Anti-Gun I-594 Costs Washington Museum Its History

Lynden Museum Director Troy Luginbill holds a Korean War-era M1 carbine Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, on loan to the museum. The museum has decided to return the M1 carbine and 10 other loaned weapons to their owners to comply with Initiative 594, which bars loaning guns without a background check.

People who read and understood Washington’s I-594—dishonestly sold as a “universal background checks” bill by billionaire gun control supports like Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Michael Bloomberg—knew that the 18-page document was fraught with peril, and good people would suffer as a result.

As it turns out, schoolchildren and veterans are among the first to be hurt by the absurd law, as the law attacks our history as well:

The Lynden Pioneer Museum will remove World War II-era guns from a current exhibit and return them to their owners, to avoid violating the new background-check law, according to the museum’s director.

The new law, passed by voters this month as Initiative 594, requires background checks on the recipients of guns in all sales or transfers, with exceptions for family members and antiques.

The 11 rifles the museum borrowed from collectors for the exhibit are too new to qualify as antique under the law, and I-594 is silent on any exemption for museum displays.

“I read through the law about 10 different times looking for a loophole,” said Troy Luginbill, the museum’s director.

The exhibit, “Over the Beach: The WWII Pacific Theater,” which includes vehicles, radios, photographs and journals, as well as guns, will continue until May 1 as scheduled.

On Facebook, the museum encouraged people to visit before Dec. 3 to see the “very rare and unique firearms” on display. The museum is at 217 Front St.

The weapons in the exhibit include an anti-tank rifle, a rare Johnson M1941 used in the war by a Marine paratrooper, and a Japanese infantry rifle used by a U.S. Navy man, Luginbill said.

“The museum will be returning these guns to their owners because as of Dec. 4, we would be in violation of the law if we had loaned firearms that had not undergone the background check procedure,” the museum posted Thursday, Nov. 13, on Facebook.


Opponents of I-594 are planning mass civil disobedience on December 13, where more than 5,000 gun owners have pledged to conduct illegal felony transfers of firearms under the law.

Law enforcement—which voiced strong opposition to the legislation as being “unenforceable”—says that they will refuse to arrest the protesters.

Law demanding “universal background checks” for the purposes of establish a de facto gun registry have been put in place in other states, and have been roundly ignored by a scornful citizenry that refuses to recognize the government’s power to enact and enforce these laws.

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