Sheriffs Rebel Against Sweeping Gun Law
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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.
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.
“I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones told the Associated Press. “I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”
Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers said 75 percent of voters in his county voted against the bill and called the new rules unenforceable.
Then-candidate Donald Trump won Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason, and Klickitat counties.