Washington voters last week approved a sweeping package of gun regulations, the latest in a handful of firearms-related initiatives in recent years.
I-1639 raises the legal age to buy any semi-automatic rifle to 21, from 18. People wanting one also must pass an enhanced background check, show proof they have taken a firearms-training course and wait 10 business days before they take possession of the weapon.
The initiative defines a semi-automatic rifle as one that uses energy from firing a cartridge to chamber the next round and requires “a separate pull of the trigger” to fire each bullet. Long guns that use manual operations — such as pumps, slides, levers or bolts — to chamber a round would still be available for people to buy at age 18. (You currently must be 21 to buy a handgun in Washington.)
The initiative allows the state to require firearms dealers to charge up to $25 to purchasers of a semi-automatic rifle to offset the costs of complying with the regulations. That fee could go up over time.