Petitions turned in for gun restriction, food tax ban measures

The Secretary of State’s Office will verify the number.

OLYMPIA — Sponsors of two statewide initiatives — one to impose new restrictions on firearms and another to keep local governments from taxing groceries — submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office on Thursday.

Nine boxes of signed petitions were turned in for Initiative 1639 to boost the age for buying a semiautomatic assault rifle from 18 to 21, which is the age required to buy a handgun, and to conduct background checks for those rifle purchases.

Supporters of the measure told state officials the boxes contained 267,700 signatures of registered voters.

Also Thursday, backers of Initiative 1634 said they turned in 291,563 signatures for the measure that would bar cities and counties from taxing food and beverages but not prevent the state from doing so. Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana products, which are currently regulated and taxed by the state, are excluded from the measure.

Additional signatures for each measure are expected to be turned in Friday.

The Secretary of State’s Office will verify the number. At least 259,622 valid signatures are needed to qualify an initiative for the November ballot.

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