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Washington Sheriffs Decline to Enforce Gun Control

Sheriffs are declining to comply with gun grab measures in Washington.

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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.

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While the ballot initiative passed resoundingly in progressive urban Washington, many residents of rural counties voted overwhelmingly against it.

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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.

Big League Guns

Texas Governor Abbott Wants Texas to Be a “Second Amendment Sanctuary”

The Texas GOP needs to get its act together and start passing pro-2A legislation

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Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he wants to turn Texas into a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

Patrick Sviteck of the Texas Tribune reported on Twitter, “Abbott tells TPPF he wants to make TX a “2A sanctuary state” this session “so that no gov’t official at any level can come & take your gun away from you despite those ppl who say, ‘Heck yes, we’re gonna take your gun.’ We’re gonna say, ‘Heck no, you cannot take ppl’s guns'” in TX.”

Abbott’s quip about taking people’s guns was in response to Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke remarks during the 2019 Democrat presidential debates where he explicitly called for gun confiscation.

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Abbott’s comment came after a number of Texas counties began to declare themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries” throughout 2020. Daniel Friend of The Texan reported that  “By early 2020, commissioners in over 60 counties — often with the support of the county sheriff — had passed some sort of Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.”

Two elected officials have filed different versions of the Texas Firearm Protection Act, which Greg Abbott pushed back in 2013 when he was Attorney General. The TFPA is a piece of legislation that would ban law enforcement from enforcing federal gun control schemes “that purports to regulate a firearm, a firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as a capacity or size limitation, a registration requirement, or a background check, that does not exist under the laws of this state.”

State Representative Steve Toth introduced House Bill (HB) 112 and State Representative Ben Leman introduced HB 919 — both of 2021’s version of the TFPA.

At a Texas Public Policy Foundation event, Abbott emphasized his pro-Tenth Amendment credentials by stating that “I still hold a record that will never be broken by anybody.I hold the record for the most lawsuits filed against Barack Obama — 31 legal actions against him.

The Texas Governor added, “We had to because the actions he was taking trampled upon Texas’ liberties based upon the Tenth Amendment. We need to go back to the fundamentals of the Tenth Amendment and reassert that against any potential encroachments that we see under the Biden administration.

The sanctuary movement is arguably one of the brightest spots for the right heading into the Biden era. Despite Democrat control at the federal level, there will be more paths for reform available at the state and local level. This should make Second Amendment operatives realize that not all politics is federal. Plus, gaining in power in D.C. necessitates having strong local political machines. Fighting Second Amendment battles at the state and local level is a good way to build a power base.

As cliche as it may sound, all politics is still local.

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