BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today warned sponsors of anti-gun Initiative 1639 via a demand letter that their campaign “is utilizing unreadable petitions in violation” of state law, and demanded that this be corrected to “conform to the legal requirements.”
Olympia attorney Shawn Newman, writing on behalf of the two Bellevue-based organizations, noted, “The petitions for I-1639 have the proposed measure printed on the back of the sheets in such fine print as to be unreadable… Use of fine print is unconscionable.”
State law mandates that initiative petitions “have a readable, full, true, and correct copy of the proposed measure printed on the reverse side of the petition,” Newman’s letter warns.
“In the short time that I-1639 petitions have been in circulation,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “SAF and CCRKBA have been contacted by several people who could not read the initiative language. I’ve always been warned to read the small print before signing anything. I-1639, as it appears on the back of each petition, is all small print. That should tell voters something about its content.”
According to Newman’s letter, “Obviously, due to the microscopic maze of fine print used by the initiative sponsors to disguise the actual language of the initiative on the back of their petitions, voters cannot be fully informed.” He cautioned I-1639 sponsors that having their paid signature gatherers tell voters to “read it online” is “no substitute for following the law.” Newman suggested reprinting the petitions, and contact voters who have already signed to allow them the opportunity to sign a readable copy of the measure.
“We would prefer that you become compliant with the law,” Newman wrote, “but if you choose to continue in this illegal manner, we will be forced to litigate this matter.”
Copies of the letter were sent to Secretary of State’s office, the Washington State Attorney General, and “many other interested parties to ensure that everyone has been notified of the fundamental problem with your petitions.”