Washington

Gun retailers find 'loophole' in new WA gun laws

Parts of I-1639 aren't yet in effect, including semi-automatic rifle definition

SEATTLE, Wash. (KOIN) -- The controversial new gun reform bill recently passed in Washington state may have a loophole. 

Initiative 1639 requires secure gun storage and enhanced background checks. It also bars anyone under the age of 21 from buying a semi-automatic rifle. 

But what exactly a semi-automatic rifle is is another matter. 

Tiffany Teasdale works at a firearm retailer called Lynnwood Gun just north of Seattle. She said that some parts of I-1639 have already gone into effect, but the definition of a semi-automatic rifle won't go into effect until July 1 so she'll continue selling to those 18 and older. 

"To me, it's clear as day that an 18, 20-year-old can technically buy, purchase a semi-auto rifle because those aren't semi auto rifles until July 1st," said Teasdale. 

Teasdale said this delay makes her job difficult. She said she doesn't want to be accused of age discrimination by not selling to someone under 21. 

"We want to make sure we have all our ducks in a row," she said. 

Teasdale said she reached out to the Washington attorney general for clarification but hadn't heard back. 

Meanwhile, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility released the following statement: 

"It is no mystery which gun sales are affected by the change in purchase age included in the initiative, regardless of the effective date of the definition of semi-automatic assault rifle. Defying the law is a disingenuous attempt to thwart the will of the people and undermine the rule of law in our state." 
 


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