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Lawsuit Hopes To Change Gun Transfer Language In New Law

File photo of a hand gun.
Flickr Photo/Zorin Denu (CC-BY-NC-ND)
File photo.

Opponents of the new measure that expands gun background checks in Washington have filed suit against it.

They're asking a federal judge to block parts of Initiative 594 that involve transfers of guns. That initiative was approved by voters in November.

The challenge is to parts of the measure that deal with non-commercial transfers to private citizens.

“There are a lot of concerns that the term ‘transfers’ may be over reaching. It’s very confusing, so I guess the question is about whether this is constitutionally vague,” said Dave Workman, a senior editor at

Opponents say they are not trying to stop background checks, but that the language that requires checks for many gifts and loans goes too far and infringes on people's constitutional rights.

The measure has exceptions for emergency gun transfers concerning personal safety, gifts between family members, antiques and loans for hunting.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is named as a defendant. He said in a statement that he looks forward to vigorously defending the will of the voters and upholding Initiative 594.

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