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Answering All Your Questions on Initiative 1639


attorney general, bob ferguson, wa state's attorneyThe below is a re-post from the Washington Attorney General’s Office:

In November 2018, Washingtonians overwhelmingly adopted Initiative 1639, which made a number of changes to Washington’s firearms laws. The FAQs provided here answer questions that have come to our attention regarding this important public safety measure.


For more specific answers and clarification about how the provisions of Initiative 1639 might apply to you and your specific situation, you are encouraged to consult the law itself and/or legal counsel. The text of Initiative 1639 can be found here. The language of the initiative has been codified in Washington law in several sections of Chapter 9.41 RCW. If you do not know an attorney in your area, you may be able to find help through the Washington State Bar Association here.

  1. When do the provisions of Initiative 1639 take effect?
  2. Do I still need to comply with the requirements of Initiative 1639 even though there’s a lawsuit challenging the law?
  3. Can my police chief or county sheriff refuse to administer enhanced background checks under Initiative 1639?
  4. Do sheriffs and police chiefs have discretion on how to prioritize their resources?
  5. What are the new requirements for background checks for the purchase or transfer of semiautomatic assault rifles?
  6. Does Initiative 1639 require that I keep my firearm in secure storage?
  7. Does Initiative 1639 require law enforcement to come to my house to make sure I’m storing my firearm properly?
  8. Does Initiative 1639 make me liable if my firearm is stolen and used in a crime?
  9. What is secure storage?
  10. Does Initiative 1639 require firearms safety training?
  11. Does Initiative 1639 require firearms dealers to offer patrons secure gun storage?
  12. What safe storage warnings does Initiative 1639 require firearms dealers give to patrons?
  13. What are the new requirements for purchasing, selling or transferring a semiautomatic assault rifle?
  14. What information must be provided to the dealer by a potential purchaser in the application for purchasing or transferring a semiautomatic assault rifle?
  15. Do Washington’s background check requirements violate privacy protections for firearms purchasers’ medical information such as HIPAA?
  16. What is the role of the Attorney General’s Office with regard to Initiative 1639?

The above is an aggregated post from the Attorney General’s office.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents. 

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