2A Supporters Want to Divide Washington Into Two States Over Gun Control Laws
courtesy kiro7.com
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The passage of I-1639 in Washington was a gun rights earthquake. The controversial ballot initiative which was approved by voters in November was pushed over the line by millions of dollars of billionaires’ cash.

The new law increased the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21, imposed a 10-day waiting period on all purchases, and mandates “enhanced background checks,” training and “safe storage” requirements for all gun buyers. And over a dozen of the state’s county sheriffs have pledged not to enforce it.

Now, in response to the domination of Washington’s politics by the western half fo the state, a group of gun rights supporters are proposing to break the state in two, creating a new state (which would be called Liberty) out of the counties that lie east of the Cascade Mountains.

A small group of supporters — about 50 from the news report video — held a small rally in the capitol rotunda on Friday.

From kiro7.com:

Their leader is Spokane-area Republican Rep. Matt Shea, He spoke from the prospective new state’s flag featuring the outstretched wings of an osprey.

“I am not going to sit in a state that is going to try to take away our firearms either by regulation, by cost or by confiscation. Are you?” The crowd responded with a loud “no.”

Shea is known his support of rural ranchers defying federal regulations and for calling journalists “godless.”

Asked if the First Amendment would be respected in the new state, he responded, “The First Amendment is absolutely critical, especially religious freedom. The right of conscience in the Washington constitution, perfect toleration of religious sentiment and a lot of people are feeling right now that their right of conscience are being violated right now in Washington state.”

While it made for some good press and a few nice sound bites on the evening news, the rally was an underwhelming event based on video coverage.

courtesy kiro7.com

Breaking up a state is a heavy legal lift. There have been a number of proposals to do that in California. And how many downstate Illinois residents would dearly love to de-couple themselves from the Chicago-dominated northern part of the state? Or dissolve the whole thing altogether?

There are a couple of more realistic options for those in Eastern Washington that might undo the damage that 1639 has done to their rights. Both of which involve the courts. The ballot measure, which was thrown out by lower courts, was allowed to go before the voters anyway by the state’s supreme court was always ripe for a legal challenge. Once it passed, a number of gun rights orgs filed suit to overturn it.

And then there’s the New York Rifle & Pistol Association case that’s currently before the US Supreme Court. If the Court rules that restrictions on Second Amendment rights have to to pass a strict scrutiny test, that could ultimately un-do much of 1639’s damage.

But that will take years. In the mean time, dreams of divvying Washington up into a liberal coastal state and a gun rights-respecting eastern state are just that…dreams. Elections have consequences and Washingtonians are going to have to deal with those consequences for years to come.


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  1. Just proves that ballot initiatives are a very bad idea. With enough advertising you can get people to believe anything. And the elected officials are shielded from the consequences of the vote.

    • No; initiatives to the people are a GOOD idea. I trust the people WAY MORE than the politicians. The REAL problem is most citizens can’t be bothered to get off of their collective fat azzes to bother to REGISTER to vote, much less cast a ballot. By the way, ‘advertising’ does not vote.

      • While I agree with the principle o ballot I oatives, this was a mess from the get go. It’s 30 pages long, for starters, guaranteeing that virtually no one read the thing before signing it on their way in to Trader Joe’s. It was also presented to voters improperly, and was misrepresented by signature gatherers on site.

        1639 should never have seen the light of day, and it completely undermined confidence in the Iniative process.

        • I worked for the WA. Secretary of state up until a year ago in the elections division, and the SOS really wiped out on this. She had the power to stop that ballot, and make them do it correctly. She is a Republican, husband an ex Ranger, so I thought for sure she would. She didn’t do a thing. She said she would let the courts figure it out. A true politician. Lost all respect for her after that.
          Last I heard she is dying of cancer. If she beats it or not, either way her career is pretty much over.

      • Bollocks. Direct Democracy is a complete affront to a Republican system of government and the equivalent of whipping ones ass with the BOR.

      • Sorry, they don’t get used the “right way.”

        Most often, at least here in WA, they are used for the majority to either take rights or take money from a minority group e.g. gun enthusiasts or high earners.

  2. WA I-1639 defined ALL semiautomatic rifles regardless of caliber, features or capacity as “assault rifles.” Under WA I-1639, all semiautomatic .22 LR rimfires with straight wood stocks and tubular magazines in any capacity are now “assault rifles” making them illegal for purchase by 18-20 year olds. Marlin model 60 and Ruger 10/22s are now “assault rifles” in WA. The WA state legislature in 2019 is now considering bills that will ban all newly defined “assault rifles” without grandfathering. There are multiple anti-2A bills in committee at this time with a range of infringements and impairments targeting the RKBA of law abiding citizens in WA.

    • It went so far that it should be fairly easy to get overturned, and those haven’t worked their way through the courts yet. Splitting the state is pointless. A Pelosi House isn’t going to vote to admit a new conservative state. Some rural Coloradans tried the same thing after the Bloomberg backed mag limits and end of private transfers.

      • On the other hand if they wanted the Eastern counties of Washington to become part of Idaho it wouldn’t need the House’s approval because it wouldn’t create a new state.

        • “On the other hand if they wanted the Eastern counties of Washington to become part of Idaho it wouldn’t need the House’s approval because it wouldn’t create a new state.”

          An interesting constitutional proposition for discussion.

          As background, the US House of Representatives does not approve statehood for Names, but territory. Thus, Idaho was granted statehood based on defined boundaries. Is there an effective difference between Idaho declaring, we just extended our boundaries to include land we wanted for our own purposes (and Montana can suck a big one) and declaring Idaho extended their boundaries because people in another state want to be called Idahoans?

    • And that is the real poison of 1639. It is paving the way to use the same easily manipulated gun fear to get all semiautos banned by cramming them all under the same umbrella.

      A year from now there will be a ballot Iniative to “ban semiautomatic assault rifles” and it will work because of the scary words, and say goodbye to teaching your kid to plink cans with their first 10/22.

      It’s evil. And I don’t use that word often, or lightly.

  3. Great idea, but not a snowball’s chance in hell of happening. Not only that, but Spokane area is getting further and further left as the years pass. If you look at the stats, Spokane County actually voted in favor of 1639. It barely passed in Spokane County, but give it a few years and the percentage of liberals will grow.

    • I’d like to see the same thing in Florida. Separate the panhandle from the peninsula. In the meantime, I predict M-1s, ’03s, Mausers, etc. will begin to command even more of a premium than they already do. On the plus side, those are real rifles. You can butt stroke someone without breaking them. The effective range is just a teny, tiny bit further too.

    • Very true – you can only run and hide for so long. With all the server farms springing up in Moses Lake, attracting liberal techies, plus the growth in Spokane, it doesn’t take long for liberal populations to outnumber the dispersed ranchers, etc. in a primarily rural area.

      I still have hopes of bailing on the Seattle area and moving to Idaho – but with the influx of blue voters to Boise and the rich liberal holdings in all of the resort towns, I wonder how long Idaho can hold onto its Red status?

      At least if the State of Liberty were to happen, the new folks in charge can make sure that abomination of the voter initiative isn’t enabled.

      • “Simple solution for all of this, state electoral college.”

        The current national (constitutional) electoral college is under threat of legal alteration, without the need for a constitutional amendment. Not sure a state version would be more resilient.

      • i.e affirmative action for Republicans. Face the facts: the electoral college system as it exists today is such a poorly implemented idea that it only exists in one election in the entire world.

        • You need to do a little studying up on the Electoral College. It doesn’t give either Republicans or Democrats any advantage. What it essentially does is give smaller states with smaller populations a more equal representation in the Presidential elections versus larger, more populous states. It really is an ingenious solution to an extremely complicated problem. It’s complicated because no other nation in the world is or ever has been structured the way our country is. That’s why the Electoral College is used in only this country, and only for the Presidential election.

        • The current move to force electoral votes to be awarded to the winner of the popular vote in the presidential elections is something to watch.

          Currently, 48 of 50 states use a “winner take all” method of allocating electoral votes (which itself is a method not anticipated in the beginning…multiple candidates could get electoral votes). Under “winner take all”, whoever gets the majority of popular votes in a state is awarded all the electors (who may or may not be legally bound to vote thus). Which is how we get popular and electoral differential votes.

          Under the proposed plan, whoever gets the most popular votes in a presidential election is awarded all the electoral votes. The result is extra constitutional imposition of direct democracy for presidential elections. The constitution places selection of presidential electors in the hands of the states. Thus we could have a removal of the electoral college (if the electors are granted to the winner of the popular vote, the electoral college becomes useless) without the bother of changing the constitution.

          Converting presidential elections to direct democracy without constitutional amendment would be no different from all the twisting of the constitution by legislation we have seen for the last sixty or so years. The impact on POTG? The electoral college is a big deal. A pact to implement a nationwide gun ban could be accomplished by pressure from states to allow ballot measures to become a form of legislating on the national scene just as is done within states. The SC would be hard pressed to overturn such democratic moves, as such a compact would directly express “the will of the people”.

          I may have the details wrong, but ballot measures in the states are part of the “laboratory of democracy” originally identified as a proper exercise of states powers. A compact to use ballot measures against the national legislature could even be seen as a perverse form of convention of the states.

    • True regarding the Spokane vote BUT the duly elected sheriff of Spokane County is one of those who said he will NOT enforce what he believes are unconstitutional laws. The count is now up to 20 or 21 (depends on who you listen to) – out of 39 counties.

    • Yes but Spokane County doesn’t have the voter base needed to override all the other counties like the counties in the west side do the rest of the state. Yes 1639 passed here but just barely.

  4. These movements to create new states must harshly analyze their assumptions.

    In the case of Californication, each “new state” would be dominated by a strongly liberal major city (as in the majority of the voters in those cities still outnumber the non-liberals). In addition, those liberally-dominated “new states” would each get two new liberal US Senators. For Washington state, the control of Spokane would be critical.

    Then there is the matter of having a tax base that would sustain the “new states” in Californication and Washington. It is really no problem for people living in liberal cities to live where the taxes are low, and make the commute. I worked awhile in Walnut Creek and Long Beach. The commute times were insane for the folks I worked with, but worth it to those employees because “California has so much to offer”.

    For the future, the liberal locusts remain a threat for lower tax “new states”.

  5. That’s what the 2A is all about. As the old adage goes: “Use it or Lose it.” Dividing into two states will only result in Libs flooding into the new good state and taking it over…..ala Florida, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, etc. Liberalism/Socialism is a creeping perpetual disease.

    • That’s the purpose of making sure Liberty States Constitution is clear and concise.
      Our new state is not a pipe dream.
      We have virtually all the east side counties onboard and some of the west side counties are screaming to join.
      The ball is rolling.

      • I would go so far as to suggest that Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon and Northern Idaho secede and form one state. They have far more in common with each other than they do their respective “other half”. Western Washington and Western Oregon are already over-run by Californicators who fled the insanity of their state only to bring it with them to their new home. They are lost.
        Having said that, Spokane County, Whitman and Asotin are as left wing, progressive socialist as Seattle and will need to be “re-educated”.

  6. The only way to split your state is to form a state wide militia and split it by force. Courts and legislatures aren’t going to get anything done.

  7. . What a marvelous idea, you have to be 21 and wait ten days to purchase anything. Shoes, food, fingernail polish, fuel, lightbulbs, kitty litter,anything, it helps Americana save money on impulse purchases. Govarmit knows best

  8. Here’s the official website for the Liberty State movement: https://libertystate.org/

    Personally, I think it’s a great idea…that will never happen. There’s too much inertia and vested power in the current governmental racket. Even so, I’m supporting it to the fullest extent I’m able.

    • @ING – I fully and wholeheartedly agree with you. I pray for peaceful divorce, but know in my heart that’s not going to happen. This is going to come to violence. Government will never relinquish control once it’s been gained. Doesn’t matter if it’s left or right. Just two sides to the same coin.

      And if an economic collapse happens first, well then it’s just every man for himself I’m afraid.

    • Your government is a jealous boyfriend. You can try to break up with it, but it will come after you and kill you if you do.

  9. Take the left coast of Washington, Oregon and California and push them into the sea. I am so sick of the liberal mindset, it boggles the imagination what this country will be like in 100, 50 or even 20 years if we keep letting them get their way. True liberal progressive Marxist corkstuffers represent 30% of the population. Why do they keep getting the upper hand? Because we conservatives believe to be fair in our dealings with the opposition, they have no such reservations.

    • If you want to know what it will look like, look no further than England. A once great country taken over by muslims and mommy bloggers. Can’t have a knife in England. It was good for cavemen but not us today

      • We don’t mind if you want to immigrate to America. Some of your ancestors did 400 years ago to escape the crown. Just become a citizen, and don’t vote for the same crap you have now. Come to Texas.

        • I’ve read that that Arizona and Texas are becoming more liberal because the natives are changing. The immigrants from California are conservatives trying to escape an overbearing state government.

          The real divide in American politics is between urban and rural. Urban is liberal and rural is conservative. Unfortunately, the population balance is shifting toward urban because people leave rural areas to find jobs in urban areas.

        • @Kendal. Correct. The cites of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and weird Austin are but liberal havens they cluster together so support and the can not survive in rural environments. I live in probably one of the most conservative counties in the state of Texas but the infiltration of the liberal mindset is probably almost everywhere. We escaped New England for the bad politics and Looney toon behavior of its residents Texas is still like a different world compared to New England.

  10. I think city states are a better idea. Just create borders around the big cities and separate it from the rural areas and small towns. Then the cities can go crazy with whatever insane laws they want and are already passing. You need to include the commuter areas in that city state as they may contain a lot of commies and socialists. City people will be reluctant to move to the rural areas because they don’t have soy lattes and avocado toast outside of those city state borders. (I’m only half serious on this)

      • That assumes the folks living there can’t do for themselves. In a lot of cases I’d bet they’d be fine. Also, it’s not like these imagined city-states could just wall off the outsiders, unless they all wanted to starve.

      • Big city police show up to draw chalk lines around the victim’s body. Rural sheriffs show up draw chalk lines around the perpetrator’s body. Then they thank you.

  11. Wash. , Oregon’s, Calif, all run by ultra liberal Democrats, way too many years , last republican governor of California was a R I N O (Swartznegger-?)
    Like wash, ore, calif, all the liberals live in the I-5 corridor, they basically override the whole states voice, that’s where the colleges are located with nothing but liberal instructors pumping kids heads full of 💩, that’s why you get these (unconstitutional) laws from…!

  12. *Yawn* going nowhere.

    The same idea was floated in Colorado over our gun laws. It went nowhere, flamed out and now is barely a memory to it’s former supporters.

    • A slightly more realistic plan would be for the counties to join a more conservative state, such as eastern Washington joining Idaho, and Colorado counties joining Wyoming and Utah. Still not realistic since Colorado Front Range counties wouldn’t vote to give up the oil money they get from the rural counties that’ll pay for their ridiculous social policies.

      • It varies from state to state but in Colorado it was unrealistic because based on the way the state was formed and is governed since Article 1 on the Colorado Constitution very explicitly explains the boundaries of the state.

        The only real way to break away would be via an Article II, Section II dissolution of the State government. Otherwise an amendment would have to be made that would radically alter numerous portions of the State Constitution and which would require following Article XIV, Section III which prescribes local, county and state level agreements for each area that wished to break away and an agreement between those areas and the new areas to which they would be adjoined.

        It would be a complete and total fucking mess without invoking Art II, Sec II to just dissolve the state.

  13. Hey it sounds fun…as mentioned ILLinois is a prime candidate for an unamicable breakup. You got dufusses on FACEBOOK saying they’ll register their guns(!). Since I live in Cook County I’ll just move east. People aren’t onboard losing their hard won right’s…good luck Washington,NY,California,MD,Connecticutt,Oregonand mebbe Floriduh. And I know there’s more…😢

  14. One step more… combine coastal Washington and coastal Oregon into one state, and the inland portions into another. No net new states, but one free.

    • I’ve often thought that would be a good idea. I wonder if anyone is actually trying to make it happen?

      Given that each state’s legislature would have to agree and then Congress would have to agree to a separate proposal from each state, it would probably be even more difficult than a single-state split.

  15. Heller already said RKBA cases deserve strict scrutiny. It hasn’t been enforced agains the litany of villains who have openly defied it over the past decade. Unless this new case overwrites the weakness of Heller, nothing will change.

    • The Second Amendment says “shall not be infringed” and look how that’s working out.

      Frankly, I don’t see the solution as a government one. Rather, it will be in spite of government.

  16. Many of the good sheriffs on our east side of WA have stated they won’t enforce the law since it is not Constitutional. There are still a few god elected officials here that live by the oath they swore to.

  17. This is a horrible idea. I live in Hockinson, WA, a town absolutely filled with conservatives. We’re west of the Cascades. This split would likely put MOST of the conservatives in the state on the liberal half-state, simply because of the crazies in the Puget Sound area.

    I have a better idea, lets just cut off the Puget Sound, west of the Cascades foothills, and north of the southernmost part of Olympia.

  18. I’m on the east side of the state and Matt Shea is my representative. Yeah the turnout on the west for the rally was small, but that’s because the weather has been bad with heavy snows and we have those tall thing between the east and the west called the Cascade range. Many people wanted to go over, but running over to Olympia for a two hour meeting during inclement weather isn’t always a wise choice.
    I so not want be a Washington State resident any longer.


  19. One of my issues with all of these laws being passed by various states is that your constitutional rights vary from state to state, sometimes county to county even though we have only one constitution written by our founding fathers. It’s like the left has planted a bunch of banana republics in the U S . So what happened to this theoretical ” union ” that Osama bin Lincoln established ?

    • “So what happened to this theoretical ” union ” that Osama bin Lincoln established ?”

      It’s trotted out when it serves those in power and locked away out of sight all other times. That tyrant Lincoln knew exactly what he was doing.

  20. Good luck. You should be coming home to your wive’s and children’s severed heads in your mailbox before too long. We’ll kill every one of you MAGA chuds and grind your bones up to fertilize our collective farms. #YesAllMAGAChuds

  21. Speaking as a native Idahoan, who lived in Eastern Washington for 6 years, we’d gladly anex Eastern Washington into Idaho; except for Yakima County, Washington would have to keep Yakima County.

    Same goes for Eastern Oregon, Idaho would gladly take it as well. Adding all those conservative areas would seriously dilute the power of Ada County (Boise).

  22. I would gladly split Oregon as well, slice off the Eugene-Portland Axis and make Southern and Eastern Oregon the free state. Going further, take all those “sanctuary cities” that don’t want to follow federal law and free them by declaring them Bantustans with no representation in Congress, or state legislatures. Imagine the look on Kamala Harris’ face when her Senate seat is taken away.

  23. Our ANTIFA friend above is obviously a denizen of a densely populated area. I live in Maryland, where the Democrat liberals are clusetered into corridors like Rt. 95, which goes from the D.C. border through the middle of the state, through Baltimore, and then up toward New York. The majority of the Republicans, i.e., conservatives, live in the less densely populated Eastern Shore and mountainous Western Maryland. Since the majority of the people live along that Rt. 95 corridor, they send the majority of the legislators to Annapolis, so they are mainly liberal Democrats who never saw a restriction on firearms they didn’t like.

    There was a gentleman named Dr, John B. Calhoun, an ethnogist and social researcher, who did several studies with rats subjected to the stresses of overcrowding. At first the rat population doubled every 55 days, but the population began to dwindle as social order broke down and the researchers noted aberrent behavior such as expulsion of young before weaning was complete, wounding of young, inability of dominant males to maintain the defense of their territory and females, aggressive behavior of females, and passivity of non-dominant males with increased attacks on each other which were not defended against. The last viable rat pup was born on Day 615 of the study.

    I firmly believe that rats and humans are no different when it comes to the deleterious effects of overcrowding. Stuff humans cheek-to-jowl in cities or dense suburbs with Gawd-awful traffic and they go freakin’ crazy and social order breaks down. The humans subjected to these pressures go crazy and start electing Democrats who pass crazy laws to the consternation of the uncrowded Republicans in the rural reaches.

    That’s my theory and I have the science to back it up!

  24. Washington State (NY, CA, etc.): state government so good, they have to keep people in by force.

    I’m starting to think we’re getting close to a bunch of walls — facing in, like the old one in Berlin.

  25. What people are calling liberal influx is just the latest results of indoctrination, normalization, and social engineering. It’s the new norm that will exist after we older ones are gone. THIS is why incremental restoration of true individual liberty will not work. It requires a concerted, genuine, outright push from a generation to beat back tyranny. When a generation does not fight effectively and demand its rights, the gears slip and it is even more difficult for the next generation.

    You can move from state to state but you will never outrun it. It must be fought. There is no other way to remain free.

  26. I believe that attempting to create a new state is an insurmountable task. Oregon has tried to form two states practically forever without success.

    A much better route would be to follow the model that currently the nation uses for presidential/national elections; the Electoral Collage.

    Create an Electoral Collage for state elections. It’s common knowledge that the unemployed, welfare, illegal alien individuals tend to congregate at major city centers because that’s where the most ability to take advantage of assistance (housing, shelter, food, monetary assistance) can be obtained.

    As unemployment swells, illegal alien population grows and Democrats cry they will/can take care of them, then states tend to become more and more socialist and less Republic. The trend begins to spiral. This can easily be offset if each state passes into law an electoral collage to balance out the larger populated counties to be more equal in voter power with the less populated counties.

    To me this makes more sense that tilting at the process of dividing states in two.

    • “Create an Electoral Collage for state elections.”

      The national Electoral College is being subverted at this moment. Not sure a state electoral college (for anything) will fare any better.

  27. The problem with all these proposals is that they reduce the ability of massive monoculture conclaves to impose their will on distant, different people. In the end, that’s what the like. A “New Deal” so they can tell people they’ve never met what to do, for generations. NY State Overlords are never more frustrated than on the rare occasion when they can’t impose their will on people upState: they’ve never met, and don’t live like. Cynthia Nixon illustrated this, declaring she knew all about rural and upState life, becaue she’d been to Saratoga. On Vacation.

    Note that the “several state” proposals from pundits, the media, or the D-party (but, I repeat myself) all divide to leave rural, conservative, agrarian areas bound to dominating urban centers: “state” government will track the same as the former Greater California out of Sacramento. And incidentally, more Senate votes for the same perspective.

    Free the central valley!

    In case there’s any doubt, conside the California Uniparty’s long standing take on The Free State of Jefferson. An agrarrian, rural part of N Ca notes that polices made by city folk in Sacramento don’t so much fit. “Just let us go.” And, no.

    Similarly, a few years back one fo the NY Down-State pundits editorialized: “If they (Meaningthe up-State Deplorables) don’t appreciate us, maybe we should just secede!” Pundit demonstrated the ignorance that is the problem with their surprise when up-State responded: “Yes, please. You got a plan?”

  28. Their ignorance would be fine if they were equally indifferent; indifferent enough not to inflict “help.”

    No, we, who don’t live where or as you do, don’t need your gun laws. Unlike you we’d be OK if you’d limit yourselves to inflincting your ignorance on yourselves. We are OK letting you go to he** in your own way. Could you grant us the same courtesey?

  29. Interesting, one set of “more states” proposals are always about more power within the national government, while the other set is about getting left alone.

    One group seems to think representative” government, mean “Me imposing my preferences on more of the people who don’t agree.” while the other thinks it means “More people living under the government rules & practices they agree with.”

  30. Having grown up in California, I really don’t believe most folks are ready to fight the “dirty fight” that is necessary to save their civil rights.

    This is for keeps. There will be no going back to anti friends or perhaps even anti gun family members.

  31. In all the news articles I have read about what I-1639 would do, I haven’t read anything about the provision that would require that if you want to own one of these semi-automatic rifles, that you would have to waive all doctor/patient confidentiality. What is the effect of that? Would the gun grabbers in Washington State government be able to point to something in your now-revealed medical history and deny you the right to own one of these guns?


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