A petition to abolish Washington's gun reform Initiative 1639 did not receive enough signatures for a response from the White House.
Jered Gavin Bonneau, a Republican former U.S. congressional candidate who ran against Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Washington’s fifth district, created the petition on Nov. 13 to abolish what he called the "unlawful, unjust, and unconstitutional" initiative.
The petition reads:
The great state of Washington, through fraudulent petitioning and tricky wording, has placed on the ballot and passed I-1639; one of the strictest anti-gun laws in our country. We The People therefor ask that our great President and our public servants, step in and abolish such laws restricting, infringing upon and/or otherwise limiting our right, that has been guaranteed to us within the 2nd amendment of the Bill of Rights, and further protected and solidified through centuries of bloodshed and legal proceedings.
We The People humbly and gracefully plead for your helping hand Mr. President. Please put an end to the destruction of our freedoms and liberties by protecting our second amendment rights; here in Washington state and throughout the states of our great country.
The petition was posted to the federal website Whitehouse.gov. It needed 100,000 signatures to receive a response from the White House. Since the petition received only 41,088 signatures, it has been archived and can no longer be signed.
Bonneau tweeted about the petition in November. He wrote, “I have created a petition to the White House, aimed at safe guarding our second amendment. Please sign and share. Thank you.”
Bonneau also tagged President Donald Trump in that tweet.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Washington voters passed the initiative that caused concern among some gun owners.
Hundreds of comments were posted to the KREM 2 Facebook page following the result. Many people expressed discontent with Initiative 1639.
A total of 13 counties in Washington approved the most sweeping piece of gun safety legislation put before voters in recent history, including Spokane and Whitman counties. The initiative passed with 60 percent of the vote in the state.
In Spokane County, the new legislation barely passed with 51 percent of the vote. Just to the north in Stevens County, 72 percent of voters rejected it. King County pass it with 77 percent of the vote.
Under the initiative, anyone who wants to buy a semi-automatic rifle must take a safety training course, pass an enhanced background check and wait ten business days. This is in line with the checks for handguns in the state.
The law also raised the age to buy these types of weapons. The legal age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle will be 21. People ages 18 to 21 can have one, however, in their home or place of business.
People voiced concern about the "Secure Gun Storage" section of the initiative. It states a gun owner can be criminally responsible if their gun gets into the wrong hands and a crime is committed with it. The initiative said they could face a misdemeanor or even a felony charge of “community endangerment due to unsafe storage.” That is, if a gun was not stored in a way to keep what the law calls a "prohibited person" from getting to it. A prohibited person is defined as anyone who is not legally allowed to have a gun, a child or felon for example.
There are situations, however, where the new regulations will not apply.
You can find a full explanation of I-1639 on KREM.com.
Bonneau identifies as a “Constitutional Conservative” on his Twitter page. As someone who was formerly homeless, he announced his support for mental healthcare and homeless issues during his candidacy.
In April, Bonneau hosted an event called “Shooting with the Candidate,” at a shooting area near Fishtrap, Washington.
When asked about the inspiration for an event like this, Bonneau said, “I love our country, love our Constitution and love exercising our rights. I own firearms and enjoy shooting at the range with family and friends, and thought, ‘What a great way to have a blast and meet people.’”