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Umbrella gun laws like I-1639 criminalize legal gun owners

Gun control laws in Washington not made with consideration for the owners of these weapons

There+is+no+grandfather+clause+for+this+initiative%2C+which+means+any+gun+owners+below+the+new+age+requirement+are+breaking+the+law.+This+is+no+small+number%2C+many+counties+leaving+the+initiative+unenforced+do+the+difficulty+of+pursuing+these+individuals.
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Umbrella gun laws like I-1639 criminalize legal gun owners

There is no grandfather clause for this initiative, which means any gun owners below the new age requirement are breaking the law. This is no small number, many counties leaving the initiative unenforced do the difficulty of pursuing these individuals.

There is no grandfather clause for this initiative, which means any gun owners below the new age requirement are breaking the law. This is no small number, many counties leaving the initiative unenforced do the difficulty of pursuing these individuals.

COURTESY OF FLICKR COMMONS

There is no grandfather clause for this initiative, which means any gun owners below the new age requirement are breaking the law. This is no small number, many counties leaving the initiative unenforced do the difficulty of pursuing these individuals.

COURTESY OF FLICKR COMMONS

COURTESY OF FLICKR COMMONS

There is no grandfather clause for this initiative, which means any gun owners below the new age requirement are breaking the law. This is no small number, many counties leaving the initiative unenforced do the difficulty of pursuing these individuals.

BRUCE MULMAT, Evergreen columnist

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Many gun owners claim lawmakers do not understand them and the recently passed initiative I-1639 reflects this. With the implementation of new gun-control laws, there are always concerns about what they will do to restrict gun owner rights.

This initiative, in particular, received a great deal of backlash. The parameters of this law offers little leniency to those who don’t abide by it.

Nicholas Saylor, president of WSU’s gun club, said he doesn’t agree with any aspect of the law, save for the background check.

“The rest of it is unconstitutional,” Saylor said.

The restrictions placed by the state of Washington make I-1639 unconstitutional. It effectively criminalized an entire body of legal gun owners by raising the age requirement for owning semi-automatic rifles to 21.

Another portion of this law Saylor disagreed with was the requirement to take a class on firearm safety.

“With the class, it is a de facto firearms registration, so essentially [law enforcement] would know that you own that rifle,” Saylor said.

This may not seem alarming to non-gun owners, but many who do legally own guns see this as the beginning of the path to gun confiscation. Many supporters of assault-weapon bans may advocate for this, yet we cannot forget the Second Amendment honors all types of arms, not weapons for specific scenarios.

However, the main concern for gun owners in the state of Washington is the scope of the law and law enforcement refusing to enforce it.

“There are seven counties as of now and the town of Republic have said they are not going to enforce this law because it is against the Constitution and it is unenforceable,” Saylor said.

The push-back from law enforcement in several counties shows they view I-1639 as an impractically enforceable law. As most police agencies tend to agree with any sort of legislation that reduces the possibility for firearm use against them, this shows that the initiative is inherently unreasonable. Unfortunately for the gun owners in the state of Washington, this bill cannot be challenged until someone is arrested. If this happens in the near future, the result will likely go in favor of gun owners due to the Supreme Court being mostly conservative now.

It is important to see both sides of an issue. While many may view I-1639 as one of the most important bills in the fight against gun violence, it makes a group of law-abiding citizens feel that their rights are being infringed upon. The owners who obtain and use guns legally are the ones actually criminalized; the initiative does nothing to curb the real epidemic of gun violence.

While there is no clear solution to solving gun violence in America, or in the state of Washington, I-1639 is a clear example of what not to do. Some may think that it is acceptable to restrict someone’s right to purchase or own a firearm, but implementing legislation without understanding the issue will backfire immediately.

Education is the first step to understanding something, so go to a gun club or firearms-related organization to get information on this side. That way the next time a law like this is voted on, you’ll know how and who it really affects.

About the Writer
BRUCE MULMAT, Evergreen columnist

Bruce Mulmat is a junior history and education double major from San Diego, CA.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Umbrella gun laws like I-1639 criminalize legal gun owners”

  1. Gene Ralno on February 12th, 2019 8:29 am

    Socialist democrats want us to believe they dream of peace in our time and wish for total elimination of firearms from the planet. But they know it’s an impossible dream and just pretend to believe. I used to wonder why socialists saturate media outlets with soothing pleas for conversation instead of acting on their clear and ultimate goal of confiscation.

    I assumed they stopped short of the extreme because they know firearms owners won’t tolerate confiscation without unimaginable fury. Fact is socialists no longer will settle for controlling little things like bayonet lugs, ammunition taxes, bullet shapes and so on. That was just part of a common socialist flimflam.

    They abandoned compromise because they know the people have caught on to their little ruse. But they still must first have universal background checks that are impossible to ensure without universal registration. What they need first are background checks on transfers between mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors.

    They’re after inheritances, bequeathals, gifts and sales of inherited collections, however small they are. A transfer includes sale, giving, lending, returning, renting, or simply handing a firearm to another person or any action that causes a firearm to be transferred from one law-abiding person to another law-abiding person. Those are the voters they hope to transform into dependents on the government.

    Socialists don’t give a hoot about criminals who don’t acquire firearms legally and don’t vote. They need universal registration because it fundamentally transforms 120 million owners into dependents. Once they know who the owners are, they’ll choose which of them are allowed to be licensed. It’s the consummate entitlement. The democrat party cannot survive without more than half the nation being dependent on the government. Socialists trade entitlements for votes. It’s the heart of their strategy.

    Citizens just becoming aware should open their minds to the fact that the U.S. is very lucky to have a hundred million legally armed citizens with 400 million firearms in private hands. They should recognize that these are the most peaceable, lawful people in our nation. Socialists need to look at our open borders, colossal drug trade, scarce law enforcement, timid prosecution, limited incarcerations, gang strength, mental defectives living at home and terrorists roaming the streets. Can anyone even imagine the unbridled carnage if the socialist goal of total confiscation were to be achieved?

    Clearly democrats fear their neighbors and even other citizens who are armed. So every time you vote, think about this. Those who carry out mass murders fear armed citizens and it’s precisely why governments always disarm the governed before they purge the disobedient. Taken together, all the mass shooting deaths from nuts, felons, terrorists and illegal aliens, throughout history for the entire planet, is infinitesimal compared to the total number of civilian citizens murdered by governments. It’s the reason for our 2nd Amendment and throughout human history, it has been a very bad idea to allow any government to disarm its people. And think about the consequences of not voting.

  2. Jeff Hanson on February 13th, 2019 12:49 pm

    You cannot make laws in direct violation of the US Constitution and expect to be taken seriously. I have no idea what part of “shall not be infringed” people are unable to understand. If you must make these laws you must first change the US Constitution. There is a process in place for that so feel free to give it a shot.

    An illegal law cannot make a man a criminal.

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Umbrella gun laws like I-1639 criminalize legal gun owners