Initiative 594 is a proposed measure that its proponents claim will prevent mentally ill and other prohibited persons from obtaining firearms.
The campaign is being financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Nick Hanauer, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer along with other leftist Billionaires. The anti-gun Bloomberg’s “grassroots” organization Everytown For Gun Safety filings with the Public Disclosure Commission reveal a $50 million action fund to support I-594.
The initiative, sponsored by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, is thus being promoted by Bloomberg and other out-of-state interests that seek to destroy the freedom that has made Washington a state where there is less crime than other states.
Unfortunately, we also have people like Bill Gates living in Washington State that fail to respect the many gun owners participating in all kinds of shooting activities who do so very safely and in a law abiding manner.
Initiative 594 contains language that demonstrates an agenda less to do with universal background checks and more to do with creating difficulties for those of us that own and train others in the use of firearms.
The measure will criminalize, with few exceptions, all temporary transfers of firearms that do not involve purchases, such as for safekeeping, hunting, loan, recreational sharing, safety training, coaching, transport, etc.
The Federal Way based Armed Defense Training Association is a good example of how the law may impact local gun owners. Founded in 2010, the non-profit group provides opportunities for education, training and gun safety. Many of the public service presentations involve members teaching gun safety to new gun owners and those who may be thinking of becoming first time gun owners.
The fact that the association’s members volunteer to let folks handle unloaded firearms in very closely supervised settings, often in a church, library or similar setting, raises the issue of whether we could be prosecuted for a crime just by letting someone handle a firearm.
It sounds ridiculous but the I-594 definition of transfer includes temporary handling of firearms. The Armed Defense Training Association is not a political group but many of the members have become concerned about how the law will be applied to our training activities.
But it is not just armed citizens like us that are concerned. The Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs voted to oppose I-594 and support I-591. Initiative 591 is a proposal that prevents government gun confiscation without due process and requires that background checks in Washington comply with a uniform national standard.
If the Legislature were dealing with such issues, I-594 would never even be reported out of committee. Legislators know what happened in Colorado when lawmakers were recalled for infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Voters should be clear and vote for I-591 to keep a clear national standard in place.
On the other hand, I-594 is deceptive and seems to be intentionally confusing. Bad legislation always has unintended consequences. The gun ban lobby wants Washington to believe that the NRA does not represent the large numbers of us that own firearms. The truth is that we should all be offended when Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others pour millions into the radically deceptive agenda of the gun banners, saying and doing anything to turn the rest of us into helpless sheep.