There's an effort in Olympia to repeal Washington state's gun initiative 1639 approved by voters in November.
Representative Matt Shea (R-Spokane) sponsored House Bill 2103, a measure to "be known and cited as the people's defense of the Second Amendment act of 2019." A dozen representatives co-sponsored the bill, including two Democrats.
I-1639 raises the purchase age of semi-automatic rifles to 21, incentivizes safe storage, and creates enhanced background checks for rifles that are line with the checks for handguns in the state. The initiative also authorizes the state to require gun sellers to add $25 to sales of semi-automatic rifles to pay for new regulations.
Representative Matt Shea said I-1639 is unconstitutional and punishes law-abiding citizens.
Voters across Washington passed the measure by 59.4 percent, although county breakdowns show it passed primarily in northwestern Washington. Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Chelan, and Kittitas counties were among those that rejected I-1639.
Sheriffs in 12 mostly rural Washington counties along with the police chief of Republic have come out and said they would not enforce the measure until its legality was decided by the courts. Another sheriff – Lewis County Sheriff Robert Snaza – said back in December he would not actively seek out violators.
A two-thirds majority vote is needed to repeal the gun initiative.
Shea published the following statement on Tuesday:
“Initiative 1639 is unconstitutional in many respects and punishes law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing to keep firearms away from criminals. We live in a Republic, not a Democracy. A Republic is based on the rule of law which means every law that is passed must be constitutional. It is very clear this initiative is not, and thus the reason for the repeal.”