What You Need to Know About Initiative 1639

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Washington State Could Pass Some of the Most Stringent Firearm Restrictions in the Nation
What You Need to Know About Initiative 1639

On November 6, the voters of Washington will vote on I-1639. If passed, I-1639 will radically change firearm laws in the state of Washington. These laws would have major ramifications for all those who exercise their 2nd amendment rights in the state. The measure would implement restrictions on selling, purchasing and owning firearms.

Here’s what you need to know about I-1639 and what the law would mean for you:

Establishes Age–Based Gun Bans 
  • Raises the minimum age for semiautomatic rifle purchases to 21.
New “Enhanced” Background Checks and Training Requirements
  • Purchasers of “pistols” would need to have a concealed pistol license.
  • The chief of police or sheriff of the purchaser’s jurisdiction would have to approve every purchase. They would have to notify a dealer prior to a transfer that the purchaser is eligible.
  • Local law enforcement officials could also delay sales for all types of firearms for up to 30 days to verify records.
  • Prospective semiautomatic rifle buyers would have to provide dealers with proof they have completed a firearm safety training program in the last five years.
  • Currently, courts and law enforcement agencies can request that mental health institutions and health care facilities release information relevant to an applicant’s eligibility to buy a pistol. The new measure would include semiautomatic rifles as well.
Increased waiting periods
  • There would also be a 10-day waiting period starting the day a buyer completed their application for a semi-automatic rifle. 
  • A 60-day waiting period for those who do not have a driver’s license or state identification card or residents who have not lived in the state for 90 days. 
New Storage Requirements
  • Anyone who stores a gun where a person not allowed to own a firearm could access it would be guilty of a felony if the prohibited person gained access to it. 
  • Firearm dealers would be required to give buyers a gun storage device. 
Prohibition on private sales
  • Background checks must occur in any sale or transfer in the state.
  • All private sales and transfers must go through a licensed dealer.
Creates New Firearm Purchasing Fees
  • Creates a $25 fee for firearm purchases.

For a comprehensive list of changes, you can access the initiative by clicking here.


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