A bill in the legislative session and co-sponsored by over a dozen lawmakers, including 19th District Representatives Brian Blake and Jim Walsh, would amend Initiative 1639.
In November, voters approved the Changes to Gun Ownership and Purchase Requirements Measure under the initiative, which enacts new restrictions on both the purchase and ownership of firearms. This included raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, adding background checks, increasing waiting periods, and implementing requirements on storing firearms.
House Bill 2103, or the “people’s defense of the Second Amendment act of 2019”, was introduced on Wednesday by Representative Matt Shea.
The bill states, “Burdensome firearms regulations in the state of Washington are causing law-abiding citizens to become more vulnerable to violent crimes, because they are unable to afford the necessary firearms permits, or are unable to obtain a firearm at all because of old and outdated regulations.”
It adds that I-1639 should be amended and repealed in order to “restore the right of law-abiding citizens” saying, “An unhindered and well-armed public can stop the acts of the unlawful and predatory criminals.”
A number of changes would be made to the current laws within the state if this bill passes.
The bill would amend I-1639 changes, including the removal of the “Secure gun storage” portion as well as definitions of “Semiautomatic assault rifle, “Short-barreled rifle”, and “Short-barreled shotgun”.
It also changes the limitations of purchasing a gun until the age of 21 and drops that age to 17.
Statewide the initiative passed by 59.35%. Voters in both Pacific County and Grays Harbor opposed the measure, with 55.2% voting no in Pacific County and 57.93% voting no in Grays Harbor.
Sheriffs in 13 counties across Washington, including Grays Harbor, Pacific, and Mason counties have come out in opposition to the voter-approved initiative, stating that they would not be actively pursuing crimes related to portions of the bill, including safe storage.
Sheriff Scott told KXRO on Live@9 the reasons he has come out against the laws,
The Grays Harbor County Commissioners have had a proposed resolution opposing the implementation of I-1639 on their agendas for weeks, but have not taken action.
Commissioner Randy Ross spoke about his concerns
A lawsuit has been filed against I-1639, primarily alleging that the measure violates the right to bear arms.
The bill has been referred to Civil Rights & Judiciary committee. Friday is the legislative cutoff date and is the Last day to pass bills out of committee and read them into the record on the floor .