Gun shops brace for voter-approved gun safety law
KING COUNTY - Gun stores and gun owners are already starting to prepare for some of the toughest new regulations in the country.
Initiative 1639 was approved by Washington voters with 60 percent support.
The owner of Wade’s Eastside Guns, Wade Gaughran, said the new gun restrictions under Initiative 1639 punish people who follow the rules and bump up the cost of doing business.
"Now we've got a law that's going to cause problems for us and it's going to cause problems for consumers and the impact on crime is going to be zero,” said Gaughran.
Among the changes, the new law raises the buying age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.
To buy the weapons, people have to pass a more thorough background check, take a training course and wait 10 days.
"Now we're taking that away retroactively, which doesn't feel like America to me,” said Gaughran.
Gaughran believes there will be a rush to buy guns before the new rules go into effect, but long-term, it will hurt business.
"So there's going to be a rush for people buying guns and beat the law to the punch but I think ultimately though it will have a negative effect for a while on gun sales,” said Gaughran.
Under the new law, store owners have to offer to sell gun buyers secure gun storage devices like trigger locks. Wade recommends a safe.
Gun shops will also have to post warning signs about the consequences of not having safe storage.
"We want people thinking that, we push that really hard, we police ourselves really well,” said Gaughran.
The age requirement goes into effect January 1, 2019.
The rest of the law will be implemented next July 1, 2019.
The initiative's sponsors say the new law will prevent shootings, save lives and reduce gun violence.
Local police agencies said they're still working out how they're going to enforce the law.