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Washington Law Enforcement Opposes Initiative 1639

Monday, October 1, 2018

Washington Law Enforcement Opposes Initiative 1639

Fairfax, Va. - Washingtonians and the National Rifle Association for Freedom today commented on the announcement by the Washington State Sheriffs Association (WSSA), the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Association (WSLEFIA), and the Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs (WACOPS) opposing I-1639, the extreme gun control ballot initiative.

“The people of Washington deserve to know that the sheriffs and police officers throughout the Evergreen State believe that Initiative 1639 is an attack on every law-abiding citizen’s constitutional rights,” said Keely Hopkins, NRA Washington state director. "After learning that Washington’s premier law enforcement associations oppose this initiative, we hope the Washington voters will finally realize that 1639 is nothing more than a feel good measure that will have zero impact on crime."

After failing to find support in the Washington state legislature, Michael Bloomberg’s front group, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, filed a poorly drafted 30-page ballot initiative that strips lawful gun owners of their constitutional rights. Initiative 1639 classifies ordinary, recreational firearms in common use as "assault weapons," mandates the collection of personal data from all gun owners, and allows the government to authorize the surrender and confiscation of firearms as part of a verification process - all without doing anything to meaningfully address violent crime.

  • WSSA said, "The Washington State Sheriffs Association, at their Sept. 26, 2018 meeting, made a motion opposing Initiative I-1639. The motion carried. As the association representing the unique perspective of law enforcement leaders who have been directly elected by the residents of Washington's counties, we look forward to continuing to engage and play a part in any changes in Washington's firearms laws."
  • WACOPS Executive Director Teresa Taylor said, "WACOPS believe that Initiative 1639 contains provision that are in clear violation of both state and federal individual constitutional rights, which, as law enforcement, officers, WACOPS members are sworn to uphold. In addition to the constitutional issues, this 30-page initiative, if passed, would impose significant restrictions on a citizen's ability to possess and access commonly owned firearms for lawful self-defense."
  • WSLEFIA said, "Initiative 1639 is being promoted as a public safety measure; those actually working law enforcement know that IT WILL DO NOTHING TO STOP A SINGLE CRIME. This initiative has nothing to do with "assault weapons" and is directed only at our good citizens who already pass multiple background checks before owning a firearm. I-1639 is an attack on civil rights and is an attempt to marginalize all firearm owners, including law enforcement officers. I-1639 will impair public safety, embolden criminals and impose burdensome restrictions on our most law-abiding citizens."

Voting in Washington begins on Oct. 19. Go to Initiative1639.org for additional information.


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.

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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.