AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Throughout Washington state, sheriffs have vowed that they won’t enforce any gun law they think is unconstitutional. It’s rallied sheriffs in anti-gun states throughout the country. From the outside, it’s been beautiful to behold.

But anti-gun officials aren’t going to just roll over. On some level, we all knew that.

Now, Washington’s attorney general is issuing a warning, not to the sheriffs, but gun stores themselves.

Firearms dealers need to follow Washington state’s newest gun laws, even if sheriff’s say they won’t enforce them, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson warned Thursday.

Ferguson sent a letter to 262 firearms dealers in counties where sheriffs have said they are not enforcing Initiative 1639, one of the nation’s toughest gun laws. Sheriffs in at least 12 counties have said they would not enforce the measure until its legality is decided by the courts.

“Local officials’ personal opposition to I-1639 may have created confusion regarding firearms dealers’ legal responsibilities,” Ferguson said. “We wrote this letter to ensure these dealers have accurate information about the initiative to avoid legal jeopardy because of statements made by local elected officials.”

The letter reads, in part:

“We want to prevent you and your business from finding yourself in legal jeopardy because of a misunderstanding of the law caused by statements made by elected officials in your area. We hope the following information will provide clarity.” 

Read the letter in its entirety here.

Ferguson can say he sent it for clarity, but since the letter also goes on to state that dealers could lose their licenses if they don’t abide by the law, it’s safe to say that this was a warning. It’s a threat that regardless of what sheriffs are saying, these dealers had damn well better toe the line or face the consequences.

It should be noted that while sheriffs aren’t likely to arrest any dealers over this, the state police still answer to the state government, which means they can and probably will be used to enforce these draconian gun control laws in counties where the sheriff values his oath to the Constitution.

Ferguson knows this, and he wants to make sure that all of these dealers know it as well.

Which does do one very important thing, it tells us that sheriffs standing up and creating sanctuary counties isn’t enough. We still have to kill this infection of anti-gun laws at the source, by voting out these traitorous lawmakers who think the Constitution is something more akin to toilet paper than the foundational document for our nation. We have to fight back with everything we have and in every state.

More than that, we have to balance that vehemence with care because we don’t have to convince our fellow gun people of anything. We have to convince non-gun folks that we’re in the right. That’s how you win. That’s how you take back our nation. Temper that righteous fury with cold logic and start to sway people to understand their rights, even if they don’t want to exercise them.

Do that and Ferguson’s letter won’t matter anymore.