Daily Chronicle: Gun Owners Still Confused About I-1639

It’s too late to vote on I-1639; it already passed. Although the definition of “assault rifle” in 1639 is ludicrously broad, only the pink rifle in the photo above meets the definition — a kids .22lr rifle.

From The Daily Chronicle, Gun Owners Still Confused About I-1639; Sheriff’s Office Is Buried in Background Checks. Initiative: Local Gun Shop Owners Say Education on Law Is Needed, Say Law Hurts Business

On July 1, 2019, I-1639 took full effect in the state of Washington. Seven months later, Shoni Pannkuk, co-owner of The Man Cave Outfitters in Downtown Centralia, says the news of I-1639 and the new process that comes with obtaining a firearm still catches some of her customers off-guard. 

“The number of, which was astounding to me, the number of customers we have, who are obviously gun enthusiasts, hunters, concealed carry, whatever, that have absolutely no idea what I-1639 was and the impacts that it now has,” Pannkuk said. “We get often (from customers) like, ‘I didn’t have to do this before, what do you mean I have to do this.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, that passed, it was effective July 1.’” 

According to the Washington Attorney General’s Office’s website, buyers have been required to go through, an “Enhanced background check and waiting period requirements for the purchase or transfer of semiautomatic assault rifles.” In addition, those looking to purchase a firearm after June 30, 2019 are required to have passed a “recognized firearm safety training program” within the last five years. It’s also the dealer’s responsibility to verify that a buyer has completed a course. 

The law also states that the training “must be sponsored by a federal, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, a college or university, a nationally recognized organization that customarily offers firearms training, or a firearms training school with certified instructors.” Pannkuk still feels that verifying the legitimacy of a customer’s training can be ambiguous for the business.

“I can print up a certificate right at home that says I’ve completed it,” Pannkuk said. “I don’t know if the school on (the certificate) is a valid school, I mean, I don’t know.” 

Pannkuk also said she brought up the question regarding verification of the training course at a public hearing with the Washington Department of Licensing right around the time I-1639 was implemented. She said nobody had any answers.

When the law was implemented, Pannkuk described it as an instant change with “little to no guidance.”

“It was July 1,” Pannkuk said. “Here it is, here’s the law. It was terrible, which is why we went to the Department of Licensing. Like ‘What do you expect? Are we required to manage these training (sessions)? Am I required to authenticate them?’”

From Pannkuk’s perspective, the logistical impact of I-1639 is what has hit businesses the hardest. 

“(I-1639) has completely changed how we do the firearm sales,” Pannkuk said. “So, the mandatory 10-day wait that comes with any purchase of a semi-automatic rifle, requires the business, me, the owner, to monitor that. I have to now, A. figure out what jurisdiction you live in, not everybody knows that, surprisingly, you might think you’re in Lewis County, but maybe you’re in city limits. I don’t know that, there’s no database that tells us that information, but that’s where we have to send (the request for background), to your local jurisdiction. We guess, sometimes, if the customer doesn’t know, right, we’re going on what they say.”

Pannkuk added that beyond figuring out where to send those requests, she’s also in charge of sending each of them individually to the correct local jurisdiction...

“How do we get people to vote,” Hobe Pannkuk said. “That was the big issue, a lot of these people that came in that had no idea what I-1639 was, didn’t vote. That’s why it passed.”

Click here to read the entire article at The Daily Chronicle of Lewis county.