The on-going fight and increasing resistance to a wide-ranging, and many believe unconstitutional, gun law passed by Washington State voters last fall is “beginning to resemble a full-scale “constitutionalist” revolt against gun control,” according to a Thursday story in The Guardian, the left-of-center British newspaper.
For whatever reason, the Brits seem to have a fixation on the Yank “gun culture.” That “culture” dates back to April 19, 1775 and a couple of Massachusetts villages called Lexington and Concord.
Significantly, the story noted right up front that “at least 20 county sheriffs” in the Evergreen State, which constitutes more than half of the top cops, are “publicly refusing to police new gun laws.” This is notable because local media covering what amounts to an insurrection continue to play down the law enforcement opposition—as they did during last year’s campaign—by insisting that “about a dozen sheriffs” have publicly declined to enforce the law that strips young adults of their Second Amendment rights to purchase and own semi-auto rifles of any kind.
I-1639, passed by just under 60 percent of voters, also mandates so-called “enhanced background checks,” a 10-day waiting period for delivery of a “semiautomatic assault rifle,” so-called “secure storage” without defining what that is or how it will be enforced, proof of gun safety training within the past five years, and registration. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich recently told Liberty Park Press that he has been inundated with calls from concerned and angry constituents, including lots of Democrats, who belatedly realize what the initiative really does.
A story at NPR discussed the problem, and reported that anti-gun Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee, who supported the initiative along with Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson, has threatened to have the Washington State Patrol enforce the gun control measure in counties where sheriffs and their deputies won’t.
But that may pose its own problem. The Washington State Patrol Troopers Association was one of the “Big Four” law enforcement groups to publicly oppose I-1639 last year. They were joined by the Washington State Sheriffs Association, Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association and the Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs.
And how was this blue and green wall typically described by the Seattle press corps? “A handful of law enforcement groups” essentially summed it up.
But there is added drama. At least four county commissions are also now on board, opposing enforcement of the initiative’s sweeping provisions, which many believe violated the single subject rule for citizen initiatives. So far, nobody has filed a legal challenge on those grounds, but this fight is far from over.
Perhaps everyone is waiting to see how the federal lawsuit against the measure will fare. That action was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, plus two gun dealers and four young adults. That legal action was changed a couple of weeks ago when the initial complaint was withdrawn and a new one filed to replace it, with a new set of defendants.
At the time, the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group behind the initiative crowed prematurely that NRA and SAF had essentially folded. It was a short-lived victory celebration, however, that left anti-gunners eating crow.
In response, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb wryly observed, “I don’t know why (they) put a release out. It’s sloppy on their part.” It was also dead wrong.
In the midst of this, far-left Democrat lawmakers in the Legislature are attempting to gut the state’s landmark “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law passed a generation ago with NRA support. That initiative passed by more than 70 percent, the idea swept the country, and it went after recidivist criminals rather than law-abiding gun owners. The champion of that law, KVI-AM talk host John Carlson on Friday encouraged listeners to call the legislative hotline and demand that no such legislation be adopted. If the Democrats push their luck, he promised, Carlson will mount a new initiative to undo their pro-criminal handiwork.
This weekend at the Washington Arms Collectors gun show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds, the WAC is mounting a fund-raising effort to support the SAF/NRA lawsuit. They are hoping to fill a “Bucket of Bucks” with cash donations to help pay the legal bills. WAC President Bill Burris told Liberty Park Press recently that this is a way to telegraph to his members that they all have “a dog in the fight” because their rights are under attack.