Washington State I-1639

I-1639 is almost for certain going to be on the Washington State ballot this fall. This draconian initiative defines any semi-auto rifle as an “semi-auto assault rifle”. This includes those with tubular magazines firing .22 LR ammunition.


  • Requiring a training, to be renewed every five years, for purchasing any semiautomatic rifle
  • Requiring all semiautomatic rifle purchases to be approved by local law enforcement authority
  • Applying the same process for purchases of all semiautomatic rifles as it currently exists for handguns – but without the exception for people with concealed pistol license and with a mandatory 10 day waiting period
  • Amending that paperwork to state that owning guns is a danger to the purchaser
  • Establishing a fee, up to $25 to fund all of the above
  • Banning sales of semiautomatic rifles to out-of state residents
  • Establishing the minimum age of 21 for purchasing semiautomatic rifles
  • Banning possession of semiautomatic firearms for people under 21 outside their property boundaries

Oleg has a blog post and image for us:


Just say no to I-1639 and those who sponsor it.


17 thoughts on “Washington State I-1639

  1. I don’t know that many anti-gunners are going to be very concerned with a message like “will treat her as an incompetent minor” and “leave her defenseless until 21”. That’s the whole thing about nanny-staters, they want the state to take care of people.

    A more compelling image would talk about the Ruger 10/22, or something even older, and paint an image of harmless plinking outlawed by an vastly over-reaching law. Paint the initiative as hastily thrown together and not thought through.

    Then again, I’m not in marketing, so what do I know….

    • The M1 Carbine shown is an older design than the 10/22.

      Portraying gun ownership as all harmless plinking with 22 rimfire is playing into the hands of the enemies of liberty as it denies the principles and purpose of the second amendment.

      I assume you’re a Republican, aren’t you? Republicans can never stand on principle, are afraid to speak the hard truth, but instead try to be liked by those who live only to destroy them.

      [in addition to fun, putting food on the table and for dispatching varmints] guns are primarily for intimidating or killing criminal aggressors, such as may be required. THEREFORE, all authoritarians (criminals) are opposed to gun ownership by regular citizens. It’s as simple as that.

      What else is there to say? You want to pretend that what is is not? For who’s sake would you deny reality? Your own, because you don’t want criminals to hate you?

      So you want to get along with criminals. Why should I trust you?

      • “So you want to get along with criminals. Why should I trust you?”

        Wow. That’s quite a leap. My suggestion was simply that the meme presented, which was presumably created to try and persuade people, was not going to be effective, and that there was another way to accomplish that persuasion.

        But apparently now I like criminals, so I guess I’ll go put on my raccoon mask and rob a bank or something….


        • I’m not sure what Lyle was getting at.
          But talking about plinking is a bit off-target, so to speak. The right to keep and bear arms is not for plinking, nor for hunting. So to bring up those points in a discussion about infringement can be confusing. Or worse: it’s hard to argue a constitutional right to play at putting holes into beer cans.
          The right to self defense is a better argument. Yes, you’re right, the nanny state wants to deny that right, claiming that it will do this for you. But it’s easy to prove that this isn’t possible. It’s almost as easy to prove that it isn’t even the duty of the nanny state. Both points are clearly demonstrated by the Parkland events, for example, as well as many others. Even the Annapolis shooting, where blindingly fast police response could not save the lives of 5 victims disarmed by state law (and, probably, company policy as well).

          • I guess the question is who is the audience for this advertisement/meme? If it’s people who are outside “the gun community,” you have to use issues they care about. They’ve made it clear they don’t care much for constitutional arguments. They don’t even really care about self defense, because they think the police will take care of them. So I’m looking for things they do care about. They may very well care about government writing bad laws. And I’m betting a lot of them who don’t consider themselves “gun people” do own or have owned a .22 rifle or pistol they’ve used for target shooting. They will know such guns aren’t “assault weapons” and will be more open to the argument that this initiative is poorly drafted and will result in bad law.

            YMMV, I’m not a marketer. But I know lots of non-gun people, and whenever we have these discussions it’s clear that the typical arguments gun people bring up aren’t compelling to them.

            One of the more interesting ones I’ve come up with recently is actually thanks to Trump. Liberals are now starting to think more like revolutionaries, and when I ask “Should the citizenry have the ability to overthrow the government by violent means?” they first recoil, then start thinking about how they think Trump is the next Franco. It’s fun to watch them get tangled up as they try to both deny the utility of guns, and at the same time keep for themselves the ability to resist tyranny (which is embodied by Trump in increasing detail). I can’t claim any victories yet, but I do see some cracks in the wall using that approach.

          • If you start with “They’ve made it clear they don’t care much for constitutional arguments”, I’m not sure there is anything to talk about. And if that’s the starting point, then I think I do agree with Lyle. There is no possible ground with totalitarians, people who don’t care about the Constitution.
            On self defense and the police, there are more possibilities there. The delusion that the police obviates the need for self defense is one that needs to be cured. Parkland has contributed to curing that, at least somewhat. But the delusion is widespread and stubbornly implanted and will take a lot of effort to cure.

            So the question is: if people don’t care about the Constitution and they have erroneous assumptions about personal security, why would it be effective to argue target shooting as a hobby to justify gun ownership? Target shooting as training, sure, but then you get back to “training for what?”

          • “There is no possible ground with totalitarians, people who don’t care about the Constitution.”

            Well, first off, those aren’t necessarily the same thing.

            “If you start with “They’ve made it clear they don’t care much for constitutional arguments”, I’m not sure there is anything to talk about.”

            You’re assuming we’re talking about a rational appeal. But most anti-gun folks aren’t looking at it rationally, they’re looking at it emotionally. So to change their view we’re going to have to start by appealing to their emotional side, and hope that eventually we’ll work them back to rationality.

            Advertising works almost entirely based on emotion rather than rationality. That’s what we’re talking about leveraging here.

  2. Sound the evacuation alarm. The left coast is foundering in a sea of morons.

  3. It will pass. Just like the Oregon gun ban initiative would have passed if the courts hadn’t of stopped it. Expect Bloomberg to dump a few million to make sure of that.

  4. As usual, this is going to work out about as well as I-594.

    Washington State has Supreme Court precedent that a prosecutor using unnecessary inflammatory language, particularly in regard to otherwise peaceful exercise of rights secured under Article 1 Section 24 and the US Second Amendment, is itself a Due Process violation. (Rupe vs State of Washington, 1984) The initiative’s definition of “semi-automatic assault rifle” is absolutely identical to what one would use to describe a semi-automatic rifle. So what purpose is there in the additional word of “assault”? Nothing but emotionalism. I’d like to congratulate the initiative writers on creating a cause for appeal for anyone charged under this.

    Next, stripped (or even kitted out) lower receivers for AR-15 may be the firearm as far as the federal government is concerned, but they are not semi-automatic weapons. They are also not strictly a component for a semi-automatic rifle, because you can buy a bolt-action upper. You can also buy a crossbow upper. It still has to be purposed for use in a rifle or pistol (stupid NFA left-over junk), so have the 18-year olds transfer the non-weapon lower in accordance with federal (and state law if you’re within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington. Are Indian Reservations political subdivisions of Washington?), then mail-order the rest of the parts.

    Naturally, all the background check and registration requirements can’t be applied to prohibited persons. US SCOTUS settled that in Haynes vs US, 1968. A person can’t be compelled to self-incriminate, and the state can’t require someone to announce that they are committing a crime or prosecute them for failing to do so. The state can just get them for the crime… which they’ll have to discover the old fashioned way.

    The possession limitation for 18-20 year-olds is going to get a legal challenge in its face immediately. It won’t be hard to find an 18-year old that legally owns a single rifle, semi-automatic, and wants to go hunting or target shooting. I see issues related to equal protection, age discrimination, impairment of the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms, violations of US SCOTUS precedent from Heller (I and II) and McDonald…

    • Before anyone takes my comment about Indian Reservations as a means to dodge state law, I’ve just become aware of the Assimilative Crimes Act (https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/assimilative-crimes-act/). Basicly, that means if federal lands exist inside a state, and someone commits a crime that is against state law but not federal law, then the Feds will prosecute that person for a federal crime under the ACA that just happens to be equivalent to the crime defined in state law. But only the feds have jurisdiction to prosecute, not state.

  5. There’s not enough of you left to make a difference. The cancer has metastasized. Get out of Oregon and Washington while you still have your dignity and a clean criminal record. At the very least you can live somewhere that it doesn’t rain so fucking much.

    • Wait until global warming really picks up steam. Rain will be a welcome sight for all the folks swarming up to the PNW from the cooked areas. ‘Course, that’ll only be temporary. Another hundred years of us throwing carbon into the atmosphere and we’ll all be cooked, so….

      • John, The Globull Warmening Scam is getting a bit ripe by now. (throw lots of money at scientists, and they’ll bullshit just like any other human group) Although, a decent temp increase, like it did in the middle ages, would be a good thing. The Vikings colonized Greenland!!! during that warm period. Unfortunately, it stopped warming up about 20 years ago, IIRC. Sun activity is minimal now, and we might, that’s might, be heading into another cold period.

        • What’s getting old is the whole “science is bunk” theme. Dunning-Krueger indeed.

      • John, even the most extreme warmists that make even the slightest pretense at being connected to science make no claim of “we’ll all be cooked”. The most extreme claims produce temperature rises of a couple of degrees — and those claims are clearly not supported by the evidence, not that this prevents them from continuing to be made.

        • https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/

          Just to be precise, NASA’s predicting up to 10 degrees, and they’re not “extreme.”

          By “cooked” I am being flip and don’t literally mean too hot to live. I mean “cooked” as in the sense of “in dire straits” as a result of the environmental impacts.

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