• Washington gun initiative passes

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff


    The ballot measure increasing background checks, training, age limitations, and waiting periods for sales or delivery of semiautomatic assault rifles has officially passed, with 60 percent approval.

    The measure will also criminalize noncompliant storage for unauthorized use and allow fees and other provisions.

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    The initiative defines a “semiautomatic assault rifle” to mean “any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.”

    The initiative will make it illegal for a person under age 21 to buy a pistol or semiautomatic assault rifle. It also will make it illegal for people to sell or transfer a semiautomatic assault rifle to people under age 21. 

    The initiative would require a dealer to wait at least 10 days before delivering a semiautomatic assault rifle to a buyer. It would also prohibit anyone who is not a resident of Washington from buying a semiautomatic assault rifle in Washington.

    The initiative will prohibit people between age 18 and 21 from possessing a semiautomatic assault rifle except in the person’s residence, fixed place of business, on real property under his or her control, or for other specified purposes.

    The initiative will change some local laws that currently apply only to pistols and apply them to both pistols and semiautomatic assault rifles. These include restrictions on delivery when a buyer has an outstanding warrant for his or her arrest. This will also be true for situations in which certain charges or proceedings are pending. 

    Background check and record keeping requirements that currently apply only to the purchase of pistols will also apply to the purchase of semiautomatic assault rifles. The same requirements for collecting and maintaining information on purchases of pistols will apply to purchases of semiautomatic assault rifles.

    The initiative defines semiautomatic assault rifles not to include antique firearms, permanently inoperable firearms, or any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.
    Supporters say ensuring those who do own assault weapons have safety training is a commonsense reform that is urgently needed. 

    Opponents said the initiative is not about assault weapons, but rather targets all semiautomatic rifles, including hunting rifles and target shooting rifles. They say it puts all Washingtonians at risk by restricting access to firearms for lawful self-defense while doing nothing to increase school security from violent crimes.

    Supporters include Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. Opponents include State Representative and deputy sheriff Brad Klippert and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.

    Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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