Letters to the Editor

Backs I-591 to protect gun owners’ rights

Initiatives 591 and 594 are important issues on the November ballot. Please understand them before voting. I support I-591 and oppose I-594.

I believe that I-591 requires Washington gun background checks to mirror federal law, and prohibits gun confiscation without due process. This would prohibit what I see as irrational excess such as in I-594, while protecting public safety, privacy and property rights.

I-594 is touted as improving public safety, but would not keep firearms from those who should not have them. Criminals ignore laws. But I-594 would place complex background check requirements on all firearm “transfers” including those that related to hunting, recreational shooting, firearms instruction, gun maintenance, gifts and inheritance in addition to actual sales. I believe it would make criminals out of law-abiding citizens who innocently fail to comply. It would require a huge new bureaucracy, great public and private expense, and stress our already overburdened law enforcement system. I-594 contains many hidden traps, pitfalls and penalties aimed at restricting freedoms now enjoyed by law-abiding citizens. We cannot afford to pass it to find out what’s in it!

Major law-enforcement organizations, including the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, support I-591 and oppose I-594. I hope all thoughtful voters will follow their advice and do the same.

Warren B. Howe, M.D.