Every gun owner in the State of Washington should be concerned with and vote against the passage of Initiative 594. Every friend of a gun owner should think long and hard about the implications of this Initiative before considering a Yes vote.
While I-594 attempts to do good by requiring background checks on gun sales, as written it creates a multitude of situations where the average law-abiding citizen could become a felon.
While I-594 provides allowances for a handful of structured situations where an individual may share a firearm, it makes the simple act of recreational target shooting with friends illegal if they bring and share their own firearms.
With that being illegal under the initiative, it is absurd that I-594 makes it ‘ok’ for you to loan your friend a gun if they are in danger, but how could you responsibly do so if you had not had the opportunity to teach and train that individual well before that situation arose? It is exactly this type of safe, instructive, recreational shooting that fosters gun safety and personal responsibility that must not be lost to this Initiative.
I bet you are sick and tired of hearing both sides talk esoteric points, so I strongly encourage you to please take a moment and read the Initiative. If you are tired of the multitude of definitions and legalese lawyers stuff in these things, please focus on sections 1, 3 and 4.
Please appreciate how thoroughly I-594 articulates any time a firearm changes hands for any reason as being a sale or transfer subject to background checks (section 3). Please think through the last time you went shooting with a friend and the limited accommodations afforded by I-594 (section 4).
I am going to vote against the Initiative as actually written, not translated by others. I encourage you to educate yourself about this Initiative and weigh whether criminals will actually follow the law VS the loss of such an important part of our pastime and heritage.
~ William ‘Chip’ Cosgrove, Snoqualmie Resident
[** The views and opinions expressed in LETTERS are those of the writer(s) and not of Living Snoqualmie **]