I-1639 is probably the most screwed-up anti-gun law we’ve seen yet, and considering the nonsense we see from places like California, New York, and New Jersey, that’s saying something.
There are a lot of problems with the law from the perspective of a Second Amendment advocate, to be sure, but there are also legal issues with the measure as well. Because of these concerns, it seems more challenges will be coming soon.
Is Washington state’s Initiative 1639, which raised the legal purchase age for semi-automatic rifles to 21 and added enhanced background checks and a safe gun-storage provision, constitutional?
At this point, that remains unclear. But as the full voter-approved law went into effect on Monday (although the age restriction went on the books in January), it’s now ripe to be challenged in court. It’s highly likely legal challenges will be coming and courts will considering the constitutional concerns surrounding I-1639 as well as the dubious way signatures were garnered to put it on the ballot.
The legal challenges that have been filed, as well as those that are expected to be filed, need to be fully explored by the judicial system — perhaps all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But for now I-1639 is the law in Washington state and must be followed, at least up until the time a court rules the initiative invalid or unconstitutional.
The editorial goes on to argue that because it is the law, sheriffs and other law enforcement officers should enforce it.
Instead, neglecting a law passed by voters must be considered anathema by citizens who claim to support and defend the constitutions of the United States and Washington. It often has been stated that the United States is a land of laws, not men or women. Suggesting that a particular law should not be defended violates that premise and undermines the foundation of a law-abiding nation.
I’m going to disagree.
You see, when anyone swears an oath of office, they swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It’s similar to an oath of enlistment that we veterans all know so well. We’re charged with acting in accordance with that, first and foremost. That means we have to act according to our conscience.
Further, we are not the ones who decided that the whims of men and women mattered more than the law. Washington state, like all of the West Coast, has a number of cities that have decided to work against U.S. immigration law to advance their own political agendas. These sanctuary cities laid the groundwork for what is transpiring in states with regard to gun control.
Now, if someone opposes both sanctuary cities for immigration and guns, so be it. I can respect the consistency on the issue.
However, the problem is that if you ascribe to that thinking, you’re failing to use all the tools available. For better or worse, politics is damn near a bloodsport these days. You have to fight hard and you have to use every option available because, let’s face it, the other guys will. We’ve seen that for years from much of the left, so of course we’re going to do as they did on something like this.
The truth is, though, the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution and its meaning is remarkably clear. If there’s one primary failing of the legal system it’s that it has managed to convolute the simple meaning of a single sentence.
Even if the courts won’t keep faith with the Constitution and its amendments, it’s no reason that the rest of us should do the same. They’ve gotten it wrong through the years.
These pro-gun sanctuary cities may offer potential problems, which I’ll get into another time, but they’re also a sea of sanity in a growingly insane world.