Area sheriffs are wary of new gun law

Area sheriffs are wary of new gun law

Gun Rights

The top law enforcement officers in Asotin, Garfield and Whitman counties say it’s too early to predict how Washington’s Initiative 1639 will play out in the courts, but they are concerned about how it stacks up to the Second Amendment. I-1639, which was passed by about 60 percent of Washington voters in November, requires more extensive background checks and gun storage requirements beginning July 1. It also raised the age limit for purchasing semi-automatic rifles to 21 as of Jan. 1. Opponents of the sweeping initiative are attempting to block the regulations with a lawsuit, and a growing number of sheriffs across Washington have said they won’t enforce it. In this region, the sheriffs are wary of the new regulations and are taking a cautious approach. Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers said he’s waiting for judicial review of the initiative before drawing any lines in the sand. In the meantime, his office will continue to focus on public safety and upholding the rights of citizens. “I personally believe I-1639 is an encroachment to the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but believe that determination is best left to the necessary processes, also provided for in the Constitution,” Myers said. “At this time, any speculation on my part as to what will and will not be enforced, or deemed to be Constitutional or unconstitutional by the courts, would be premature.” Asotin County Sheriff John Hilderbrand said he doesn’t want to pick and choose what parts of the initiative his department will […]

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