Few laws are more ridiculous than Washington state’s I-1639. It’s a complete cesspool of anti-gun sentiment implemented by people who didn’t have a clue of how the law works, creating a byzantine labyrinth that few can navigate.
Further, it’s being challenged in the courts as the initiative reportedly goes way too far and covers multiple subjects–gun control is too broad to be considered just one issue.
However, a lawmaker has proposed a bill that would render the lawsuit moot, and not in any despicable way, either.
Republican State Rep. Matt Shea introduced a bill Tuesday that would repeal the myriad gun restrictions laid out in I-1639.
“Initiative 1639 is unconstitutional in many respects and punishes law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing to keep firearms away from criminals,” said Shea in a written statement.
In its current form, the law represents the most sweeping, comprehensive gun control legislation in any state. It enacts waiting periods and background checks on the purchase of semi-automatic weapons, an increase to the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21, storage requirements for firearms, and a class-C felony for any gun owner whose firearm is used by an unlicensed party.
For Shea’s repeal bill, he touts bipartisan support in the form of its one Democratic sponsor, Rep. Brian Blake. Blake represents the state’s 19th Legislative District, comprised largely of the Washington coast, and including cities like Long Beach, Westport, and Longview.
House Bill 2103 still faces an uphill battle, though. State law requires a two-thirds majority in the state Legislature to repeal any voter-approved ballot initiative for the first two years its enacted. As of now, the Legislature is controlled by Democrats in both the House and Senate, who would likely be reluctant to to follow Rep. Blake’s lead in supporting Shea’s measure.
In other words, Washingtonians shouldn’t get their hopes up too high. It’s unlikely that a state so anti-gun will suddenly overturn a series of gun laws that they all wanted in the first place. This is especially true in places where doing so would be political suicide.
Still, a guy can dream.
However, it’s also worth noting that the inclusion of at least one coastal Democrat may signal second thoughts by I-1639 supporters. One of the problems with the measure was that the text on the petition was so tiny that few could read it. There’s no reason to believe voters understood what all they were supporting, so it’s not a stretch to figure at least some are concerned with what the law entails.
Again, one shouldn’t get their hopes up too high. I’m personally of the opinion, speaking as an observer from the opposite corner of the country, that the lawsuit is still the most likely shot at repealing the ballot measure.
But that doesn’t mean Shea shouldn’t continue his attempt to take it down through legislative means. I want to see such a law gone for good. Washingtonians deserve better than this nonsense, and I’m not particular as to how they get that better.