Letter - Initiative 594 is nothing sinister


Please read the complete text of Initiative 594.

The sole purpose of Initiative 594 is to expand existing background checks to include gun sales made by private parties over the Internet, through classified advertising and at gun shows. There is nothing in the proposal that requires gun registration or would lead to gun confiscation.

Licensed dealers are already required to conduct background checks for all firearm sales in the state. There is nothing in the initiative that is a “steppingstone to gun control” or to “totally disarm the American people.”

This is not repression. This is about concerned citizens taking action and working through the legislative process to bring common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities.

This initiative will simply ensure that a background check is conducted for every gun purchase. There is nothing sinister, cunning or threatening to the Second Amendment.

Convicted criminals lose their constitutional right to own guns (they also lose other civil rights, i.e. the right to vote). The courts can reinstate this right when and if it determines an individual has satisfied the requirements of his other sentence. Law-abiding citizens have nothing to lose by undergoing a background check when purchasing a gun.

Read the initiative, get the facts and decide for yourself.

Cecile Ervin

Walla Walla


chicoli 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Plain and simple, Cecile. Who on earth would object to such common sense initiative?


VampireNinja 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I object on several different levels, and I'm sure many other WA residents do as well: gun show loopholes" to background checks do not exist...nor do "unlicensed" dealers of firearms...unless you are referring to private transactions between citizens; that leads to a totally different branch on the 'Screwing With the Bill of Rights' flowchart which I'll not touch here. Not only do these loopholes not exist in theory, even in spirit and practice they are mere specters of ephemeral things given name created to raise hackles and manipulate low-information voters (spirit, specter...nice theme eh?). Additionally, on the subject of how ludicrous you think the idea of gun owners being concerned with how any new law could be a "steppingstone to gun control” to “totally disarm the American people.” I would just ask you to look at history and how other societies were made defenseless (I can hear the cries of "hyperbole!" already :D). There's a bunch of other stuff I could add but there's not much better an answer to any of this "common sense" legislation than the 2nd Amendment itself which actually makes Initiative 594 illegal.


stvsngltn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Bravo! I hope you echo the above in a letter to the editor (that I suspect would reach far more people in our area). I-594 appears to be logical common sense on the surface but it is not when all aspects are considered. It is just another camel nose under the tent .... and that camel is named "gun control and eventual confiscation of privately-owned firearms.


chicoli 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Another fear monger person, just arriving back from the NRA convention! The sky is falling and black helicopters are coming to confiscate privately own guns . Actually, instead of the nose what you're looking at is the ass of the camel and, as always looking at the "dark", stinky and dirty side of the issue. Well... Obviously these are the typical NRA cliches, nothing but mirages in the dessert with camels, tents and the whole hallucinatory bit! Sorry, Mr. Singleton! Well...I really wanted to say "bravo".


stvsngltn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It's really not fear-mongering when there really is a clear agenda by the antigun movement (Sarah Brady, Bloomberg and his group of mayors, etc.) To continue steps toward severe firearm restrictions. Bloomberg has given $30,000 to support I-594 and if the NRA supports I-591 (which I don't think they are) Antigua billionaire Bloomberg will just write a check to counter it, thumbing his nose at us five million NRA members. But you have a right to your opinion, Paco .... even when it's wrong. Task task. BTW I've never been to an NRA convention .... but the have a wonderful museum of firearms if you're ever in Fairfax, Virginia. Check it out.


stvsngltn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Antigun billionaire not Antigua.... blame this Kindle.


chicoli 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I would love to check this museum out. I'm sure this one is showing real collectors items and not the ones some "collectors" have in Walla Walla. Such collectors amass a bunch of pure junk for the sake of having 20-30 weapons with no esthetic or historical value. Pure "cojones" for the sake of "cojones".

Incidentally 75% of the NRA membership support sensible background checks.


chicoli 11 months, 3 weeks ago

VampireNinja, I did look at history and did not find any society which are made "defenseless" by their respective laws. How about if you look at the second amendment history and its current Supreme Court interpretation by Justice Scalia, arguably the most conservative Justice ever. He himself believes Initiative 594 is not illegal.

You will be surprise about the abundance of "common sense" restrictions already in place due to the conservative Supreme Court interpretation of the second amendment, my friend. Just check it out yourself!


tpeacock 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Now everyone piece together the letters and you can understand why the PD spent 7 g's to get their MRAP. Seriously though, as a weapons expert trained by our government, I was actually appalled when I purchased my Mossberg 500 (police special) at a gun show here last year. The gentleman I purchased it for, a private individual sale, informed me he needed to see my ID. I took it out, started to handed it to him, and he (and some friends with him) laughed, and said "I just need to see you have it I don't need to look at it." Perhaps some don't see the irony ion this, but for all he knew, or anyone for that matter, I could have been a felon, it could have been an ID I found, borrowed, or stole. Pretty sad if you ask me!You will never convince me there's even a slim possibility of the Govt. taking our weapons, just read the few responses here, and know that those making the charges have millions of like minded individuals in their corner, and no matter the greater ferocity of weapons that could be used against us, it WON'T happen! No Country like ours, the size of ours, nor the armed to the teeth like our private citizenry is will allow that to occur. Registration is not the dreaded end-all to private weapon ownership as many try to make us believe, but the common sense behind why it won't will never be accepted by those who chicken-little any act they believe is an infringement to gun ownership.


stvsngltn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sure you meant to write "the gentleman I purchased it FROM", not "purchased it FOR", Tom ... As that might be considered a straw purchase. :) BTW, I personally would not sell a handgun to anyone who couldn't show me a current Concealed Pistol License ... I just don't want to see another intrusive firearms law enacted that will NOT keep guns out of the hands of criminals.


stvsngltn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

BTW, regarding registration of firearms .... I will never forget how California enacted law that all SKS rifles with detachable magazines must be registered to be legal ... then later passed a law making those rifles illegal ... felony if not turned in, destroyed or removed from the state with documentation. Reminds one of what just happened in New York. If anyone believes the myth that registration may well lead to future criminalization, he or she is naive.


PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I assume you're talking about the SCI show last year. The reason the individual who sold you the Mossberg only needed to glance at your license is that he only needed see that you had a Washington license. He wasn't breaking any rules.

If you'd been a felon and wanted to buy a gun, you would probably have gotten a better and safer deal from one of your former prison buddies; why would you go to a gun show, heavily populated by law enforcement types? Or you could do as so many felons do, and send a friend in to a gun dealer or gun show to buy one for you (a straw purchase, already illegal, and totally unaffected by this initiative).


barracuda 11 months, 3 weeks ago

in reference to tpeacock.

If I understand the premise of your reply letter correctly.... during your purchase of a firearm, the seller ask to see your ID. When you presented it, he stated that he just wanted to know you have it, and not needing to see it, am I correct so far?

Ok, fast forward (if this bill pass) .... How would it have helped in this instance? OK, so by law, he ALREADY is required to do more investigation........... So he already made a illegal transaction, which is already punishable. With more laws on the books, how is the future going to differ?

It just seems that new laws are not going after the problem gun owners........ these types of laws are just a way for some people to pat themselves on the backs and say, WOW look at how good we are now! And yet the crazies will still go on acquiring guns and knives to do evil that commonly done.

With all this new law talk.... no one is explaining how they plan to control the real issue... controlling the guns and the criminals.


PearlY 11 months, 3 weeks ago


I echo your suggestion: Get the facts.

This initiative doesn't only criminalize SALES without background checks, it criminalizes all TRANSFERS without background checks.

If my gun safe jams and I'm going out of town and want to secure my guns, and I ask my next-door neighbor of 30 years to store my guns in his safe for the week, do you believe I should go to jail, and lose my right to possess my guns, possibly for life? Should he have to do a background check on me before giving them back? And how much will each of those transactions cost us?

When I saw that a friend was dangerously depressed and possibly suicidal, do you think we should have both gone to jail because I insisted he turn his gun over to me?

Do you want me to go to jail because I make a gift of my father's old rifle to his old army buddy? Do you want his old army buddy in jail too?

Do you want me and my son to go to jail because I give him his grandfather's rifle in exchange for him cleaning out the garage as he's promised to do so many times? That's not a "bona-fide gift" as required by the law allowing transfers between immediate family members.

Do you know how much a background check will cost, or how long it will take? I know it cost $60 and took three weeks when I got my concealed carry permit. Is that a reasonable cost and delay to impose in the situations I've described above? Unlike gun dealers, private citizens don't have access to instant background checks; we'll have to pay for those services, possibly time and time again if we lend guns among our family and friends.

And do you believe for one minute that some gang-banger is going to get a background check before passing along his illegally possessed gun to his gang's new initiate? This law will do absolutely nothing to accomplish that.

Your heart is in the right place, but your judgment is not.


Cowboy01 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This doesn’t do anything to the criminal that is going to get a gun anyway, it won’t slow them down and will not halt there crime spree’s. This is a burden on the law abiding citizens, like always lets punish them “the citizens” and take more of their money. You are an idiot in my opinion if you vote for this crap. Look at the facts on how criminals get guns to begin with, do you think they go to the stores and buy them? No they break into your house and steal them. So why do the retarded criminals not get punished but the law abiding citizen do? Because the law abiding citizen has the money to pay the government for their BS laws that have no effect on the criminals. For all you anti-gun sitting targets, go put a sign in your front yard and stand up proud that you can’t and won’t protect yourself, no? Why not? Think about it after you give birth to your head!!


grumpyoldman308 4 months, 1 week ago

I've read the full text of I-594, several times. I've also thought through many of the consequences.

Consider a widower and son who live in the same house. When one of them is traveling, I-594 would dictate they transfer their firearms, paying a fee for each one. Should any of the firearms be handguns, there will have to be a waiting period. When the traveler returns, they get to pay another set of fees and incur yet another waiting period.

You might think this is a contrived example. However, I actually know people in this situation. The transfer fees for several firearms and the doubled waiting periods are a clear example of the undue burden that I-594 places on law abiding citizens.

There are many other examples: The daughter house-sitting at a rural location who needs to borrow a shotgun. The abused wife who needs a means of defense now, not in 10 days.

Several of the exceptions included in I-594 are largely worthless. The exception for hunting is notworthy. It only allows a firearm to be loaned "while hunting" and only "where hunting is legally allowed". This means that the father mentioned above can loan his son a rifle for hunting if the son does not need to drive on or cross over any roadways (it is illegal to hunt from the road). The loan could only be a day at a time during shooting hours as it is illegal to hunt at night. I don't even want to get into what happens if the son wants to borrow a rifle to hunt in Wyoming.

I-594 is a terrible law. I believe it is sinister, in that it increases the cost and the (legal) risk gun ownership. When gun ownership has dwindled until there are only a few die-hards left, it would then be easy to ban firearms entirely. Beyond that I-594 is, in a word, stupid. It is poorly written and logically indefensible. I look forward to seeing it fail in court. That, my friends is the only negotiating that interests me.


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