'Deeply concerned:' AG Ferguson urges sheriffs, police chiefs to enforce new gun laws

‘Deeply concerned:’ AG Ferguson urges sheriffs, police chiefs to enforce new gun laws

Gun Rights

FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2017, file photo, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a news conference in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson urged in a letter Tuesday that the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs enforce the state’s new gun laws. Sheriffs in a dozen Washington counties say they won’t enforce the state’s sweeping new restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decide whether they are constitutional. Ferguson wrote in the open letter that, "local law enforcement officials are entitled to their opinions about the constitutionality of any law, but those personal views do not absolve us of our duty to enforce Washington laws and protect the public." A statewide initiative approved by voters in November raised the minimum age for buying semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, required buyers to first pass a firearms safety course and added expanded background checks and gun storage requirements, among other things. It was among the most comprehensive of a string of state-level gun-control measures enacted in the U.S. after last year’s shooting at a Florida high school. The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the initiative is unconstitutional. They say its purchasing requirements violate the right to bear arms and stray into the regulation of interstate commerce, which is the province of the federal government. Sheriffs in 12 mostly rural, conservative counties — Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, […]

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