Washington Initiative 591 – Protect Our Guns Rights Act

by Woodsbum

Since I did a post last week about Washington State’s I-594 and what the initiative really was about, I figured I would do one this week about the counter-initiative that was proposed and is being voted on. This is the I-591. This proposed legislation is only 5 sections long or a total of 3 pages to include the signature sheet. Although I posted a link I will include the whole initiative so it will be easier for you to catch up.

  • Sec. 1.
    A new section is added to chapter 9.41 RCW to read as follows:
    It is unlawful for any government agency to confiscate guns or other firearms from citizens without due process.
  • Sec. 2.
    A new section is added to chapter 9.41 RCW to read as follows:
    It is unlawful for any government agency to require background checks on the recipient of a firearm unless a uniform national standard is required.
  • Sec. 3.
    The provisions of this act are to be liberally construed to effectuate the intent, policies,
    and purposes of this act.
  • Sec. 4.
    If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.
  • Sec. 5.
    This act is known and may be cited as the “Protect Our Gun Rights Act.”

This is it…  The whole initiative. Nothing more and quite simple…..  In reading it it only does the following things:

  1. Keeps government agencies from just coming in and taking a person’s guns without having a lawful, legal proceedings to do so.
  2. Makes it unlawful for any government agency to require background checks that the whole country doesn’t adopt as a standard.

There really isn’t much else there. The real question comes down to this:

What does the potential law really do?

In essence, this disallows any political group to push through any personal anti-gun agendas that are outside of what the country considers its standard. If the entire country institutes a 45 day wait on any firearm sale, then WA will adopt those standards. If the entire country writes new laws requiring only a single background check to be conducted and that person has to maintain the validity of that background check or lose gun rights, then that becomes WA standard. Basically, WA will adopt whatever the federal government mandates and nothing more.

The other thing this does is in reference to gun confiscation. WA residents must be allowed due process BEFORE firearms are confiscated. This means that being accused of a domestic disturbance will no longer be enough to have the Sheriff add your weapons to his personal collection. The police can’t just stop by and take your old 12 gauge just because your neighbor got in trouble for something. It would also mean that government officials could not go door to door and take your firearms like was done during Katrina. Ironically, it just reiterates that our rights should not be infringed upon……  Sound familiar?

No matter what side of coin your political views fall on, this initiative does little more than push gun control measures back onto the federal government and ensures that all current gun owners are allowed to use the court system before they have items of substantial value just taken from them. That is it. Makes me wonder why groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have not pushed for this sort of a law in other states. It protects citizens’ rights established in the US Constitution…..   Hmmmmm…..

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