Evergreen State gun rights activists are furious that the state’s liberal Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday to allow anti-gun Initiative 1639 back on the November ballot despite what appears to be a clear conflict with state legal requirements for initiative petitions.
The Seattle Times broke the news late Friday afternoon, as did the Seattle P-I.com.
On Saturday, activists are gathering to start a telephone campaign, and they re also apparently going to have a booth at the Washington State fairgrounds in Puyallup throughout the fair. In addition, there is a volunteer recruitment effort. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The National Rifle Association had filed one of two lawsuits against the initiative, and they are not a happy bunch.
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation and the plaintiff in the other lawsuit, issued the following statement upon learning of the high court’s ruling:
“Today, the Washington State Supreme Court abrogated its duty to protect the state constitution and state election laws by allowing Initiative 1639 back on the November ballot.
“The court never addressed the merits of the complaints against I-1639, instead choosing to ignore the law.
“Essentially, the court has unanimously decided to nullify the state election law. Henceforth, if an initiative petition is left blank on the reverse side by its sponsor, there is no way that can be challenged for not complying with state law.”—Alan Gottlieb, Second Amendment Foundation
That sentiment was being echoed on social media Friday evening. State Rep. Jim Walsh (R-19th District) said on Facebook, “This decision rewards sloppiness…and some would argue lawlessness…exhibited by I-1639’s sponsors…The issue here is: Should we allow politically-connected special interest groups to ignore the letter and spirit of the state law that defines our initiative process? No!”
Activists are planning a phone bank at I-5 Guns and Ammo in Lacey Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. They are preparing for what seems like a daunting task. Between now and November they must battle a billionaire-funded campaign that will almost certainly flood television and radio with advertising.
But Friday’s ruling appears to have awakened the proverbial “sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.” What remains to be seen is whether this giant will stay awake through the November election.