Posted by 01 September 2020
Yesterday, a federal judge rejected arguments of plaintiffs seeking to overturn a Washington initiative that imposed new laws on gun purchases.
In 2018, Washington voters approved Initiative 1639 to prohibit 18- and 19-year-olds from purchasing semi-automatic rifles and ban the sale of those guns to residents of other states, as well as require a stricter background check for in-state residents purchasing such guns. Opponents of the initiative, including the National Rifle Association, argued that it violated the Constitution.
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton disagreed. He granted the State of Washington's request to dismiss the case, saying that the initiative was constitutionally permissible.
Washington's attorney general had defended the initiative in court, pointing out that the restrictions it imposed had not been struck down by the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, however, argued that they infringed upon the Second Amendment rights of individuals.
The backers of Initiative 1639 said it is necessary to prevent people from accessing high-powered weapons. They say that semi-automatic rifles are more dangerous than other guns, and that there should be more restrictions on them. Opponents of this initiative pushed back against the idea that these rifles are any more dangerous than other guns, saying this assertion has no basis in fact. They also noted that these types of guns are used in very few crimes.
Do you think that there should be stricter laws governing the possession of semi-automatic rifles?