Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

West Coast Plutocrats Target Washington State Gun Owners… Again (Initiative 1639)

Friday, May 25, 2018

West Coast Plutocrats Target Washington State Gun Owners… Again  (Initiative 1639)

Washington State’s would-be oligarchs are attempting to buy Evergreen Staters’ rights again. Four years after West Coast elites dumped $10 million into the campaign for Initiative 594, which criminalized the private transfer of firearms, some of the same plutocrats are spending big bucks to back I-1639, an even more restrictive anti-gun ballot measure.

Gun control advocates and their media lapdogs are mischaracterizing I-1639 as a measure that would merely prohibit the sale of so-called “assault rifles” to those ages 18 to 21. In reality, I-1639 is a wide-ranging initiative that would impose new burdens on all Washington gun owners and severely curtail access to some of America’s most popular firearms.

Stretching the already prevalent misuse of the term “assault rifle” to new extremes, I-1639 defines “semiautomatic assault rifle” as, “any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” This means that any semiautomatic rifle whatsoever, from an AR-15 to your grandfather’s tube-fed .22LR squirrel gun would be considered an “assault rifle” and subject to severe restriction.

As for those restrictions, all prospective semiautomatic rifle purchasers, regardless of age, would be required to submit to a gun dealer certification that they have completed a firearms training course. In order for the certification to be valid, the course must have been completed within the previous five years. This means that gun owners would be forced to repeatedly take firearms training courses in order to remain eligible to purchase any semiautomatic rifle.

Further, I-1639 would impose a 10 business day waiting period on the purchase of all semiautomatic rifles, extend the Washington State Department of Licensing’s handgun registry to cover all semiautomatic rifles, and authorize a $25 fee to be assessed to semiautomatic rifle purchasers.

In addition to new restrictions on all semiautomatic rifles, I-1639 would also impose criminal liability on otherwise law-abiding gun owners who fail to store their firearms to state standards.

For more on I-1639, click here.

According to articles from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Associated Press, at a May 21 luncheon hosted by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the group received two $1 million dollar donations to support I-1639.

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen was one of the $1 million donors. The other was tech venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Some have labelled Hanauer a hypocrite for his massive contribution, given his purported support for campaign finance reforms.

Reports indicate that mere millionaires were also in attendance. The Post-Intelligencer reported, 

[The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s] annual luncheon has become a kind of bidding competition of who can donate the most money… The event yielded three donations of $100,000, two givers of $50,000, three people donating $25,000, seven gifts of $10,000, plus 13 givers coming in at $5,000.

The identities of these big money donors have yet to be made available on the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s website.

If history is any guide, even more cash is forthcoming. Billionaire gun control patron Michael Bloomberg personally bankrolled I-594 to the tune of $285,000, while funneling another $2.3 million to the cause through his front group Everytown for Gun Safety. Hanauer dumped $1.3 million into the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility to support the measure, while Allen contributed $500,000. Former Microsoft CEO and current Los Angeles Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie together spent more than $1 million to strip Washingtonians of their rights and were joined by fellow Microsoft Billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates, who gave more than $1 million combined. Rounding out the mega-contributors was Ann P. Wyckoff, widow of lumber magnate T. Evans Wyckoff.

With this deluge of billionaire cash, gun control advocates were able to outspend gun rights supporters by a margin of more than 10 to 1.

Despite the lopsided financial support that gun control initiatives receive from anti-gun tycoons, gun rights supporters should not lose hope. In the face of massive anti-gun spending in a series of background check initiatives, grassroots efforts by gun rights supporters have been able to shift public opinion on the topic, with the pro-gun position faring far better in election day results than the opinion polling touted by gun control supporters.

Case in point: Question 3 in Maine.

A little more than a month out from the 2016 election, a Portland Press Herald Poll showed that 61 percent of Mainers favored so-called universal background checks, with only 33 opposed. At the same time, gun owners faced what Reuters called an “avalanche of money,” where they were outspent 5 to 1. On Election Day, Maine’s gun rights supporters beat back the gun control effort 52 to 48 percent.

In explaining to the New York Times why the measure failed, Mainers for Responsible Gun Ownership Campaign Manager David Farmer said, 

We know for a fact we lost the argument at the kitchen table and the bar and the bowling alley…The gun enthusiasts were talking to their friends and relatives and neighbors. They felt about it in a way that was so passionate that they won those one-on-one encounters, and they were very successful in bringing in people to their side.

Facing another “avalanche of money” Washington gun owners will need to muster the same sort of grassroots enthusiasm that carried Maine gun rights supporters to victory and has repeatedly shocked pollsters.

To find out what you can do to preserve firearms freedom in the Evergreen State, please visit https://www.nraila.org/grassroots/.

TRENDING NOW
Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

When the Democrats who are seeking their party’s nomination to run against Donald Trump in 2020 start talking about guns, anyone who supports our right to keep and bear arms knows to be concerned. Of ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

Trading Freedom for Safety

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Trading Freedom for Safety

“[N]othing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe,” explained the editors of The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper at Northwestern University. The statement was part of a lengthy apology published by the editors, ...

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Monday, November 18, 2019

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Tomorrow, November 19 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering Resolution 19-186, which mirrors the failed attempt from September.  

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

News  

Monday, November 11, 2019

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke abandoned his run for President last week, once again leaving a void for the most strident anti-gun candidate seeking the Democrat nomination. Even before declaring his candidacy for President, ...

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

News  

Gun Laws  

Monday, November 11, 2019

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October ...

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.