Around 16 sheriffs from mostly rural and conservative counties in Washington are declining to enforce provisions of a new gun control measure, citing an obligation to recognize the Second Amendment rights of the citizens they serve.
Washington’s Initiative 1639 is one of the most restrictive and punitive gun control measures in the western United States. Passed as a ballot initiative in November’s election, the initiative prohibits gun owners under the age of 21 from buying semi-automatic rifles and requires participation in state-recognized programs to pass a “background check.”
The law also mandates that gun owners stores firearms in often unpractical locked containers.
While the ballot initiative passed resoundingly in progressive urban Washington, many residents of rural counties voted overwhelmingly against it.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 16 sheriffs have said they aren’t planning on enforcing one or more of 1639’s provisions.
One sheriff, Brad Manke of Stevens County, said that he would not consider gun owners between the ages of 18-21 with semiautomatic rifles to be worthy of police investigation.
The National Rifle Association and other pro-Second Amendment groups are currently in litigation with the state of Washington over the measure. Some sheriffs have implied that a conclusion to the litigation is required for the law’s gun control measures to be considered legitimate.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has threatened to hold law enforcement declining to comply with the law liable for crimes, should they fail to execute an expanded “background check” on a criminal who legally purchased their firearm.
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Arizona’s Maricopa County Declares Itself a Second Amendment Preservation County
Maricopa County is now the biggest 2nd Amendment Sanctuary county in the country.
Arizona’s Maricopa County officially declared itself a ‘Second Amendment Preservation County’ with a vote by its board of supervisors Wednesday, making the Phoenix-area county the largest jurisdiction in the nation to align itself with the growing Second Amendment Sanctuary movement.
Maricopa County includes the vast Phoenix metro area and a population of 4.3 million people. It’s the fourth largest county by population in the entire United States.
The Second Amendment Preservation declaration voted upon by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is largely a symbolic gesture. The resolution initially prevented any county funds from being used to infringe on gun rights, a provision that was dropped from the declaration.
The declaration states that the county supports the right to keep and bear arms by its residents.
Democratic Supervisor Steve Gallardo tried to stop the pro-Second Amendment declaration, stating that it was “divisive” and “partisan.” It comes as a surprise to many law-abiding Arizona gun owners that standing up for their basic Second Amendment rights is so divisive.
Arizona currently has some of the most permissive gun laws in the country for a medium-sized state, being rivaled only by other western states with much smaller populations. Current state law allows for residents to carry weapons openly or concealed without a permit from the state.
However, as new voters move to the state, it appears the state’s pro-Second Amendment culture may come under threat. Arizona Democrats continue to propose wide-ranging assault weapons ban and gun registration legislation, with a boldness some would’ve assumed to be political suicide previously in Arizona politics.
The state is genuinely trending purple, and a possible takeover of one chamber of the Arizona legislature by Democrats could put an assault weapons ban push in full swing. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey hasn’t inspired confidence among Second Amendment supporters, either, having pushed Red Flag judicial gun confiscation as robustly as any other governor in the country.
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