Sheriffs who don’t enforce Washington’s new gun law could be liable, AG Bob Ferguson says

Sheriffs who don’t enforce Washington’s new gun law could be liable, AG Bob Ferguson says

Gun Rights

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is recognized before the State of the State address in the House chamber at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia last month. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times) In an open letter to law enforcement, Ferguson wrote that he was confident the wide-ranging law was constitutional and would withstand court challenges, but that he was concerned about threats — mostly from county sheriffs — to not enforce the new law. County sheriffs who say they won’t enforce Washington’s new, stricter gun laws could be held liable if they refuse to perform enhanced background checks and someone who shouldn’t buy a gun is able to buy one and uses it in a crime, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said on Tuesday. In an open letter to law enforcement , Ferguson wrote that he was confident the wide-ranging law was constitutional and would withstand court challenges, but that he was concerned about threats — mostly from county sheriffs — to not enforce the new law. At least 13 county sheriffs have said they won’t enforce the law , Initiative 1639, which voters passed by a wide margin in November. Most of the new law — which raises the minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles, requires enhanced background checks for those rifles and can hold gun owners responsible if their gun was stored carelessly and is used in a crime — has not yet gone into effect. Only the higher age limit — raised from 18 […]

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