LETTER: ‘Another reader writes that I-1639 will keep children safe…’

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Another reader writes that I-1639 will keep children safe. Let’s leave aside the illogic that by making people who follow the law follow more laws that children will somehow be safe from people who don’t follow laws.

I am a left leaning centrist who believes that owning a firearm necessarily comes with more responsibilities than owning other property, and I share the frustration and anger that comes with seeing innocents gunned down by teen gangsters and psychopaths, but I-1639 is a very poorly written and dangerous attempt at solving those issues.

I-1639 does more than just raise the age to buy an AR-15 to 21 and make rifle buyers submit to a background check, despite what people were told when they signed it.

I-1639 reclassifies ALL rifles that are self-loading as “semiautomatic assault rifles.” That means that not only the AR-15, but my Great Grandfather’s Browning .22 caliber squirrel gun manufactured in the early 1930’s and the 10/22 that so many people use for marksmanship training and can plinking are suddenly “semiautomatic assault rifles.”

It also requires “safe storage” with no stated means of enforcement. Is the Sheriff’s Department allowed to demand to see proof of proper storage? Is an individual punished after their house is broken in to, and if so, how is it proved that the firearm wasn’t stored “properly”? Isn’t my locked house the very definition of a safely locked container?

Additionally, I-1639 requires that anyone who wants to buy one of those now reclassified .22 plinkers must sign a “waiver of confidentiality” (their words) and doctors and hospitals are required to share your medical history with some bureaucratic entity. Say goodbye to your Doctor/patient confidentiality. Say goodbye to the privacy of your medical records.

These are only a few of the issues with I-1639. I urge everyone to actually read the document and vote this terrible piece of legislation down.

Collectively, we must do something to reduce violence in our communities, but I-1639 is not the answer.

– Austin Smart

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