The Battle Ground City Council has taken a position on Initiative 1639, deferring to the courts on the constitutionality of the gun control measure.

Battle Ground Mayor Mike Dalesandro read an official statement from the council during its May 6 meeting, preceding testimony by several community members both against and in support of I-1639.

The initiative, passed by Washington state voters last November, imposes restrictions on ownership of semi-automatic rifles ranging from age of purchase, interstate sales, mandating safety classes for purchases and regarding storage and liability on those firearms if used to commit a crime.

Battle Ground’s statement acknowledged the “extensive outreach to all members of the City Council” since the initiative was voted in, noting that the feedback involved “a plethora of different perspectives” in support or against the law. Gun rights activists have pushed for the city to approve an ordinance that would have the city be a “sanctuary” for what I-1639 opponents say are rights enshrined in the U.S. and Washington state constitutions.

The city, however, deferred to the separation of powers detailed in both constitutions, “which requires the constitutionality of a state law to be determined through the judicial branch of the government, not this local legislative body.”

Currently, the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have a lawsuit in federal court challenging the initiative, though there has yet to be a ruling on the case.

“We continue to encourage all citizens to participate in their government and to bring forth their voice to be heard on issues that are of importance to them,” the statement ended.

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(2) comments

Barry Hirsh

“...which requires the constitutionality of a state law to be determined through the judicial branch of the government."f

The Constitution delegates no such authority in Article III. The SCOTUS usurped that power unto itself in Marbury v. Madison, and a detached citizenry did not become alarmed by it, hence it became accepted precedent.

THERE IS NO DELEGATED AUTHORITY EXTENDED TO ANY BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT TO ULTIMATELY 'DECIDE' WHAT IS CONSTITUTIONAL AND WHAT IS NOT.

It is incumbent on all branches to obey the Constitution, AS WRITTEN.

Icare4Clarkcounty

"The initiative, passed by Washington state voters last November, imposes restrictions on ownership of semi-automatic rifles ranging from age of purchase, interstate sales, mandating safety classes for purchases and regarding storage and liability on those firearms if used to commit a crime."................................................This is sound ownership and purchase management..................................................It keeps the purchases local, rather than worldwide, prevents the potential for school age and slightly above from purchasing, rather than using for hunting, a hunting-type rifle, adds hunting education classes, rather than banning purchases on semi-automatic non-hunting assault rifles, and places direct responsibility squarely on the shoulders of those who choose to own them...................................................................Some of us would like to go a lot further in total restrictions on any weapon not specifically designed to use in the sport of hunting, in a perfect world.

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