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Gun control initiative will be on Washington ballot

OLYMPIA – Voters will get a chance to decide in November whether Washington judges should be able to order people who are considered dangerous to give up their guns.

Initiative 1491 would allow family members or law enforcement officials to ask a superior court judge for an “extreme risk” protection order for someone they believe is a high risk to harm themselves or other people. A judge could issue a temporary order without hearing from the subject, but a full hearing with the subject allowed to be present and represented by an attorney would have to take place within 14 days.

A final protection order could be in place for as long as one year, when the subject would have the automatic right to a hearing to have it removed. While under that order, subjects would have to surrender firearms they own and be barred from buying or possessing new ones.

The state elections office said it reviewed a random sample of the more than 341,000 signatures on petitions submitted early this month and found a rejection rate of about 14 percent, which is below the average rejection rate for initiatives of 18 percent.


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