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Washington State: at least 20 County Sheriffs Refuse to Apply New Gun Laws US News

At least 20 County Sheriffs in the Washington state – more than half of the state's total – now publicly refuse to police new arms laws. Several county governments have also reviewed local resolutions that officially oppose law enforcement. The move may pose a significant threat to Washington's ambitious firearm reform agenda, and some activists say it is starting to look like a full-scale "constitutional" uprising A growing number of sheriffs, almost all in rural areas, have publicly stated that they do not come or believe that they cannot enforce the provisions of I1 639, a voting measure approved by the referendum in November of November, which seeks to limit the availability and use of weapons of abuse. Their positions – described in written statements, local media reports and Facebook posts – occupy different points on a resistance spectrum. Some, like Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer, say they would not only enforce the laws, but would consider preventing other authorities from doing so in their counties. Others, such as Sheriff Brad Thurman in Co wlitz county, have cited an ongoing legal challenge by the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation as evidence that laws cannot be constitutional and propose to waive enforcement until this case is resolved. Another group, including Spokane County Service Ozzie Knezovich, has argued that the law it stands is so vague that there is nothing to enforce. But all these positions contribute to a refusal to execute I1639 in the form it was approved…

At least 20 County Sheriffs in the Washington state – more than half of the state’s total – now publicly refuse to police new arms laws. Several county governments have also reviewed local resolutions that officially oppose law enforcement.

The move may pose a significant threat to Washington’s ambitious firearm reform agenda, and some activists say it is starting to look like a full-scale “constitutional” uprising

A growing number of sheriffs, almost all in rural areas, have publicly stated that they do not come or believe that they cannot enforce the provisions of I1

639, a voting measure approved by the referendum in November of November, which seeks to limit the availability and use of weapons of abuse.

Their positions – described in written statements, local media reports and Facebook posts – occupy different points on a resistance spectrum.

Some, like Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer, say they would not only enforce the laws, but would consider preventing other authorities from doing so in their counties.

Others, such as Sheriff Brad Thurman in Co wlitz county, have cited an ongoing legal challenge by the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation as evidence that laws cannot be constitutional and propose to waive enforcement until this case is resolved.

Another group, including Spokane County Service Ozzie Knezovich, has argued that the law it stands is so vague that there is nothing to enforce.

But all these positions contribute to a refusal to execute I1639 in the form it was approved by Washington voters.

Only four county guards have so far publicly committed to enforce the laws.

Map of Sheriff’s position on the WA Arms Act

Meanwhile, several county government governments – including Cowlitz, Franklin and Stevens Counties – have now passed resolutions opposing the enforcement of I1639. Gray’s Harbor County is considering a similar resolution.

County Commissioners who make resolutions as opposed to laws have electoral incentives to do so in parts of the state where gun reform is not popular with voters, but they have also been the subject of intensive lobbying efforts by rightwing other change activists.

Joey Gibson, leader of the Portland area Patriot Prayer Group, who has been involved in several violent protests in the city, and Matt Marshall, president of the right Washington Washington group, has addressed several county meetings and urged Commissioners and voters to adopt so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” regulations.

In a video of a speech in the eastern county, Gibson urged the locals to “bring back the force to a local level” by refusing laws that he described as being inalienable.

Gibson did not answer questions aimed at clarifying his views on the Constitution.

So-called “County Su premiere” and related ideas originated in right-right and white supremacist movements such as Posse Comitatus, who claimed that county governors were the highest constitutional authority.

Researchers Spencer Sunshine wrote in a report to the Political Research Associates that ideas on the Pacific Northwest Force have been “integrated into local and state governments, using a lurch to the right inside the Republican Party”.

Groups such as the Washington State Firearms Coalition have promoted the idea of ​​”revocation” – that lower levels of government can void constitutional laws passed at higher levels – although such doctrines have been repeatedly rejected by the Supreme Court.

Resistance to the law also reflects a deep gulf between rural and urban Washingtonians.

In 1639, overwhelming cities passed voters west of Cascades, in areas like Seattle and its suburbs, but were rejected in less rural counties, especially in the state’s east and south.

Prior to the vote last year, the Washington State Sheriff’s Association declared public opposition to law along with the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association, the Washington Fraternal Order of Police and the Washington Council of Police and Sheriff.

The fight for guns is now intertwined with other right-wing political projects in Washington. On Friday, outside the State Capitol of Olympia, a joint rally will take place for both other amending rights and the suspension of Eastern Washington in a separate state.

The rally will be dealt with by Spokane Valley-based representative Matt Hon. Recently, Shea made a video where he talked about having a hidden firearm in Washington’s state house.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has urged police officers in an open letter.

Ferguson said he was “deeply concerned that if local law enforcement fails to carry out the 1639 initiative’s background check, it would jeopardize public security in our country.”

He pointed to his own defense of Washington’s the death penalty despite private opposition to the law and wrote, “as public officials, our duty is to follow the will of the people we serve, and carry out and enforce the laws they assume”.

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