Since the passage of Initiative 1639 in Washington state last year, gun owners and prospective gun buyers have become the targets of some of the most onerous and restrictive policies in the nation.
In fact, as the new law has slowly taken effect throughout 2019, many are still unsure as to exactly what the law is now. Due to the vague and contradictory language of the initiative, it’s left to government agencies to figure out how to interpret and implement the law. Of course those government agencies are staffed with far left bureaucrats, who follow the orders of far left governor Jay Inslee. Though the law is being challenged in court, it will be up to far left judges who have been appointed by far left governors to rule on it.
One of the many scary parts is that the state mental health authority will apparently be keeping records of who has “applied” to purchase a pistol or rifle. As per RCW 9.41.094, effective July 1st, 2019, “A signed application to purchase a pistol or semiautomatic assault rifle shall constitute a waiver of confidentiality and written request that the health care authority, mental health institutions, and other health care facilities release, to an inquiring court or law enforcement agency, information relevant to the applicant’s eligibility to purchase a pistol or semiautomatic assault rifle to an inquiring court or law enforcement agency.”
The waiting periods for the background check processing could essentially mean that no one will be approved for a firearm transfer, as explained by Rehv Arms and Sporting Systems:
During the 2018 election season, the NRA only contributed a paltry $200,000 to battle the initiative, despite having $300 Million+ on hand. In all, the pro gun, anti I-1639 effort had about $743,000, with the largest portion coming from state based Citizens Committee For the Right To Keep and Bear Arms. The NRA seems to rest on legal challenges rather than fighting to prevent bad legislation from passing in the first place.
Meanwhile, the anti gun, pro Orwellian dystopia supporters of I-1639 combined for $5.5 Million to convince Washingtonians to give up their rights. Most of that money came from a small cadre of billionaires consisting of the Hanauer family, Ballmer family, Bloomberg, and Paul Allen.
Despite all these new laws, going back to the 2014 passage of “universal background checks” and subsequent laws passed by the state legislature, murder and crime rates have gone up in Seattle, as reported by Dave Workman for Liberty Park Press:
Relying on Seattle Police Department data, Patch.com reported that the Jet City “tallied more homicides (last) year than any year in more than a decade,” an interesting revelation considering that passage of an anti-gun-rights initiative, largely supported by Seattle voters, was supposed to reduce murder and mayhem.
There were, according to the article, 31 homicides in Seattle last year. However, preliminary data from the Brennan Center says 33 people died last year in the city in homicides. In 2017, Seattle saw 26 murders (while KOMO News reported 27), which was also a jump from the 18 slayings in 2016, according to Seattle Police data.
Cases outlined by the Patch.com story indicate that at least seven of these slayings were due to stabbing. About a dozen were shooting victims, and the rest didn’t list the cause of death.
When I-594 was passed in November 2014—requiring so-called “universal background checks”—it was supposed to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. On July 30, 2016, Allen Christopher Ivanov fatally shot three people and wounded a fourth at a party in Mukilteo. He used a rifle he legally purchased, after passing a background check. During a court hearing, his attorney “questioned the ease of him buying such a dangerous weapon,” according to a report at the time from KING-TV News. The assertion was astonishing to Second Amendment activists, who noted that thousands of other people have purchased firearms after passing background checks, and they haven’t harmed anybody.
On Sept. 23 that same year—almost two years after I-594 was passed—Arcan Cetin murdered five people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington. He didn’t bother with a background check because he reportedly stole the rifle from a family member. He confessed to the killings and in April 2017, he hanged himself in his jail cell.
Several conclusions might be drawn from all of this. While increasingly restrictive gun laws can’t be blamed for the uptick in violence, those laws didn’t prevent the increase. The number of stabbing deaths demonstrates that people will continue killing one another, no matter what impairments are placed on the exercise of constitutionally-protected rights by law-abiding citizens.
Seattle has a remarkably low number of homicides for a city its size. Washington, D.C. and nearby Baltimore, Maryland have far more slayings, and they have very restrictive gun laws. Indeed, in 2017, Baltimore racked up 343 murders, while the entire state of Washington posted 228 slayings, of which 134 involved firearms.
Washington State, however, has well over 600,000 active concealed pistol licenses, something that at least one piece of legislation is trying to curtail.
Meanwhile, people are fighting back on a local level, as several counties have declared themselves to be 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties and several sheriffs have come out saying they will not enforce I 1639.