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Judge tosses signatures on gun control initiative; Supporters file notice of appeal

A Thurston County judge has thrown out more than 300,000 signatures to put a gun-control initiative on the November ballot. (Photo: KOMO News file)

SEATTLE (AP) - A Thurston County judge has thrown out more than 300,000 signatures to put a gun-control initiative on the November ballot.

Superior Court Judge James Dixon said the signature petitions for Initiative 1639 did not "comport" with state law. He ordered the secretary of state's office to stop certification of the ballot measure.

The National Rifle Association and Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation had filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Kim Wyman, claiming the petitions didn't follow the law by clearly identifying what would change in the statute.

They also said the font was too small to be readable.

Amanda Turner with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was surprised by the court ruling.

"They know Washington supports safer communities and safer schools," she told KOMO News. "Because they can't change hearts and minds of Washingtonians, they are going through the court system are and nitpick things apart because that's the only way they can win."

Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, agreed with the judge's decision and said the initiative was flawed.

"We all want to end gun violence. We all want to end shooting deaths. But you don't do it by taking away law-abiding citizens' rights and restricting things that aren't going to solve the problems," he said.

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility has filed a notice of appeal with the Washington Supreme Court.

The measure would raise the age for the purchase of a semi-automatic rifle to 21 and require a more extensive background checks for handgun purchases.


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