KENNEWICK, Wash. - A Washington state controversial gun law is about a month away from going into full effect. One of the requirements under I-1639 is a certification class.
Liberty Training Tri-Cities is offering the course, which will cover several topics including safety, storage, suicide prevention, and other firearm laws. The man behind the company has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years, who also teaches the course.
"Now that there's a requirement that in order to even purchase a semi-auto rifle after July 1, they have to have this course," said owner John Clary. "You have to take your certification that shows you went through this gun safety course."
One part of the law has been in effect since Jan. 1. Adults under the age of 21 are no longer allowed to buy a semi-automatic rifle, raising the age from 18.
Another provision is an enhanced background check, which Clary says is longer than they used to be. He says it's similar to background checks required for handguns and pistols. One controversial part of the law is the area that lays out the storage requirements.
"Requirements for storage I think is where people have the most heartburn," Clary said. "Because if someone accesses your firearm because you left it in an unsafe place, you could be charged with a crime."
The law states it must be in a secure place. It defines "secure gun storage" as "a locked box, gun safe, or other secure locked storage space that is designed to prevent unauthorized use or discharge of a firearm."
However, Clary says a trigger lock or locked room covers the law. Technically, it's in a safe and secure place.
"As a gun owner, many people feel that they should have the right in their home to put their guns where they want and that's not exactly the case, according to 1639," Clary said. "The average citizen who’s legally authorized to own a gun -- they can get in trouble just because of where they keep it."
If your gun is taken by someone who’s not supposed to have a gun, or it's stolen, you have five days to report it. If you do and the gun is used in a crime, you can't be charged.
Clary said the law is covered in the class, but difficult to summarize all the details laid out.
"There are so many things involved in this initiative that it's really difficult to put it in a nutshell," he explained. "There are a lot of things that can be impacted by this, which is why we're offering the class."
The class is two hours. It costs $75, and the first class will be offered on June 12 at 5:30 p.m. It's only required if you're looking to purchase a semi-automatic rifle after July 1.
"A lot of people view it [I-1639] as an unconstitutional initiative the way it was written and there are challenges in place," Clary said. "But until those legal challenges have been decided in court, then 1639 stands the way it is so we have to abide by it."
For more information about Liberty Training Tri-Cities, click here.