Law enforcement officials in 12 counties across Washington are refusing to enforce the state’s new gun legislation until a court decides whether or not the new laws are constitutional.
The stand comes after a public vote swept the state, preventing non-Washington residents from purchasing and owning semi-automatic rifles while also raising the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 with a 10-day waiting period. These new laws came to fruition nearly a year after Nikolas Cruz took the lives of 17 people during his Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland, Florida.
During the induction of this measure, another bill that would make it easier to prosecute police for negligent shootings was also passed. As it now stands, Washington has some of the toughest gun laws in America.
We’ve seen this before… If you haven’t read this one from Sgt. A. Merica, you’ll want to check it out.
And just like that… now it’s real.
Sheriffs in Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason and Klickitat as well as a small town named Republic are holding off on enforcing these rules until the public courts make their final decision.
The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation filed lawsuits against the bill, deeming it ‘unconstitutional.’ Their initial lawsuit filed in November stated that the initiative violates the Second and 14th amendments of the Constitution as well as gun sellers’ rights under the Commerce Clause.
Sheriffs in Grays Harbor, Pacific, Mason, Kittitas, Yakima, Klickitat, Grant, Benton, Franklin, Adams, Lincoln, Ferry and Stevens counties — where majorities of voters opposed Initiative 1639 — have all said they will not enforce new gun regulations. https://t.co/t38nB0qx0O
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) February 10, 2019
When asked why he was choosing to hold on enforcing the new laws, Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said, “I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights. I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”
Within the last year, gun legislation across America has changed vastly. 14 states have now enacted measures that can allow officials to confiscate and hold weapons of those deemed to be ‘unsafe’ with a number of others joining the list of banning high-capacity magazines and adding legal requirements on how citizens must store their guns.
Since the Parkland students started confronting lawmakers about gun control, 67 gun safety laws have been enacted in 26 states and Washington, DC. https://t.co/AJoCItljb7
— CNN (@CNN) February 12, 2019
The Lincoln County Sheriff commented that over 75 percent of voters in his county just voted against the initiative and referred to the laws as ‘unenforceable.’
“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,” said Executive Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation, Alan M. Gottlieb.
The state has asked that the judge throw the case out of court.