I-1639 Washington Background Checks, Waiting Periods, Age Requirements and Storage Requirements for Firearms Initiative

Initiative 1639 is the initiative response to SB 6620 which passed out of the Senate Ways and Means committee last session, but couldn’t gain enough traction to move further and stalled. The measure, supported by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility and several high profile donors, would raise the age for buying semi-automatic weapons to 21, apply the same background checks required to purchase handguns to semi-automatic weapons, require secure gun storage with criminal penalties for unauthorized use, and require potential purchasers to attend a firearms safety program.

In May opposition groups filed challenges to the initiative’s title that delayed signature gathering, leaving a three week window to collect the required 260,000 signatures. However, pro- I-1639 groups seemed to have little trouble rounding up a reported 367,000 by Friday’s deadline. Early last week more legal challenges were filed claiming deficiencies in the signature gathering campaign and other irregularities in how the measure is drafted, but were promptly dismissed by the courts. Some have argued that the legal challenges are a last ditch effort to kill the measure that has overwhelming popular voter support.