WASHINGTON - New provisions from the voter-approved gun control measure Initiative 1639 will go into effect on Monday, July 1 across the State of Washington.
An added age restriction on purchasing semi-automatic assault rifles took effect at the beginning of this year. Although, a portion that adds tougher background checks and a requirement for gun owners to secure their firearms or risk being held legally responsible if their firearm is used to commit a crime if stolen will soon go into law.
I-1639 arrives to curb gun violence keep the chance of a mass shooting to a minimum after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, killing 17 students and faculty.
Washington State voters approved the initiative in November of last year by an extensive margin, but opponents say the measure violates the second amendment of young adults and unjustly punishes law-abiding firearm owners.
A federal U.S. District Judge in Tacoma recently denied a motion by defendants to dismiss a lawsuit challenging I-1639.
The Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association filed the lawsuit and are joined by two gun dealers, one in Spokane and the other in Clark County, plus four young adults who are directly affected by provisions of the initiative.
Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones says his office will not be enforcing Initiative 1639, joining other sheriffs across the state.
“I agree with my other county sheriff colleagues,” Jones said. “I am instructing my deputies not to enforce Initiative 1639 in Grant County while the constitutional validity remains in argument at the federal courts level. I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights. I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”
At least eight other sheriffs in the state have said they will not enforce the law, including Adams, Benton, Franklin, Grays Harbor, Klickitat, Stevens, Wahkiakum and Yakima counties.
Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett says he doesn't feel he has the right to stand up as Sheriff and say that the initiative is unconstitutional.