It is a dark night and the situation becomes grim when you wake up and realize there is an intruder in your home. You quietly reach for your Smith and Wesson .357 magnum, but you discover that there is another gun just like yours pointed directly at your head. Well, it’s the same except for one small detail. Your gun has a government-mandated trigger lock and the intruder’s does not.
Your locked gun is useless to you, but the intruder’s is in perfect working order. It looks like you are just out of luck. If Initiative 676 passes, every handgun in Washington state would have to have a trigger lock, but a lock is not a safe, practical alternative to responsible use. What good is a locked gun in an urgent situation? Initiative 676 punishes ordinary citizens by making it even more difficult to defend their homes against lawless criminals.
All handgun owners will also be required to take a safety course and purchase a license. The course itself could cost $160. The license costs only $25, but it must be renewed every five years. The silly thing is, the actual handgun owners would not be the only ones who would have to take the course and obtain the license. Any unlicensed person at home alone with a handgun could become a felon. It would not matter if the gun was yours or not.
Initiative 676 also denies parents the right to teach handgun safety to their children. Parents who allow their kids to learn how to properly use a handgun could face criminal prosecution.
If Initiative 676 were really about handgun safety, the proponents would be trying to expand gun safety courses, especially for children. If they really cared about the welfare of children, they would not try to undermine parents who wish to teach their children to be responsible with guns.
Initiative 676 is dangerous.
It may turn lawful citizens into felons; it will make effective self-defense virtually impossible; it will give genuine criminals an advantage over decent citizens.
Initiative 676 will also violate one of our basic constitutional rights - the right to keep and bear arms.
Maybe you don’t currently exercise your right to own a gun. So? This issue still applies to you. Even if only one of your rights is actually debased, the rest of them are in certain danger.