Sheriffs in Rural Washington Refuse to Enforce Latest Gun Controls

Armed officers from the Sheriff's department on patrol near the scene of the crime in San

Sheriffs in rural Washington state are reportedly refusing to enforce the gun controls contained in I-1639, an initiative passed by voters in November 2018.

The initiative was funded by millionaires and billionaires.

For example, the NRA-ILA reported that “billionaire Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen … [donated] $1 million.” Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer also gave $1 million.

The NRA-ILA noted that this was a repeat of a 2014 initiative — I-594 — in which wealthy donors heaved gun control onto the backs of law-abiding citizens. For example, “billionaire gun control patron Michael Bloomberg personally bankrolled I-594 to the tune of $285,000, while funneling another $2.3 million to the cause through his front group Everytown for Gun Safety.” Hanauer gave over $1 million and Allen gave $500,000 toward the 2014 initiative.

Rural Washington state appears to have had enough of it. The Guardian reports that numerous sheriffs are refusing to enforce the controls contained in I-1639. After all, the initiative was rejected by 27 of the state’s 32 counties. It passed because of the financial backing and the massive populations of the cities compared to the populations of rural areas.

Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer is one of those allegedly refusing to enforce the controls. He said the controls are “unconstitutional on several grounds. I’ve taken the position that as an elected official, I am not going to enforce that law.”

The controls include a nine-day waiting period for semiautomatic rifle purchases, a minimum semiautomatic rifle purchase age of 21, a required gun safety course for purchasers, and an “enhanced background check” for semiautomatic rifle purchasers.

Democrat lawmakers in Washington are already trying to build in I-1639 by pushing bans on “high-capacity” magazines and securing a red flag law to allow gun confiscation.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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