Three more sheriffs say they won’t enforce I-1639
Three more sheriffs have announced they won’t enforce Initiative 1639, the law passed by voters in November that puts more restrictions on the purchase of semi-automatic rifles.
The latest are Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana, Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott and Stevens County Sheriff Brad Manke.
On Friday, Sheriff Dana said that his agency is “responsible for the protection of the public and the law is one of the primary tools we use. At issue with I-1639 is that, as written, we cannot apply most of the provisions”
“I am instructing my deputies to take no enforcement,” Sheriff Dana said.
Sheriff Scott in Grays Harbor County said it his his duty to uphold the Constitution. Therefore, he has enstructed his deputies to take no enforcement action, implying that I-1639 violates the Second Amendment.
Both agreed that they would enforce the initiative once the legality of the issue is resolved.
Sheriff Manke said he will not take enforcement action, which includes making arrests and issuing citations, on alleged violations unless “imminent danger exists to the public.”
Other agencies that have taken a stand against I-1639 are the Benton, Franklin, Yakima, Spokane, Adams, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Lewis and Klickitat county sheriff’s offices and the Republic Police Department.
Walla Walla Sheriff Mark Crider has announced that while he strongly opposes the legislation, he will enforce it.
“We do not pick and choose which laws we enforce, we enforce all laws equally whether we agree with them or not,” Sheriff Crider said.
Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris also made a statement, saying “while the Courts work to determine the legality of the law, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will continue their work as they always have,” adding that “we believe in creating enforcement priorities to ensure that we address the most serious problems affecting our residents.”
Sheriff Morris did not explicitly say he would not enforce the legislation.
Here are the statements from the latest sheriffs to join the anti-I-1639 movement:
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana
Kittitas County, WA – 02/01/2019 – I have received many questions about I-1639 and would like to clarify my position on the matter. There are many problems with this initiative and I will focus on one of Constitutional issues.
Like our military, Sheriffs, Elected Officials and Commissioned Law Enforcement Officers have all sworn Oaths which obligate us to preserving, supporting, protecting and defending the Constitution. This pledge does not include disclaimers or variances.
As Sheriff I am responsible for the protection of the public and the law is one of the primary tools we use. At issue with I-1639 is that, as written, we cannot apply most of the provisions.
The Second Amendment grants individual rights to keep and bear arms, not specific to hunting or organized target sports, but for individual protection. I-1639 asks my Deputies to criminally charge a citizen if, without their knowledge, someone steels one of their lawfully owned guns and uses it in the commission of a crime. We will not do this. Just as we would not charge the owner of a truck if someone stole their keys and used it to mow down pedestrians.
We need to protect people from violent criminals; we don’t do this by blaming law abiding citizens for the actions of those criminals. We don’t do this by blaming the tool used for committing violent crime, be it a hammer, a car, a gun or a knife. We blame the individual who committed the crime and we hold them accountable.
There are a number of lawsuits and appeals related to I-639. Until the constitutional issues are resolved by the courts and the dust settles, I am instructing my deputies to take no enforcement. When it is resolved by the courts, I will work closely with our Prosecutor for the best lawful course of action.
Our mission is clear, “To protect all people, keep the peace and uphold the Constitution of the United States.”
Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott
An update on Initiative 1639 from Sheriff Scott.
Stevens County Sheriff Brad Manke
As you are well aware Initiative 1639 was voted into law by the voters in the State of Washington in the last election. …
Walla Walla County Sheriff Mark Crider
We have received an overwhelming influx of questions regarding initiative 1639. The following attached statement is Sheriff Crider’s official response regarding initiative 1639.