Grant County Sheriff tells deputies not to enforce Washington’s new gun laws

Grant County Sheriff tells deputies not to enforce Washington’s new gun laws
Sheriff Tom Jones

Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones has announced he too is instructing his department not to enforce Initiative 1639.

The law was passed by the majority of Washington voters in November of 2018, but it was rejected in many rural counties. It has already raised the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21. On July 1 of this year, provisions requiring stricter firearm storage, background checks, and safety courses will also take affect.

Several sheriffs across the state have already come out against the law. The top law enforcement officials in Franklin County, Benton County, Cowlitz County, Wahkiakum County, Lewis County, Klickitat County, Adams County, and Yakima County have all made statements saying they do not support I-1639. The Police Chief in the town of Republic was the first to come out against the law back in November.

In an announcement Monday morning, Sheriff Jones said, “I agree with my other county sheriff colleagues. 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.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the new law. Sheriff Jones added, “If the courts later rule the validity of this new law, at that time I will partner closely with our prosecutor’s office to ensure the best plan moving forward. Grant County has a very large voter base of citizens that are pro Second Amendment. They, we, have a right to have this challenge and appeals process play out before moving forward.”

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