I-1639 confusion leading gun seller to consider loophole

LYNNWOOD, Wash. – To some it appears there may be a loophole in Washington's restrictive new gun law.

At least one local gun store owner says she will sell long guns to those under the age of 21 – and she claims she’s following the law to the letter.

At issue – exactly what kind of firearms are defined as “semi-automatic rifles” and when specific portions of I-1639 become law.

“This firearm isn’t assaulting anybody right now, it’s sitting here,” said Lynnwood Gun owner Tiffany Teasdale. “It’s not jumping of the table, it’s not loading itself, it’s not running down the street and deciding to assault anybody.”

Teasdale says she’s trying to make sure she’s following the law when it comes to Washington’s new, more strict gun control measures found in I-1639.

“Whoever wrote this made a mistake,” she said.

Beginning Tuesday, sales of semi-auto rifles in our state to anyone under the age of 21 was barred thanks to I-1639. But all the other portions of the initiative won’t go into effect until July – including language that defines a ‘semi-automatic rifle.’

“To me it’s clear as day that an 18-20-year-old can buy a semi auto rifle because these aren’t semi auto rifles until July,” said Teasdale.

She also worries if she refuses to sell a long gun to anyone under 21, she will be breaking the law by discriminating by age.

“What we have right now is a holding pattern,” she said. “We’re not quite sure we can hand them a firearm, but we want to make sure we have all our ducks in a row.”

Teasdale says she’s asked the state attorney general to offer guidance but hasn’t yet heard back.

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility worries Teasdale and others aren’t following the spirit of I-1639. The group shared a statement with Q13 News that reads in part:

“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.”

Meanwhile Teasdale insists she is no activist, she’s only trying to follow the law.

“I’m no attorney, I’m not claiming to be one,” she said. “I’m reading this exactly as it’s written.”