UPDATED: The activist who is challenging the ballot title of the billionaire-backed, anti-rights Initiative 1639 in Thurston County Superior Court wrote a blog over the weekend that details his opposition, and he underscores the importance for voters to read the measure to understand what is actually in it.
“This initiative,” writes Glen Morgan, whose challenge is supported by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Second Amendment Foundation, “among other things, invents a new opportunity for gun owners to become felons by criminalizing certain gun storage behavior based on whether a criminal commits a crime with the stolen firearms. In addition, this initiative denies 2nd Amendment rights for 18-20 year old adults, creates new waiting periods, invents a new gun tax (euphemistically called a ‘fee’), imposes additional repetitive background checks, creates a new gun registry, and imposes new paperwork and signage requirements for some firearm sales.”
The initiative may be read here.
BULLETIN: A grassroots group called Save Our Security (“S.O.S.”) has been formed by veteran Northwest gun rights advocate Phil Watson. This group is encouraging volunteers to help in its opposition to I-1639. They are also seeking contributions to help finance a ‘No on I-1639’ campaign, should the measure qualify for the November ballot.
The ballot title is also being opposed separately by the National Rifle Association and others. In all, there are four challenges. A hearing is scheduled Thursday in in Thurston County Superior Court. Sponsors of the initiative cannot begin collecting signatures until the legal questions are answered, and this would leave the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility – the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group – a month to gather 300,000 signatures to make sure they achieve 259,622 valid signatures required to get this thing on the November ballot.
The Attorney General’s office is responsible for drafting a “neutral and fair” ballot title and summary, Morgan noted.
“However,” he observed, “under the increasingly hyper politicized direction this agency has trended under Attorney General Bob Ferguson, these ballot titles are now often written in a manner to promote or harm certain initiatives based on the political objectives of AG Ferguson.”
Ferguson has already endorsed I-1639, which the Northwest News Network called “an unusual move.” By so doing, Morgan suggests, Ferguson may have created “undue influence” on how his office handled the ballot title.
Ferguson is widely considered to be an ardent anti-gunner. He pushed for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” last year and support gun restrictions during the legislative session earlier this year.
Morgan believes it is imperative for citizens to read the initiative before signing it. The measure spans 30 pages, plenty of space for the proverbial devil to creep into the details.
Because this effort is being bankrolled by billionaires, the Alliance might be able to hire professional signature gatherers to work through the month non-stop, perhaps concentrating their efforts in three counties: Pierce, King and Snohomish, with emphasis on Seattle, Tacoma and Everett.
Also, a fair number of Seattle-area elitists support this group and its initiatives. Critics contend that this is another example of how Seattle tries to dominate Washington and even Pacific Northwest politics.