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Washington's Voter-Approved Firearm Background Check Initiative Stands

Posted Friday, January 19, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, by a unanimous three-judge panel, dismissed the challenges against Washington’s voter-approved expansion of firearm background check laws. Initiative 594 stands.

On the November 4, 2014 ballot, Washington State voters approved the Washington Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases, Initiative 594. Which is a Washington law designed to require background checks to be run on every person purchasing a gun in the state, including those who purchase via private sales and to noncommercial transfers of firearms. The Initiative came under attack for violations of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Sections 3 and 24 of Article I of the Washington State Constitution. Northwest School of Safety, et al. v. Ferguson, No. 3:2014cv06026 (W.D. Wash. 2015).

The Ninth Circuit agreed with a lower court ruling and dismissed the Plaintiffs’ challenges against Initiative 594. U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle ruled that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to challenge the law. The Ninth Circuit agreed with Judge Settle’s ruling.

The Washington Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases, Initiative 594 (2014) expands State laws requiring background checks to cover all firearm purchases and transfers, with limited exceptions set forth in the Initiative. The concise description reads: “This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.” Notably, transfers of antique firearms, temporary transfers for self-defense and hunting, and transfers between immediate family members are exempt from the background checks.

Defending Against Firearm Related Charges

Padula & Associates, LLP has received many referrals from the Second Amendment Foundation and other firearm advocacy organizations. Lizanne Padula is a strong advocate for gun rights. She has spoken at an Open Carry Rally in Olympia and at other firearm advocacy events. The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLP have achieved dismissals or reductions in hundreds of firearm related cases.

Are you facing a firearm related charge? The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC know how important it is to defend your rights and can help you fight these charges in court. Our attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of criminal defense, and they will help you take on allegations of violating firearm sale or purchase laws, unlawful possession, or other firearm related charges with confidence. For more than 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been proudly serving those in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

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