West Coast Plutocrats Target Washington State Gun Owners… Again

Washington State or Point West
Washington State or Point West

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Washington State’s would-be oligarchs are attempting to buy Evergreen Staters’ rights again. Four years after West Coast elites dumped $10 million into the campaign for Initiative 594, which criminalized the private transfer of firearms, some of the same plutocrats are spending big bucks to back I-1639, an even more restrictive anti-gun ballot measure.

Gun control advocates and their media lapdogs are mischaracterizing I-1639 as a measure that would merely prohibit the sale of so-called “assault rifles” to those ages 18 to 21. In reality, I-1639 is a wide-ranging initiative that would impose new burdens on all Washington gun owners and severely curtail access to some of America’s most popular firearms.

Stretching the already prevalent misuse of the term “assault rifle” to new extremes, I-1639 defines “semiautomatic assault rifle” as, “any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” This means that any semiautomatic rifle whatsoever, from an AR-15 to your grandfather’s tube-fed .22LR squirrel gun would be considered an “assault rifle” and subject to severe restriction.

As for those restrictions, all prospective semiautomatic rifle purchasers, regardless of age, would be required to submit to a gun dealer certification that they have completed a firearms training course. In order for the certification to be valid, the course must have been completed within the previous five years. This means that gun owners would be forced to repeatedly take firearms training courses in order to remain eligible to purchase any semiautomatic rifle.

Further, I-1639 would impose a 10 business day waiting period on the purchase of all semiautomatic rifles, extend the Washington State Department of Licensing’s handgun registry to cover all semiautomatic rifles, and authorize a $25 fee to be assessed to semiautomatic rifle purchasers.

In addition to new restrictions on all semiautomatic rifles, I-1639 would also impose criminal liability on otherwise law-abiding gun owners who fail to store their firearms to state standards.

For more on I-1639, click here.

According to articles from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Associated Press, at a May 21 luncheon hosted by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the group received two $1 million dollar donations to support I-1639.

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen was one of the $1 million donors. The other was tech venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Some have labelled Hanauer a hypocrite for his massive contribution, given his purported support for campaign finance reforms.

Reports indicate that mere millionaires were also in attendance. The Post-Intelligencer reported,

[The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s] annual luncheon has become a kind of bidding competition of who can donate the most money… The event yielded three donations of $100,000, two givers of $50,000, three people donating $25,000, seven gifts of $10,000, plus 13 givers coming in at $5,000.

The identities of these big money donors have yet to be made available on the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s website.

If history is any guide, even more cash is forthcoming. Billionaire gun control patron Michael Bloomberg personally bankrolled I-594 to the tune of $285,000, while funneling another $2.3 million to the cause through his front group Everytown for Gun Safety. Hanauer dumped $1.3 million into the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility to support the measure, while Allen contributed $500,000. Former Microsoft CEO and current Los Angeles Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie together spent more than $1 million to strip Washingtonians of their rights and were joined by fellow Microsoft Billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates, who gave more than $1 million combined. Rounding out the mega-contributors was Ann P. Wyckoff, widow of lumber magnate T. Evans Wyckoff.

With this deluge of billionaire cash, gun control advocates were able to outspend gun rights supporters by a margin of more than 10 to 1.

Despite the lopsided financial support that gun control initiatives receive from anti-gun tycoons, gun rights supporters should not lose hope. In the face of massive anti-gun spending in a series of background check initiatives, grassroots efforts by gun rights supporters have been able to shift public opinion on the topic, with the pro-gun position faring far better in election day results than the opinion polling touted by gun control supporters.

Case in point: Question 3 in Maine.

A little more than a month out from the 2016 election, a Portland Press Herald Pollshowed that 61 percent of Mainers favored so-called universal background checks, with only 33 opposed. At the same time, gun owners faced what Reuters called an “avalanche of money,” where they were outspent 5 to 1. On Election Day, Maine’s gun rights supporters beat back the gun control effort 52 to 48 percent.

In explaining to the New York Times why the measure failed, Mainers for Responsible Gun Ownership Campaign Manager David Farmer said,

We know for a fact we lost the argument at the kitchen table and the bar and the bowling alley…The gun enthusiasts were talking to their friends and relatives and neighbors. They felt about it in a way that was so passionate that they won those one-on-one encounters, and they were very successful in bringing in people to their side.

Facing another “avalanche of money” Washington gun owners will need to muster the same sort of grassroots enthusiasm that carried Maine gun rights supporters to victory and has repeatedly shocked pollsters.

To find out what you can do to preserve firearms freedom in the Evergreen State, please visit https://www.nraila.org/grassroots/.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Anyy bill beginning with the letter “I” is a Citizen’s Intiative. The Washington State Constitution clearly prohibits any citizen’s initiaive from dealing with more than ONE issue. I 594 has at least half a dozen items i state law it attempts to change, and SHOULD have been tossed out before it ever got on the ballots. It SHOULD have been challenged in court, but never was. It was challenged on some mealymouthed gounds, and of course lost. NO ONE tried to strike it based on its unconstitutionality. This new one seems to have at least half a dozen different issues..… Read more »

Professor Wagstaff

Notice these bills have absolutely nothing to do with stopping deranged highschool students from mis-using a gun. “Safety” training has never stopped one crime. They are simply incremental measures meant to increase the inconvience and hassle for civilized, law abiding adults to own a gun. Children who want to shoot up a school will not be deterred by “training” them in “gun safety.” The billionaire elites behind these bills don’t really care about the one off, random school shooters… they hate what they consider the ignorant hay-seed un-washed masses. They want you disarmed. And, they’re willing to “boil the frog”… Read more »

Dan Schwager

You can dump all the money you want but its the people that will voter their rights away that are the problem.


Hey, thieves, rapists, and other miscreants, move to Washington state. They are trying to assure that you will have plenty of opportunities to practice your craft without being disturbed.

Timothy Votaw

Paul Allen and Bill Gates are a pair of spoiled, misinformed pantywaists. One would expect nothing else from them.

roger g.

And that damned gates has a firing range under his home

John Smith

I used to work security at his estate. He doesn’t have a gun range at his house.

Douglas Kuykendall

Washington state is such a beautiful state.It is ruined by the left wing liberal snowflakes that run it.Isn’t there any Republicans out there?


Be VERY CAREFUL I-594 and I-1639 CAN come back and BITE you in the ASS. Stop it now before does. Remove those who push this crap Maine DID.

Steve Harris

Why don’t we have any big money gun owners?

Dis Senter

Because they are buying guns!

Hugh Chinn

I-594 is widely ignored here in Washington state. I-1639 will be widely ignored also. Enforcing laws such as these is nearly impossible. Anyone remember how well Prohibition worked out? ‘Laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void’ – Marbury v Madison.


The personal transfer portion of the law is ignored. This law effects dealers and they will not ignore the law. Just like the handgun extra paperwork required in WA the new rifle paperwork will be complied with by the dealers.