Why A Dozen Washington Sheriff's Are Refusing To Enforce I-1639

I’m not going to lie. I’m heartened to hear of the acts of defiance throughout the nation on gun control policies. While progressives have applauded “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants, now they get a taste of their own medicine.

It tickles me.

Now, people are recognizing that a lot of sheriffs in Washington state have made a stand against this insanity. About a dozen of them, to be specific.

Saying they don’t believe the legislation is constitutional, some sheriffs in Washington are rebelling against a new state gun law.

The law delivers an omnibus assortment of restrictions for gun owners, Fox News reported Monday. Both the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) say it is unconstitutional and have initiated a federal lawsuit against the state.

The sheriffs in a dozen rural counties say they will not recognize the law until the courts rule on its legality. At least one police chief has publicly condemned the legislation and refused to enforce it.

Washington voters passed the initiative during last November’s midterm elections. It increases the legal age for purchasing a semi-automatic firearm to 21 from 18, mandates successful completion of a gun safety course before purchasing a gun, and includes a comprehensive and probing background investigation. The NRA and SAF are focusing on the law’s age-limit increase in their legal challenge.

Initiative 1639 reportedly received 60 percent of the vote, which would make it look like a pretty popular law.

The problem is where that 60 percent lives.

You see, a handful of urban centers dominate the state. While none of them are as large as a Los Angeles or New York, they still have an oversized impact on state politics. For example, Washington state has an estimated population of 7,535,591, but Seattle has a population of 766,893. In other words, ten percent of the state’s entire population lives in that one city.

Further, it’s not the only urban center as there are cities like Spokane and Tacoma to be considered.

However, those dozen sheriffs represent almost one-third of all counties in the state. There are just 39 counties, after all, which means they represent a large landmass.

So why are they making this stand? The reason is pretty simple. The initiative is unconstitutional.

For one thing, the initiative should never have been on the ballot. The text was small, so many who signed it couldn’t possibly have understood what it was. Not in any detail.

Additionally, it covered too many topics. The requirement is for a ballot initiative to propose one law. I-1639 proposed far more than just one measure, which should have rendered it invalid.

These sheriffs see this. They know this is wrong. Plus, they’re elected by people who voted against this measure, by and large. As elected officials, they have to offer some kind of a response based on their constituencies.

That doesn’t even touch on the fact that most of these law enforcement officers understand that gun control doesn’t stop crime and is morally wrong. They know and recognize that they have an obligation to do something within their power.

Since law enforcement has always had a certain amount of discretion when it comes to enforcing the law, this makes sense.

The fact that it plays off of the Left’s love of sanctuary cities makes it even sweeter.