Amid what appears to be an insurrection of county sheriffs and county governing boards in several states against restrictive gun laws, Pacific Standard magazine has finally asked the proverbial “$64 question,” what happens next?
The headline is certainly an eye-catcher: “What Happens if Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce State Gun-Control Laws?”
Part of the answer may be found in Washington State, where anti-gun Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson—both supporters of gun control Initiative 1639 that passed last fall, raising the age of purchase for a semi-auto rifle to 21—recently sent letters to county sheriffs and gun dealers, demanding that they obey the law and the “will of the people.”
Apparently Democrats Inslee and Ferguson never read the late Ayn Rand, who once observed, “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”
In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham may be in an uncomfortable spot because a majority of sheriffs in her state think a new gun law is “feel good” legislation that is unenforceable. But it is more serious than that, as “25 of New Mexico’s 33 counties (have) approved so-called ‘Second Amendment sanctuary ordinances’,” in protest of gun control measures backed by Democrat state lawmakers, the story said.
The article noted that last fall, 8 of 10 that had a Second Amendment preservation ordinance on the November ballot passed their measures.
So, the answer to the magazine’s headline question may be far less important than what doesn’t happen: Law abiding gun owners are not treated like criminals or second-class citizens. And they might be motivated to activism, to make certain that nothing continues to happen, by replacing lawmakers who support gun control legislation with representatives more like them, who are more inclined toward firearms freedom.
The insurrection is even getting the attention of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The Times used quotes from Ferguson’s letter to the sheriffs and the response from Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer:
“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,” Ferguson said in his letter.
To which Songer replied, “There is no way in hell I’m going to be going after their guns if they are honest citizens. What I’ve told people is: I’m not giving up my guns, and I don’t expect them to give up theirs.”
Sheriff Songer added that the attorney general is not his boss. His bosses are the voters of Klickitat County, and they rejected I-1639 last fall, as did voters in a majority of the state’s 39 counties.
The Pacific Standard article referred to a 2017 study that was done by the Giffords Law Center that estimated “as many as 22 percent of American gun owners had obtained their firearms without a background check.”
While anti-gunners think that’s horrible, they overlook the fact that—if one pays attention to the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report—it is clear from the data that all of those Americans who didn’t go through a background check haven’t hurt anybody nor did they commit any crimes.
The biggest error that Pacific Standard, and many newspapers continue to make is by calling anti-gunners “gun safety advocates.” They are gun control advocates, and when sheriffs and county commissions just say “no” to their agenda, they just don’t get it.
How should gun owners in Washington state turn the tide against this new wave of gun laws? Share your answer in the comment section.
Dave Workman is the Senior Editor at the Liberty Park Press.
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With no one to enforce a law that further makes the law invalid. Not to mention the unconstitutionality of the law. Personally local law enforcement may be gun owners saving grace. Given that I would bet either one Congress continues to bring it up from time to time just to stir the pot, two federal law enforcement follows suit with local law enforcement especially if local law enforcement won’t help them, or three a combination of both.
Michael M says
Sheriffs must not enforce unConstitutional llaws. We must back them up. Vote out officials who passed those laws. Hold the line. We will win.
Sid Harriel says
In Nevada, 16 of our 17 counties are pledging to do the same.
I’ve only heard it was Lincoln, Nye, and Douglas county. Where else?
Fredrick Ross says
It’s pretty hard to get rid of the anti-gun communists in Washington because of the massive voter fraud committed in the few largest counties. Then you have a pro voter fraud Attorney General who will never do anything about it. Washington state is a 3rd world state of Socialists.
Directly from the Constitution Of Washington State. But then again, Liberals don’t follow the constitution.
“SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right
of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or
the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section
shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations
to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.”
There is a movement ongoing to split the state of Washington along the ridge of the Cascade Mountains and the eastern half succeed from the western half. This might be the impetus for this to go ahead.
This is exactly what happens when large municipalities grow to outnumber the rural votes. Because they are inherently liberal in their values, they, through their voting power try to push their values on everyone. Denver and Bolder run Calorado. Chicago runs Ohio. And even Austin is trying to run Texas. This is why in our early life as a nation, our founding fathers created the electoral college. They knew that the largely populated states of New York, Rode island and Connecticut would try to run rough shod over the less populated southern and western states. Maybe states need to adopt a representation system that give equal votes to all their county’s and not by population.
Chicago is still in Illinois, not Ohio though they love to blame their crime problems on both Indiana and Ohio.
Chicago is in Illinois and use spell check. But your point is valid for sure.
Doug S says
Chicago is in Illinois! But I agree with your premise about the large cities driving the state. New York is another example, as is Newark and New Jersey, and Baltimore, for Maryland.
You are not likely to get these states to change their allocation of representation, especially when the U.S. House of Representatives is allocated by population. Which, BTW, is why the Dems are upset with the 2020 Census question of citizenship! They want the next census to drive more representation to the states with high illegal immigrants like California and New York, and not based on citizen population alone.
Longhaired Redneck says
How does Chitcago run Ohio?
Last time I checked, Chicago was still in Illinois (with Indiana in between Ohio and Illinois).
I would like to thank all for correcting my geographical FUBAR and thank you reading my post.
Dale2—-Chicago is in Illinois, not Ohio.
It s called civil disobedience. As a former hippie we never wanted the man in our bizieness. Why does the government think they are our rulers? The Sheriffs are brave men, support them. This is why we have a constitution.
Green Beret says
T W CORLEY JR says
GET ORGANIZED AND VOTE, VOTE, VOTE THE LIBERALS OUT OF OFFICE AND CHANGE THE LAWS THEY HAVE PASSED!
Calling the citizen disarmament laws ‘gun safety’ laws is not a mistake. It’s an intentional falsehood by by the media personnel. These anti-gun people who would give their most basic choices and actions to the management of the state are simply cowardly, timorous, little vermin who are afraid of or too lazy to make decisions ant be accountable for their actions. THEY are part of the ‘mob’ the founders feared could destroy the Republic.
Calling by it’s real name “ citizens disarmament law” is correct. Citizen disarmament is how pre WW2 Hitler disarmed the Jewish people and former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez disarmed his opposition. The Jews were lead of to death camps and the Venezuelan people are being killed by the hundreds while fighting their own army with rocks. And it all starts with national gun registry.
John J says
Please vote . Your vote does count . I wish I had saved a newspaper article that I once read , it talked about 60 different laws that had been passed by just one vote. You have the right to vote don’t waste it by not voting .
Paul Plumb says
I am from semi rural Washington state and have felt constantly hamstrung by the liberal Seattle corridor. My voice is never heard. The state liberally voted ideas have been so successful, local won’t visit Seattle any more. My wife and I feel impotent. We pay our excessive state taxes for what? So that the state can give away hypodermic needles, condoms, and methadone. I will reach out to sheriff Sonder and thank him. Finally a supportive voice in an otherwise oppressive state.
Our problem is in this state, they only have to control 2 counties. Those two counties are populated mostly by California refugees and “Homeless”. They passed their referendum by going on the street and “assisting” the people in filling out the ballots. Since this state has become a “vote-by-mail” state, there is no longer a way to observe and verify the legality of the voters or the voting procedures. It’s been shown in the past that half the votes in those two counties come from the graveyard, but when it was to be investigated our state AG and the media swept it under the rug.
The two counties are populated by left wing zealots and the blind masses that want to believe you can legislate away evil in this world. I moved from California to escape their like. I vote pro second amendment. Please focus on the true enemy of liberty ( the left) and stop blaming all Californians
That vote by mail issue is only one of the myriad of reasons why I opted to move out of Washington State post retirement. Really glad to have done so.
I will point out one fact that seems to have been missed in the article and the comments: the liberals who are decrying the tactics being used by the Sheriffs have NO problem using that same tactic to create ‘sanctuary cities’ (and even states in some cases) and ignore immigration laws. And they flatly REFUSE to recognize their hypocrisy.
Tom H. says
House up for sale…moving out of this communist state to a state that respects the constitution and law abiding citizens.
The replacement of anti civil rights legislators and elected officials is a process that should long since have been undertaken. From another point of view, the following observation is pertinent. The governor and some others pushed the enactment of a piece of legislation. Let the governor now enforce the legislation.
Amazing how liberals think establishing a sanctuary city is okay but establishing 2A sanctuary counties are wrong. They are tolerant only until you disagree with them.