Some sheriffs in several conservative Washington counties have refused to enforce the state’s sweeping restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decide whether they are constitutional.
The November measure raised the minimum age for buying semi-automatic from 18 to 21, requires buyers to first pass a safety course and added expanded background checks and gun storage requirements. The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing the measure is unconstitutional, Fox News reports.
“I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights, I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”~ Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones
Sheriffs in twelve, mostly rural, counties have decided not to enforce the law until the courts decide on the challenge, including Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason and Klickitat. The police chief of Republic followed the sheriffs’ route.
King and Clark County sheriffs have said they will enforce the measure while it was being challenged in court.
- SB 5062 bans firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
- SB 5061 would make it a felony to manufacture or possess an “undetectable” or “untraceable” firearm. “Undetectable” is defined as a firearm that doesn’t have enough metal to be picked up by a walk-through detector or that would not generate an X-ray image. “Untraceable” is defined as a firearm manufactured after July 1 of this year that does not have a serial number registered with a federally-licensed manufacturer.
- SB 5143 would require officers — when responding to a domestic violence call — to seize all firearms and ammunition when those officers have “reasonable grounds to believe” they were used or threatened to be used in a crime.
- SB 5174 In addition to the age restrictions, firearm dealers must wait 10 days before delivering semiautomatic assault rifles they sell. That is designed, in part, to prevent impulsive action. The rules also require anyone buying a semiautomatic assault rifle to have completed a gun safety training in the last five years. The measure also imposes criminal penalties for unsafe gun storage, and requires more extensive background checks for purchases of the assault weapons.
I-1639 Secure Gun Storage. A misdemeanor or even a felony charge of ‘community endangerment due to unsafe storage’. That is if a gun was not stored in a way to keep, what the law calls a “prohibited person” from getting to it. A prohibited person is defined as anyone who is not legally allowed to have a gun, a child or felon for example.
I-1639 gives discretion to prosecuting attorneys. They can decide not to prosecute a gun owner. The section states this would be “in situations where prosecution would serve no public purpose or would defeat the purpose of the law in question.”
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.