Opposing I-594 are law enforcement associations including the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA) and the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS) who publicly stated that they “do not believe that this will keep guns out of the hands of criminals or the mentally ill.” The group also stated that a potential firearms registry associated with the measure would be an infringement of the privacy rights of gun owners.
The text of the document, contends the NRA, is deeply flawed. The pro-gun group of some 5 million members asserts that should I-594 make it into law, every person involved in a handgun “transfer” will have their name entered into a government database maintained by the state. A transfer, as covered by the initiative, would include everything from sales to simply loaning a gun to another shooter at the range.
In short, as explained by Second Amendment scholar Dave Kopel, “If you borrow your grandfather’s handgun for the weekend, you’ll be required to be listed in the database.”
Further, handgun sales, even for private transfers, would be subject to a 10-day waiting period whereas current laws in the Evergreen State only call for a five-day period. Even gun control-heavy California, who has seen its 10-day hold challenged successfully in federal court, makes allowances for the loaning of guns, which Washington’s initiative does not.
“The only thing that I-594 would accomplish is the creation of a government record of all lawfully transferred handguns in Washington, which would facilitate their future confiscation,” states the NRA.