Locals speak out against I-1639 at Constitution Rally in Richland


A group of locals gathering at John Dam Plaza in Richland on Saturday afternoon for a “Constitution Rally.”

The rally focused on I-1639, an initiative that raised the age to 21 to buy a semiautomatic rifle in Washington state in 2019.

Here are the exact provisions, according to the Office of the Attorney General:

  • Makes it illegal for a person under 21 years of age to buy a semiautomatic assault rifle.
  • Makes it illegal for any person to sell or transfer a semiautomatic assault rifle to a person under age 21.
  • Allows a person between the ages of 18 and 21 to possess a semiautomatic assault rifle:
  1. In the person’s residence or fixed place of business;
  2. On real property under his or her control;
  3. When engaging in, or travel to or from, a lawful outdoor recreational activity;
  4. When engaging in target shooting at an established, authorized range; or
  5. If the semiautomatic assault rifle is unloaded and either in secure gun storage or secured with a trigger lock for the specific purpose of (i) moving to a new residence; (ii) traveling between the person’s residence and real property under his or her control; or (iii) legally selling or transferring the firearm.

All of the other provisions in the law take effect on July 1, 2019 including:

  • Enhanced background check and waiting period requirements for the purchase or transfer of semiautomatic assault rifles. Click here for more information on background checks.
  • Training requirements to purchase a semiautomatic assault rifle. Click here for more information on training requirements. 
  • Criminal liability for failure to safely secure a firearm under certain conditions. Click here for more information on storage requirements. 
  • Safety warning and safe storage requirements for dealers. Click here for more information on storage requirements for dealers.

One I-1639 protestor, Mike Wingfield of Richland, told KAPP-KVEW, “People need to vote. People need to be aware of what’s going on. These gun measures will do nothing to curb gun violence. Absolutely nothing. It’s all about control.”

Missy Baker of Richland is for the initiative. She said, “Most of the people I know on my side of the fence – we don’t mind that people have guns. But no one needs to have military style weapons.”

Baker was part of a group who came with Women’s March style signs and hats who protested next to the Constitution Rally for a short time.