. The first settlers who moved out here over 150 years ago became miners, loggers, ranchers, and fishermen. Washingtonians are rugged, smart people who know how to take care of themselves and their families. They had to be: In the old days, “civilization” was an eternity away.

Today, that spirit lives on in Washington’s survivalist and prepper communities. We don’t depend on government handouts. We don’t trust bureaucrats knowing what’s best for us, and we don’t expect the State to come to our rescue when something goes wrong. We know that in our moment of greatest need, we have to rely on ourselves and our bonds of community with one another.

New Assaults on Second Amendment Rights

The legacy of Washington is one of proud gun ownership. But these days, Washington is joining a nationwide trend of becoming more hostile towards gun rights. We’ve seen similar changes occurring in states like Connecticut: A systematic erosion of Second Amendment rights, a little bit at a time, leading toward the day when citizens can no longer protect and defend themselves against tyranny.

What’s driving this trend? You probably know the answer already: Mass shootings are in the news all the time. What you might not know is that, once you account for population growth, these tragedies are not happening any more frequently than they did in the past. The media use these events as propaganda to drive their narrative that your guns are an enemy, that your rights and freedoms are a safety risk to the public. In short: You’re a problem.

And problems have to be dealt with.

That’s why we’ve seen new gun laws come into effect in Washington over the past ten years. The pace has especially picked up since in the 2018 election when Washington elected its first anti-gun majority in the state legislature in Olympia. Since then, a slew of new anti-gun legislation has either been passed into law or has been formally proposed.

Let’s take a look at some of these new laws in Washington that are targeting innocent gun owners.

Initiative 1639

Washington State’s Initiative 1639 was approved by voters in the 2018 election and went into effect throughout 2019. Washington’s initiative process is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways, allowing the voters to bypass the state legislature and create new laws directly through the use of a ballot initiative. This can be a way for the people to enact their will when the legislature is out of step with the views of the people, but it can also lead to outcomes where the public is misinformed (or wrong) and ends up approving a bad idea. In the case of Initiative 1639, the measure passed with 60 percent of the vote.

How did this happen in a state with a tradition of deep respect for hunting and fishing, self-defense, and individualism?

Believe it or not, for many years now the public in Washington has generally been more willing to infringe on gun rights than the state legislature. This is due to the heavy population density of urban, anti-gun populations in Seattle and other cities clustered along the Interstate 5 corridor. Most of Washington is rural, so most of its legislative districts tend to be more supportive of gun rights than the average citizen is.

It’s a classic case of “Us” versus “Them.” This history of people in Seattle using their numerical advantage over voters in the rest of the state has led to many controversial laws being approved over the years through the state’s initiative process, especially when it comes to gun rights.

What Does Initiative 1639 Do?

Initiative 1639 changed state law to create several new restrictions on gun rights:

  • Individuals seeking to purchase a semiautomatic rifle must be at least 21 years of age as opposed to the previous 18. 

  • It is illegal to sell or transfer a semiautomatic rifle to someone under the age of 21.

  • When it comes to possession, individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 have been restricted from possessing a semiautomatic rifle. Now, they are only legally allowed to possess in the following situations:

    • In their home, fixed location of the business, or on property they otherwise control.

    • At authorized shooting ranges.

    • Traveling to or from a lawful outdoor recreational activity.

    • Transporting the weapon to a new residence (i.e., during a move).

    • Transporting the weapon between their residence and other property they control.

    • Transporting the weapon to legally sell or transfer.

  • Anyone seeking to purchase or transfer a semiautomatic rifle must now put up with an “enhanced” (read: Intrusive and unnecessary) background check that includes a review of your medical records. 

  • Anyone seeking to purchase or transfer a semiautomatic rifle must also complete a 10-day waiting period before they can take possession of their weapon from a gun dealer.

  • Anyone who purchases a semiautomatic rifle after June 30, 2019, must complete an approved firearm safety training program and show proof of completing this training to the gun dealer.

  • If a gun you own or control is used by somebody else to commit a crime, you can be held criminally liable. That means you can go to prison for somebody else’s wrongdoing.

  • Gun dealers are now required to offer to sell or give away a trigger lock, gun storage device, or other safety mechanism designed to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to access and use their own weapon. Buyers may decline, but dealers are required by law to make the sales pitch anyway.

Just to make it clear, anyone who violates any of these new gun restrictions is guilty of a crime. It’s a classic example of the anti-gun mentality punishing the innocent and ignoring the real problems that lead to gun violence.

There is a lawsuit underway seeking to overturn this clearly unconstitutional law, but in the meantime, no court has suspended its provisions from going into effect. Anyone who doesn’t comply with it is automatically a criminal.

Meanwhile, in the State Legislature...

So, if Initiative 1639 is what the voters in Seattle are passing, what about that new anti-gun majority in the state legislature down in Olympia? What were they up to in 2019?

Well, how does signing seven new anti-gun bills into law in a single day sound to you? Because that’s what happened on May 7, 2019. Here’s the damage:

  • HB 1465: This law means that, even if you’ve already completed a background check to get your concealed pistol license in Washington State, you now how to go through a completely unnecessary background check and waiting period to purchase an additional gun.

  • HB 1739: This law criminalizes the manufacture or possession of “undetectable and untraceable firearms,” which is basically a brick wall on innovation into new firearm designs and production technologies. It also helps the government’s ultimate goal of tracking your weapons. This law also makes it illegal to transmit 3D printer gun schematics to anyone ineligible to possess a firearm.

  • HB 1786: This law makes it easier for the government to confiscate guns from any home that the authorities believe is in danger of domestic violence or other physical threats. It might sound good on paper, but it’s just more government intrusion into people’s private lives.

  • SB 5027: This law makes it easier for the authorities to get a court to approve a protection order against people under the age of 18, preventing them from possessing a gun. This overrides parents’ judgment and authority in family matters and reinforces the narrative of the State knowing what’s best for your family.

  • SB 5181: This law strips people of their gun rights for 6 months if they are detained for mental health treatment for 72 hours or more. The government must really believe in the effectiveness of its mental health programs if it thinks it has to ban people from having guns after they successfully complete treatment!

  • SB 5205: This law makes it easier for the courts to strip people of their gun rights when dismissing criminal charges against them. Not taking a case to court? Better strip those gun rights anyway!

  • SB 5508: This law centralizes background checks and requires fingerprints. That’s not scary at all.

The legislature is looking at passing new laws in 2020, the biggest of which is a proposed high-capacity magazine ban, which could drastically undermine our ability to defend ourselves in an active shooter situation.

What Do These New Laws Mean for the Survivalist / Prepper Community?

These new laws bring us closer to living in a police state. They erode our constitutional freedoms. They create new hardships for Washington families by making it harder to defend our homes and businesses, protect ourselves in public, protect ourselves from wildlife, and remain independent on our land.

So, what can you do about it? Well, we mentioned earlier the value of consulting a gun-friendly attorney for advice. That way you can exercise all of your remaining rights to the fullest, even when the government doesn’t want you to.

Another thing to do is make your voice heard. This goes against the survivalist mentality. We don’t usually like standing out. But if your elected officials at all levels of government hear enough voices saying, “You’re out of a job if you vote to take our rights away,” it can make them listen -- And it can sway elections to candidates who support the Constitution.

Most importantly, building community this way can be a huge morale boost to you and others, because you’ll realize that you’re not in this alone: Patriots everywhere are ready to be heard.

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About Jordan McDowell Freshman   Content Strategist

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Joined APSense since, May 18th, 2021, From Los Angeles, United States.

Created on May 21st 2021 13:36. Viewed 224 times.


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