A Washington state museum director will return all loaned WWII weaponry on display in order to comply with the state’s controversial and newly-approved Initiative 594, covering the sales and loans of firearms.
Bad law makes for bad results. I-594, approved by the voters at the Nov. 4 election, requires that any person who purchases or borrows a weapon–whether through a licensed dealer or by private transaction–submit to a background check.
The only exceptions are transactions between family members and the transfer of antique weapons.
The Lynden Pioneer Museum currently has 11 WWII-era borrowed weapons on display, and its director said he will now have to return them to their owners, according to The Columbian.
“I read through the law about 10 different times looking for a loophole,” Director Troy Luginbill told the paper, which reported:
The exhibit, “Over the Beach: The WWII Pacific Theater,” which includes vehicles, radios, photographs and journals, as well as guns, will continue until May 1 as scheduled.
On Facebook, the museum encouraged people to visit before Dec. 3 to see the “very rare and unique firearms” on display. The museum is at 217 Front St.
The weapons in the exhibit include an anti-tank rifle, a rare Johnson M1941 used in the war by a Marine paratrooper, and a Japanese infantry rifle used by a U.S. Navy man, Luginbill said.
“The museum will be returning these guns to their owners because as of Dec 4th, we would be in violation of the law if we had loaned firearms that had not undergone the background check procedure.” the museum posted on its Facebook page.
The museum’s attorney told Luginbill he could either adhere to the law or challenge it.
“We have elected to comply with the law as we understand it,” the director said. “The ideal situation would be if someone comes along from the state and says, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ If that happens before May 1, we can put the guns back on display.”
Washington’s Second Amendment advocates and gun enthusiasts have decided to challenge the law with a “felony civil disobedience” demonstration, set for when the law goes into effect, according to Bearing Arms, which reported:
A mass protest will take place once the law is certified, daring authorities to enforce the law as more than 5,600 gun owners have pledged to pass firearms to one another in a mass demonstration to show the absurdity of the law, which now classifies such hand-offs as felony gun crimes.
Activist Gavin Seim produced the following video, “Arrest me! I will not comply!” that explains both the initiative and the coming demonstration.