Supreme Court clears way for Washington gun measure

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s Supreme Court has cleared the way for a gun-control initiative to appear on the November ballot.

The court late Friday afternoon reversed a judge’s decision earlier this month that threw out more than 300,000 signatures used to qualify Initiative 1639, saying the petition format did not follow election law.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon had said the signature petitions did not clearly identify what would change in the law and the font was too small to be readable. He ordered the secretary of state to stop certification of the measure.

But the Supreme Court ruling, written by Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst, said the secretary of state is not required to block a measure based on the readability and formatting of the proposed measure’s text.

I-1639 would raise the age for the purchase of a semi-automatic rifle to 21. It would also expand the background checks for the purchase of these rifles.