Firearms aficionados will know that Washington state recently passed some pretty draconian anti-Second Amendment laws. Arguing (correctly, to my thinking) that those laws are unconstitutional, several Washington county sheriffs are refusing to enforce this law. Excerpt:
Sheriffs in a dozen Washington counties say they won’t enforce the state’s sweeping new restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decide whether they are constitutional.
A statewide initiative approved by voters in November raised the minimum age for buying semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, required buyers to first pass a firearms safety course and added expanded background checks and gun storage requirements, among other things. It was among the most comprehensive of a string of state-level gun-control measures enacted in the U.S. after last year’s shooting at a Florida high school.
The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the initiative is unconstitutional. They say its purchasing requirements violate the right to bear arms and stray into the regulation of interstate commerce, which is the province of the federal government.
Sheriffs in 12 mostly rural, conservative counties — Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason and Klickitat — along with the police chief of the small town of Republic, have said they will not enforce the new law until the issues are decided by the courts.
“I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said. “I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”
All I can say is, good on those sheriffs.
Well, OK, I can say a bit more than that. The refusal of these lawmen to enforce a law they see as illegitimate sets a very interesting precedent. Consider Imperial overreach, especially as it is being proposed by the political Left in the Imperial City right now (Green New Deal, anyone?) Consider if increasingly overbearing laws are increasingly ignored by counties and towns across the nation.
Would not there be some backlash by increasingly frustrated voters against overweening pols who keep passing intrusive laws that nobody in the flyover counties want enforced?
Or will there be an Imperial backlash against local law enforcement who are, as they see it, doing duty to a higher authority – the Constitution?
Either way, the outcome is sure to be very interesting – as in the old Chinese proverb.