NRA sues to block voter-approved gun control measure

The federal lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Initiative 1639, which passed overwhelmingly.

SEATTLE — The NRA and a Bellevue gun rights group filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the constitutionality of several provisions in Initiative 1639, the voter-approved measure that will rewrite the state’s gun laws.

One change will raise the age for buying a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21 which the lawsuit contends violates the constitutional rights of those young adults under the Second Amendment.

“We’re determined to fight this egregious measure because constitutionally protected rights should never be subject to a popularity vote,” said Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of Second Amendment Foundation, one of the plaintiffs.

A spokesman for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, drafters of the initiative, said the lawsuit isn’t a surprise.

“We always expected the gun lobby to challenge 1639,” said Tallman Trask of the alliance. “We are committed to beating them in court just as we did at the ballot.”

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

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