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Washington State Gun Control Initiative May Drive Up Firearm Sales

November 14, 2018  — By Jack Black

Despite efforts to put more restrictions on gun owners in the recently passed state initiative 1639, the counter-effect has kicked in with reports of gun retailers seeing an uptick in sales.

Reaction to the new restrictions which become effective in 2019 has yet to take hold with gun consumers but some retailers are already ramping up their inventory in expectation of a sales spike during the upcoming holiday buying season.

Wade Gaughran of Wade’s Eastside Guns says he expects some of his customers to beat the deadline, suggesting that premature buying is usually the case whenever new gun laws are about to take effect. Other retailers recall slumping sales after President Trump won the 2016 election, claiming that fear of the political unknown drove sales before then because of the possibility that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency and push for more gun control.

Efforts from  the gun rights opposition haven’t just gone away following passage of 1639. Jered Bonneau, who lost a Republican primary race to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, has filed a counter petition to I-1639 and asked President Trump to intervene before the initiative becomes law, calling the bill “unlawful,” “unjust” and “unconstitutional.”

I-1639 would attach a $25 fee to the purchase of any semi-automatic weapon, would raise the legal age limit to buy a gun from 18 to 21, force the buyer to pass a firearms training course and an enhanced background check, and wait 10-days after purchase to buy a gun. In addition, it requires a gun owner to keep guns locked up at home or face possible felony charges. The after-effect of all those restrictions would not only create criminals out of otherwise law-abiding gun owners but would cause new gun buyers to start a rush to buy several more guns.

Such creative gun-buying would, some say, work like another Black Friday rush in order to avoid the added fees.  Additionally, sales of gun safes and other secure containers would drive up the bottom line for retailers, as well.

“Basically, I-1639 is 30 pages of poorly drafted gun-control proposals,” said Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “They had a wish list, they put it all together and they threw it at you.”

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