Washington – -(Ammoland.com)- Would you vote for a law that would make criminals of half your neighbors? Initiative 594 would do exactly that.
In their zeal to impose “universal background checks,” the creators of I-594 have written a law that would require nearly all “transfers” of firearms to be conducted at the premises of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer.
I-594 defines transfers as a change of possession, no matter how temporary, including gifts and loans. There are exceptions for family gifts, organized competitions and youth activities, but they are so narrow that most recreational, non-sale transfers would be crimes.
The father who loans a hunting rifle to an adult son during hunting season would commit a misdemeanor (upon the first violation). When the rifle is returned, both father and son would be two-time offenders, and thus felons under I-594.
Shooting buddies who met on public land or their own property to target practice with shared firearms would violate I-594. Routine gun repairs would also be criminalized. The initiative would effectively forbid you from dropping your firearm off with a gunsmith friend unless he had a federal license. Most gunsmiths in this state, often the most skilled, lack federal licenses.
Women are targeted by several provisions. Instructors could no longer provide loaner firearms during introductory women’s self-defense classes. And if your sister were being stalked and in fear of her life, and you loaned her a firearm, you would both be criminals. I-594 has an exception to “prevent imminent death,” but the legal definition of imminent means “about to happen.”
Widows and heirs beware: If your spouse died and you found a couple of handguns in your husband’s sock drawer 61 days after death, then you’d be an accidental felon.
I-594 only allows you 60 days to register those guns; after that, they’d become contraband. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and intent to commit a crime is not an element written into 594. Why write a law that makes inheritance of grandpa’s old guns a crime?
Written by Phil Shave
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