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Washington: Court Orders Amendments to Misleading Ballot Title

Friday, June 8, 2018

Washington: Court Orders Amendments to Misleading Ballot Title

Yesterday, in a defeat for Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Initiative 1639 proponents, the Thurston County Superior Court sided in part with the NRA and found that certain parts of the ballot title were deceptive and misleading.  As a result, they ordered amendments to several key provisions of the initiative’s ballot title.  While the ballot title remains inadequate to inform voters of the real effects of the initiative, the outcome of yesterday’s hearings did result in clarifying changes that more accurately describe the sweeping provisions of the initiative’s text.

With the title for Initiative 1639 now finalized, proponents of this 22-page initiative will have until July 6th to get 259,622 valid signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot.

As previously reported, NRA filed a legal challenge in Thurston County Superior Court contesting the ballot title language as prepared by anti-gun Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.  Yesterday, the court held a hearing on the legal challenges filed by NRA and other petitioners.  

Some of the changes included:

  • Changing “enhanced” background checks to “increased”.  Initiative 1639 would require state background checks on all purchases and transfers of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms.
  • Added “allows fees” to the description.  The proposed initiative would allow the Department of Licensing to charge a $25 purchase fee (GUN TAX) on transfers of semi-automatic rifles.
  • Clarified the description for the storage mandate provision.  If passed, Initiative 1639 would criminalize firearm owners that store firearms in a non-compliant manner if they are accessed by a prohibited person or minor.

Initiative 1639, filed by Michael Bloomberg’s front group, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, is an egregious attack on Second Amendment freedoms and comes just months after they failed to enact their gun ban agenda in Olympia.

Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated on the status of the initiative, so please stay tuned to your email inbox and www.nraila.org .

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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.