Washington State Initiative 1639 In Limbo

In November 2018, Washington State voters were asked to make a decision on new gun control regulations. I-1639 is titled “The Public Safety and Semiautomatic Assault Rifle Act”, which was declared as “An ACT to increase public safety by implementing firearm safety measures, including requiring enhanced background checks, waiting periods, and increased age requirements for semiautomatic assault rifles, and secure gun storage for all firearms.”

I-1639 became law after receiving a 59.35% yes vote, passing in 14 of the state’s 39 counties. The passage of this bill has led to intensely heated debates as well as challenges in court. In his notice to the citizens of Pend Oreille County, Sheriff Glenn Blakeslee notes that, “The only portion of this law currently in effect is section 13 regarding age restrictions.” In fact, “The rest of this law does not take effect until July 1st, 2019. Numerous lawsuits have been filed to challenge this law and it may look significantly different by then.”

Along with the lawsuits being filed, there is a growing list of sheriffs state-wide who have declared I-1639 to be unenforceable and/or unconstitutional. This list includes the sheriffs of Spokane, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties.

Recently, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich held a question and answer session with local reporters; the full video from this event is available on YouTube at DPGazette.com/i1639scs.  Throughout the event, Sheriff Knezovich remained firm in his refusal to publicly state if he would or would not enforce the new law, simply pointing out that, ”I-1639 doesn’t give a sheriff anything to enforce,” as the storage standards within the law remain undefined.

Clarifying further, Sheriff Knezovich stated that he believes I-1639 to be unconstitutional based off the 2008 Supreme Court Ruling in the case of the District of Columbia V. Heller , “…Heller is very definitive. You can’t restrict a person’s ability to access their weapon for self defense.” Before I-1639 could be enforced locally, the law would need to define what safe storage is and that definition would need to pass the standards set by the Heller decision. Sheriff Knezovich reiterated that, “The day that they finally come up with what safe storage really is going to mean, it’s going to have to survive that constitutional challenge.” Until then, it appears that the fate of I-1639 will remain in limbo.

Sources

  1. Washington Secretary of State. Initiative Measure No. 1639. DPGazette.com/i1639text Accessed 3, March, 2019
  2. Washington Secretary of State. November 6, 2108 General Election Results. Initiative Measure No. 1639 Initiative Measure No. 1639 concerns firearms. – County Results. DPGazette.com/i1639results Accessed 3, March, 2019.
  3. Office of the Sheriff, Pend Orielle County, Washington. News Release, 6, Feb. 2019. DPGazette.com/i1639pocs Accessed 3, March, 2019.
  4. SpokaneSheriff. 1, Feb. 2019. I-1639 Q&A With Local Reporters Regarding Washington’s Gun Control Law. DPGazette.com/i1639scs Accessed 3, March, 2019.
Featured Sponsor
Thank You For Your Support!

Related Articles

Deer Park Gazette Now On MSN

Microsoft Start integrates its news services with Windows and Microsoft services and distributes news worldwide. The Deer Park Gazette was recently accepted into the news distribution program for independent publishers.

Read More »

Free “SUN” Meals and Snacks For Kids

As summer begins, Deer Park and Riverside School Districts launch SUN Meals, offering free meals to kids 18 and under with convenient to-go options to families. Returning to the Deer Park Middle School location for its community lunch, this program ensures no child goes hungry while school is out.

Read More »

Deer Park Students Awarded Over $17,000 In Scholarships

Deer Park Dollars for Scholars(DPDS) has awarded scholarships to local students. The fifteen recipients were announced at the Shining Star Awards night and honored at the Home Link Graduation ceremony. Check out the complete list of recipients and join us in congratulating them.

Read More »

The Summer Concert Series Is Back

Summer in Deer Park isn’t complete without our favorite music festival in the park! With new organizers and a new vision, this year’s Summer Concert Series will include vendors, food trucks, and laser tag. This is sure to be an eight-week family event you don’t want to miss.

Read More »

Social Media Preventing News Distribution

Despite recent changes to Facebook and X/Twitter that have prevented many news agencies from distributing news, the Deer Park Gazette remains dedicated to its mission. We’re working harder than ever, offering more options to ensure you always have access to your local news.

Read More »

Share this!

Featured Sponsor
Thank You For Your Support!

Share this!

Featured Sponsor
Thank You For Your Support!

Read more news.

Yellow construction bulldozer with a large bucket on sandy ground under a clear blue sky.

Bulldozing Historic Deer Park Home Planned By City

Built in 1911, a dilapidated home on Crawford Street may soon be demolished. The building was purchased by the city at a recent auction. City crews have already started to remove debris from around the home. The building will be checked for hazardous materials before being torn down.

Read More »

Powerful Savings for Avista Customers

Avista’s My Energy Discount program offers personalized bill discounts to eligible Washington customers based on their yearly household income and size. The program aims to lower energy bills, providing more financial flexibility to participants.

Read More »

Subscribe to our emails

Use the form below to sign up to receive news via email at no cost to you.

Read & Support The

Local news to keep you informed and entertained. The Deer Park Gazette is locally owned and operated. When you support the Deer Park Gazette, you support local writers and photographers.