BELLEVUE, Wash. — A sign outside Wade’s Eastside Gun Shop reads “Don’t let them win! Buy more guns.”
The sign was posted on July 1 in protest of Washington’s new gun laws.
“That law has changed people’s buying behavior,” said Wade Gaughran, owner of Wade’s Eastside Gun Shop.
Gaughran said before the new laws went into effect there was a rush of people purchasing firearms. After July 1, things slowed down.
He said, ‘Buy more guns!’ has been his business tag-line for nearly 25 years. The phrase is printed on every receipt.
“I’m in business to sell guns and the more guns people buy, the better for me,” said Gaughran.
The sign’s first line, ‘Don’t let them win!’ is a response to Washington’s new gun laws. Initiative-1639 took effect July 1. The measure was passed in 2018 with more than 60 percent of the vote.
The initiative made changes to Washington gun laws, which are now considered some of the strictest in the nation by requiring enhanced background checks and setting new standards for firearm storage.
Gaughran feels the changes are difficult to understand.
“The state is giving us zero help. When we call the [Attorney General’s Office] to either guess or hire our own attorney. So, every gun shop is supposed to interpret this on their own,” said Gaughran.
We reached out to the Attorney General’s Office who said when businesses ask them questions, the office says it’s prohibited by law to give legal advice and sends this response:
The Attorney General's Office is prohibited under state law from providing direct legal advice or representation to individuals or business owners. Your questions are best directed to private legal counsel for clarification about how Washington's firearms law might apply to your specific situation.
The Attorney General's Office also has more resources on its website for business owners.