Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, September 18, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 66° Cloudy

Initiative 1491: Court Orders Barring Gun Access

Election Results

Option Votes Pct
Yes 1,995,350 69.72%
No 866,657 30.28%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

About The Measure

For the second time in three years, supporters of tougher gun laws are asking Washington voters to approve a law they couldn’t get through the Legislature.

Initiative 1491 would create a new type of court order in the state, allowing judges to require people who’ve been determined to be at “extreme risk” of danger to themselves or others to surrender any guns they have and bar them from buying more.

The protection orders are patterned after domestic violence protection orders, but instead of a spouse or partner, they would allow other family members or law enforcement to go to court. A temporary order of up to 14 days could be issued without the subject present if the court were to receive enough evidence of imminent danger, but the full one-year order would require a hearing where the subject is required to be present with legal counsel. A new round of hearings would be required to renew the order after the year is up.

Filing a false statement to obtain an extreme-risk protection order would be a gross misdemeanor. Violating an order would be a gross misdemeanor the first two times but a felony the third time.

Complete Coverage

Spokane follows state trend on gun initiative, bucks it on minimum wage

Spokane voters supported new court orders to prevent gun violence but opposed a higher minimum wage.

Most Washington voters supporting a minimum wage hike, court review of gun ownership for dangerous individuals

A majority of ballots voted Tuesday were in favor of a measure to stair-step increases to the minimum wage in Washington state, as well as a measure that would allow families to petition to remove guns from those deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Our advice: Yes on I-1491; no on I-1501

Initiative 1491. This measure would give loved ones and law enforcement a speedy way to petition a court to have a gun removed from someone who poses harm to themselves and others. Advocates tried to get the Legislature to adopt “extreme risk protection orders,” but like most gun issues, lawmakers would rather bury them than take a vote. I-594, the background check measure, was easily passed by voters after legislators failed to act.

Initiative 1491: Con: Initiative unfairly targets the mentally ill

In summary, I-1491 targets the mentally ill, ignores existing laws, provides no treatment model, compromises due process.

Initiative 1491: Pro: New law would enable loved ones to head off tragedy

I know firsthand how devastating it is when someone you know is dangerous, someone close to you has easy access to a gun. That’s why I urge you to support Initiative 1491. Four years ago, I was on my knees in my own living room. My ex-husband had a gun pointed at my head. He’d threatened me before, and, I thought, “Today he’s going to kill me.”

Initiative 1491 of Washington would allow judges to order some people to surrender guns

Initiative 1491 would allow courts to order people judged to be a danger to themselves or others to surrender any firearms they own and ban them from buying new ones. Supporters say it could save lives, but opponents say it may stigmatize the mentally ill without providing treatment.

Vestal: Can a modest proposal to keep guns from troubled family members pass? An initiative aims to find out

How well a gun-control initiative fares with voters this fall may tell us whether we’re at the tip of a wave – where modest proposals to make the country safer are no longer DOA – or whether the background checks measure passed two years ago was a lone splash.

Elway poll: Voters split on November intiatives

Three of six ballot initiatives in the November election would fail if voting were held today, a new poll suggests.

Gun control initiative will be on Washington ballot

Voters will decide whether Washington judges should be able to order people considered dangerous to give up their guns.

Gun control measure headed for ballot

Initiative 1491, which would allow police and family members to request a judge to issue protective orders to keep dangerous people from having or buying firearms, will be on the November ballot.

Four initiatives likely headed for ballot in Washington

Initiatives on consumer protection, political reform, minimum wage and gun control likely to be added to the November ballot.

Two more initiatives turn in signatures, likely will make ballot

I-1501 and I-1464 turn in petitions before the Friday afternoon deadline with enough signatures they are likely to make the November ballot.

Gun control measure has 330,000 signatures, supporters say

Supporters of Initiative 1491 turned in their first batch of signed petitions Thursday, saying that by Friday afternoon they will submit a total of 330,000 signatures.

Minimum wage, gun control and transgender bathroom rules among initiatives that could make ballot

From wages to guns to restroom access, ballot measure topics for voter cover a wide spectrum of issues in Washington this year. To have a chance of making the ballot, signatures on petitions must be turned in by week’s end.