When bad bills (or idiotic initiatives) become law, everyone suffers.
Will Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s, Cabela’s and countless other sporting goods and hardware stores, as well as construction companies in Washington and even the state Department of Transportation, comply with Initiative 594 when it becomes law, and will this state’s prosecuting attorneys prosecute those who don’t?
The definition of firearm contained in state law and in I-594 reads, “… A weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.”
Notice the key words “or device” in the definition.
Walmart and many sporting goods stores sell 12-gauge flare guns used for signaling straight off the shelves.
These flare guns have previously been determined to be firearms by the WSP Crime Lab in Tacoma because they fire a projectile by an explosive.
I-594 requires background checks for these sales, loans and transfers.
Home Depot, Lowe’s and other hardware stores sell Ramset nail guns, which use a gunpowder charge to fire nails, usually into concrete or steel.
These nail guns have actually been used in the past to murder people. I-594 requires background checks on these sales, loans and transfers.
When the Washington DOT sends out their artillery gun with a road crew for avalanche control, there is no exception in I-594 for that temporary transfer.
I-594 requires a background check for it.
I-594 also requires that the gun be delivered to the federal firearms license for the transfer, so which FFL will the Department of Transportation tow their artillery gun to for transfer to the road crew?
If a construction company has any of these powder actuated nail-driving devices on their shelves for their employees to take to job sites to use — I-594 requires a background check for that temporary transfer.
And if one employee at the job site gives that powder actuated nail gun to another employee to use — another background check is required.
At some point I-594 will find its way in front of a judge, and it will be interesting to see if the overly broad and poorly written language of the initiative is enough for the entire law to be invalidated.
As it now stands, it appears that very few residents of Washington State have an interest in complying with the new law, which will presumably be just fine, since the state’s law enforcement officers have very little interest in a law that they feel is both unconstitutional and unenforceable.