Opponents of Washington's gun control initiative already rallying
LACEY, Wash. – The State Supreme Court has cleared the way for a gun control initiative to appear on the November ballot.
Late Friday, the State Supreme Court reversed a judge's decision that threw out more than 300-thousand signatures used to help put I-1639 on the ballot. The initiative calls for stricter background checks and raises the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21-years-old.
But, those at I5 Guns and Ammo are not happy about that. They’re making calls to raise support and money for what looks like a fierce fight around this gun control initiative.
“I understand the ruling, but I believe it was a bad one,” said Phil Watson, chair of the "No on 1639 Campaign.”
“Watson knows he has his work cut out for him in the coming months.
“The biggest thing I'm worried about is the money disparity,” he said. “They've got a couple individuals that could just fund the whole campaign themselves.”
Microsoft's Paul Allen in May donated $1 million in support of i-1639.
“These weapons, the AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles should be at least as hard to get as it is to buy a handgun, not easier,” Paul Kramer said. “That makes no sense.”
Kramer’s son Will was in the hospital for 17 days in 2016 after a 19-year-old opened fire with an AR-15 at a Mukilteo party, killing three people.
“My son, Will, then 18 at the time, was seriously injured in the shooting in Mukilteo,” Kramer said. “Three of his friends were murdered.”
Will is now a senior at the University of Washington.
Kramer is now rallying in support of I-1639, which would also penalize improper gun storage. But Watson says voters need to read the initiative closely to understand what it protects and what it doesn't.
“The problems that it gives people just trying to protect themselves in their own home,” Watson said. “The taxation of your rights, so there are a lot of issues there, a lot of big issues there.”
I-1639 supporters said there will be a kickoff rally in Seattle on September 4. So, expect more talk and commotion leading up to the general election on November 6.