Washington Sheriffs Won’t Enforce New Anti-Gun Laws


Washington Sheriffs Won’t Enforce New Anti-Gun Laws

This past November, the state of Washington did a foolish thing: It placed a matter of civil rights in the hands of voters. The voting public is very possibly the worst custodian of any human right, simply because it’s mob rule. In other words, whatever most voters select is forced upon everyone else. This is the opposite of protecting liberty, because it ALWAYS persecutes minorities. The good news is that some County Sheriffs have reportedly vowed not to enforce it.

Among other things, this Washington thing will require firearms safety training for all gun buyers, expanded background checks, add restrictions on how residents may legally store their guns, and raise the age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21. It’s scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2019.

While some may think this “makes sense,” that’s not the point. It is a clear infringement on citizens’ rights to bear arms — and the Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit against the state, as has the NRA. But until this is decided by the courts, a dozen counties will apparently remain safe havens for gun owners.

Sheriffs in 12 mostly rural, conservative counties — Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason and Klickitat — along with the police chief of the small town of Republic, have said they will not enforce the new law until the issues are decided by the courts.

“I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said. “I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”

Initiative supporters say they are disappointed but noted the sheriffs have no role in enforcing the new restrictions until July 1, when the expanded background checks take effect.

Of course, many law enforcement officers are just that — they enforce laws without any moral compass — and have said they will enforce it.

On the flip side, the sheriff’s offices in King County, which includes Seattle, and Clark County, near Portland, Oregon, have said they will enforce the measure while it is being challenged in court.

Sadly, the matter will apparently be decided by a court instead of simply consulting our Constitution and a dictionary definition of “infringed.”

…Second Amendment Foundation sued in U.S. District Court in Seattle in mid-November, saying the initiative violates the Second and 14th amendments of the Constitution as well as gun sellers’ rights under the Commerce Clause.

“This measure will have a chilling effect on the exercise of the constitutional rights of honest citizens while having no impact on criminals, and we will not let it go unchallenged,” Second Amendment Foundation Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said when the lawsuit was filed.

The lawsuit does not directly challenge the parts of the law pertaining to enhanced background checks or training requirements. However, the groups asked the court to block the entire law pending a determination of whether those provisions can be separated from the parts they are seeking to block: those related to sales to those under 21 and to out-of-state residents.

The state has asked the judge to dismiss the case.

No matter how you slice it, laws like this are always bad news. Here’s hoping more and more “law enforcement” officers will become Oath Keepers who read and understand the constitution and return to their roots as “peace officers.”

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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