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Washington State Gun Safety Initiative Passes

The results of the November 2018 midterm elections on I-1639

Published on: November 07, 2018

I-1639 supporters
Supporters of I-1639. Photo courtesy of Yes on I-1639

Six months after the Alliance for Gun Responsibility announced Initiative 1639, the gun violence prevention measure passed into law on Nov. 6, 2018.

Early returns show 60 percent of the vote in favor of the initiative. I-1639 was the only gun violence prevention measure on any ballot in the country this November, according to the Alliance.

“Tonight, Washington state made history by passing the most comprehensive gun violence prevention measure in state history,” Stephen Paolini, Yes On 1639 campaign manager, said in a press release. “Because of the tireless effort of our volunteers across the state, and thanks to the millions of voters who supported us on the ballot, Washington schools and communities will be safer, guns will be less likely to fall into the wrong hands, and lives will be saved.”

Among other changes, I-1639 will raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, require completion of a firearm safety training course and create standards for the secure storage of guns. After collecting more than 375,000 signatures, I-1639 faced a rocky start to get on the ballot but was eventually certified in late July.

“I cannot overstate the importance of this victory,” Renee Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, said in a press release. “It is the most comprehensive gun violence prevention measure ever proposed in our state and the third gun safety initiative voters have approved in the last four years [the other two: Initiative 594, passed in 2014, and Initiative 1491, passed in 2016].”

“This victory,” Hopkins continued, “should send the message to Olympia and to the other Washington that voters are demanding action.”

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