West Richland Store Owner Refuses to Follow New Gun Law – For Now
Matt Cieslar, the owner of Talos Tactical in West Richland professes not to be edgy when he says he will not follow the new gun law passed by voters in November.
Voters approved Initiative 1639, with 59% of the vote, setting new age restrictions on semi-automatic rifles.
Cieslar says he's following the letter of the law, and the law, as written, does not have to be fully complied with until July 1.
Furthermore, if he follows the law, as the law is currently written, his business itself could be the subject of a lawsuit.
The law states it is illegal for gun store owners to sell "semi-automatic assault rifles" to anyone under 21. But that's the only section of the law that went into effect on the 1st of January. The rest of the law that includes punishment for unsecured guns and background checks changes won't start until July 1st.
Cieslar says he's fully aware of what the law intends, but intention is not good enough. He believes the term "assault rifle" remains undefined by Washington state law. Cieslar says he will not stop selling his 18-20 year-old customers anything.
A spokesperson for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility said gun owners who claim confusion and having to face potential lawsuits are being a bit disingenuous and just looking for loopholes.
Enforcement of the law across the state, including gun store compliance, falls on local police chiefs and according to the Tri-City Herald, two local police agencies (Richland and West Richland) will not be enforcing the law until July and other police chiefs around the state have privately admitted they are of the same opinion as wait-and-see.