Washington state voters approved the controversial gun measure Initiative 1639 last November despite the opposition of several state law enforcement organizations. That lack of support from police and sheriffs was a red flag, we thought, and was a key reason we recommended against I-1639. Approving sweeping new gun control laws without the support of those who have to enforce them is bound to cause problems. Turns out our hunch was right. Early in the year, law enforcement officials throughout the state — predominantly in Eastern Washington — made their disdain for I-1639 loud and clear, with many claiming they wouldn’t actively enforce it. Most said they are waiting until the courts rule on the constitutionality of the measure before following through on enforcing the new gun rules. Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond and Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher have said their deputies would not make arrests, but would document possible I-1639 violations if they encounter them and send the information to the county prosecutor to review. That strategy seems to accomplish two things: It doesn’t completely ignore I-1639 (which would be wrong), but as elected officials it helps Raymond and Hatcher send a message to constituents that they are not comfortable with the new law. [full article]
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Bob Rogers is the Editor and Publisher of GunPro Plus, America’s premier daily digital gun news portal. After a successful 20-year career as the Editor for a major magazine in the gun industry, Bob launched GunPro Plus to bring his industry expertise on gun news into the digital realm.