As anti-gun lawmakers in Washington State’s capitol at Olympia consider even more restrictions on firearms owners, resistance from law enforcement professionals to last fall’s Initiative 1639 is being reported internationally by The Guardian.
What Second Amendment advocates considered an “extremist” gun control measure when they opposed it, I-1639 — passed by slightly less than 60 percent of voters, in only 12 of the state’s 39 counties — is being challenged in federal district court by the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation.
But top law enforcers — sheriffs in many of the state’s counties — are “just saying ‘no’” to enforcing provisions of the measure, at least until the court challenge plays out, the newspaper said.
The story was picked up by the conservative Blaze. It quoted Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer, who told The Guardian that I-1639, “is unconstitutional on several grounds.”
“I’ve taken the position that as an elected official, I am not going to enforce that law,” Songer stated.
That reflects what Police Chief Loren Culp of Republic, Ferry County, told the city council and a standing-room-only audience several weeks ago. The Republic City Council is currently considering declaring itself a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”
The resistance is not just among law enforcement professionals, although it was reported by Liberty Park Press — and downplayed by the establishment media — that Washington’s four largest law enforcement organizations opposed the initiative.
Gun owners are supporting the NRA/SAF lawsuit through donations, and are lobbying their representatives to oppose new gun control measures.
The billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobby based in Seattle — the Alliance for Gun Responsibility — is also fighting hard, with rhetoric that rights activists consider to be a cross between alarmist and ridiculous.
In their Monday email blast, the Alliance declared, “The NRA is parachuting in from Virginia AGAIN and suing to block I-1639.”
That presumably is supposed to create the image of the NRA as an invading force. But here’s a news flash for Seattle’s anti-rights crowd: The NRA is already there and always has been. Somewhere north of 100,000 NRA members live in the state, and a lot more gun owners consider themselves at least allied with NRA. Many others are SAF supporters who live and work in Washington, have raised families and have roots that may go back generations. There also are thousands of members and supporters of SAF’s sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. There are more than 608,000 active concealed pistol licenses in the state, according to the state Department of Licensing. SAF and CCRKBA are based in Bellevue, just across Lake Washington from Seattle and one of the state’s largest cities. Nobody is “parachuting in” from anywhere, although those gun owners now consider themselves “behind enemy lines.”
The Gun Rights Coalition, WaGuns.org, Northwest Firearms group, Washington Arms Collectors and other groups are also already there. Nobody has to “parachute in” to oppose what they consider the Alliance’s elitist disarmament policies. After all,the $5.4 million I-1639 campaign was largely bankrolled by less than a dozen wealthy people, including the late Paul Allen.
There are now a raft of anti-gun-rights bills in the Legislature. The gun prohibition crowd, evidently thinking themselves as a local incarnation of the science-fictional Borg from the Star Trek series, insist that “resistance is futile.”
But out in the hinterlands, especially those 27 counties that opposed I-1639, and even rural areas outside of Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, Bellingham, Olympia and Vancouver, resistance is not considered “futile,” and gun owners “talk resistance” fluently.
The gun control policies now being pushed by the Alliance and what gun owners consider its Democrat lapdogs in Olympia are being piled on while they have momentum. But momentum is a funny thing. It slows down when it hits speed bumps, such as lawsuits and political resistance, and it is particularly vulnerable to backlash.
One lawsuit has already been filed. That doesn’t mean there won’t be others, and rights activists are convinced that at some point, all of these gun prohibition efforts will collide head-on with the state and/or federal constitutions, which some lawmen believe is already the case.