I am a retired attorney and former deputy prosecuting attorney for Snohomish County. I am also a retired Army colonel who served on active duty and in the Army Reserve. I commanded four units including two basic training companies. We used the ranges at Fort Lewis to qualify with our M16s, so I am very familiar with those weapons’ devastating volume of fire. I understand and support gun ownership because in our family farm house, we had nine guns that we used for hunting and target shooting. I was also an NRA member.
However, after the mass shootings in Mukilteo, Las Vegas and Parkland, I could no longer stay on the sidelines. I gathered more than 800 signatures supporting I-1639, the second highest total of any volunteer in the state.
Initiative 1639 raises the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles to 21. Studies show that 18- to 20-year-olds commit a disproportionate number of firearm homicides. The killers at Mukilteo and Parkland, both under 21, legally purchased their assault rifles.
The law’s other reasonable measures include implementing enhanced background checks, training requirements and a 10-day waiting period to buy semi-automatic assault rifles. To incentivize safe storage, gun owners can be charged with the crime of “community endangerment” if a child or other legally prohibited person gets their gun and uses it to kill or injure someone.
Vote yes on Initiative 1639!