LETTER | I-594 and Impact on Gun Owners

Letter to EditorEvery 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 **]

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  • Agreed, this issue is fraught with lack of understanding and lies. Criminals have never and will never follow laws. Creating laws which limit or create friction (process / fees, etc.) to obtaining important tools to ensure one’s safety is scarily dangerous. You don’t solve the problem of violence with more violence (laws). You solve it theough peacful parenting (enabling individuality, strong self-esteem, and ultimately rational people), building critical thinking skills, and the none aggressions principle (NAP).

    I urge people to consider the impacts of laws and limiting access to life saving tools. The gun is the great equalizer, it protects everyone. Laws protect no one, by definition they are reactive, a tool (like a gun) is real-time.

    This will not solve the problem of criminals access weapons, it will simply deny peaceful people the ability to protect themselves.

  • I fail to see how allowing criminals and those with mental issues to have guns is a good thing. Nor do I see how having everyone walking around with a gun is going to save us – just watch or read the news. The bottom line is – if you’re not a criminal or mental patient – you can own all the guns you want. Further, if you do misuse the weapon the police will know where to find you to protect the rest of us. Laws are for all of society – as in any culture, past or present, there are those who are not rational.

    1. Why is Chris missing the point. I believe the point is.. if you are going to handle a gun.. have a gun.. then you do it legally.. If you don’t own a gun.. go to a gun range and take gun safety and work with them to become proficient. Then buy your own gun. Don’t lend a gun to anyone.. why is that within the law? Why would it be responsible for one to lend a gun to anyone. You want to go to shoot.. then shoot your own gun.. not someone else’s. I don’t shoot guns.. I don’t hunt… target shoot or have any reason to own a gun. I have a son in law who is an avid hunter…. since kid. He hunts deer, elk and will have his first bear hunt this next month. He would never lend a gun to anyone. He is a gun advocate. He believes that gun ranges are where one goes to shoot
      I read that law enforcement agencies offer classes and will help you learn to shoot a gun and decide which gun you would like to buy and own. I certainly believe in the right to own a gun for your protection of yourself, family and home. I don’t believe that everyone is responsible enough to own a gun. That is what licensing is for. This is my opinion and I will vote for ALL to register and shoot their own gun. When a gun is borrowed and an accident occurs? Go to jail.. do not pass go.. Just my personal opinion.. Thank you for the forum!

      1. Jim, You really scare me with your beliefs. At what point do you get that by and large crimes are not commited by people who purchased their firearms legally. CRIMINALS are that because they violate the laws. When are you going to get that! You want to see what your type of “gun control” is. Check out places like Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and Detroit.

      2. Jim…
        What defines “loan” for you? Would your kid be willing to pick up a friends rifle to look down the scope to see if he likes it? Maybe see if the stock fits better than his… Background check required under 594 except for a tiny window of circumstances. And another to hand it back.

    2. Who gets to define who is a criminal and who is insane? You know 70% of “criminals” are non violent and non-theft related? They simply chose to buy something on the market someone else disagreed with- why does that make them criminals? Why do they not deserve to protect themselves?

      Also why are “criminals” suddenly not human? If you believe criminals should be able to protect themselves, then why don’t all crimes simply have the death penalty?

      Use the scientific / Socratic method to come up with reasoned, intelligent answers. Don’t get brainwashed by propaganda…

  • +1 to this letter. As someone new to the community, having moved from Seattle, it’s refreshing to see this kind of perspective.

  • Well said Scott. Why is I-594 so lengthy compared to I-591? Could it be that by making it that long we won’t read it to understand what it is really trying to do. Why are billionaires like Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and out of state Michael Bloomberg giving donations totaling 7 million to 594 while they hire armed guards for their protection? Just wondering.
    Voting no on 594, yes on 591

    1. Exactly Mike, rational human beings don’t need laws to make them behave rationally. Survival of an individual is the primary reason people don’t attack others. Its far more advantageous to leverage others talent around you for good and services than harm someone.

      Statistically violence is unlikely to happen in one’s lifetime and even less likely if you have a tool such as gun to protect yourself. What give up your rights to a centralized apperatus like government? Isn’t the choices you make, better left with you?

      Criminals will never follow laws and laws don’t discourage people from becoming irrational actors (criminals). Solve the problem by raising your children right, not inflicting violence (laws) on other people…

      Laws by definition require violence to be enforced. So your not really advocating for less violence by vote for laws, your simply creating a monopoly on violence. Your giving money (taxes) to fund the violence, and giving up your choices (laws) to some centralize group of people. These people (government) who are at best still human and unlikely to uphold your wishes anyway.

  • Missouri deregulated it’s firearm permit process in 2007, and has seen a 25% increase in firearm homicides since. A dozen states like Colorado and Pennsylvania have criminal background checks and see decreases in suicide, handgun murders of police, and domestic violence with firearms.
    I am a Veteran and gun owner, I believe the fears expressed above are greatly exaggerated at best, possibly ridiculous. The law is imperfect, but as out legislators have been too cowardly to approach the subject, I’ll accept the inconveniences in the interest of making it harder for criminals to obtain firearms.

    1. So Tim, if your best friend is say going duck hunting and wants to borrow your shotgun are you going to go down to the FFL and register the transfer? Because that is exactly what you would have to do. If this were just having sales go through a FFL it would be one thing but this controls lending a buddy a shotgun for skeet shooting and other nonsense like that. Inconvenient? Oh heck yes, and ridiculous.

  • Read the bill. It won’t make anyone safer. It’s proponents grossly misrepresent the supposed “loopholes” it intends to close. The vast majority of gun sales at gun shows are from licensed dealers, and guns can’t be purchased online unless they go through a licensed dealer (who runs a background check). Private sales from one gun owner to another are not subject to background check, but look at local gun listings–most sellers won’t sell you a gun unless you are a concealed carry permit holder (i.e., can prove you already passed a background check) or without at least getting a copy of your i.d. and a bill of sale.
    As for the issue of who would lend a gun to a friend issue, it happens all the time. If my shotgun is being repaired, and I go hunting with a friend, he lets me use one of his. As written, I-594 makes that criminal behavior. Gun owners are rightfully concerned by I-594 for a variety of reasons. If the goal is really to make people safer, we should make the background checks themselves more effective by including the kinds of data in the NICS database that would actually cause somebody to fail a background check. Today, that’s not working, and all of the high profile mass shootings bear that out. Those idiots passed background checks.

  • While we’re at it, let’s draft up some initiatives to make robbery illegal, murder illegal, theft illegal, fraud illegal etc. Doing so will help greatly reduce those problems, because the criminals and crazies are always following the rules.

  • In the wake of yet another school shooting today, I just voted.
    I don’t understand why background checks are an issue if you’re a law abiding citizen. Nobody wants to take your guns from you unless you are a threat to society. How many more tragedies is it going to take? Seriously people!!!!

    1. So you were brainwashed then? Law abiding citizens don’t need laws that’s why. All your doing is giving more methods for governments to steal, violently attack you, and keeping access to tools for one’s self defense from from law abiding citizens.

    2. BECAUSE IT’S NOT ABOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS! It’s about the other balderdash in the bill. Vote with a clear mind and ACTUALLY READ the initative!

    3. So after a school shooting where a kid stole a firearm from his father, you voted (presumably yes) on a bill that would not stop such a tragedy.

      Good to know this state is full of well-educated and conscious voters.

  • The answer to violence is to understand what causes it: please educate yourselves (before you use violence (voting) against everyone else):

  • Living Snoqualmie