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Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says new gun law is unconstitutional, unenforceable

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich joins a growing list of law enforcement officers speaking out against I-1639, which was voted into law with just under 60 percent of the state wide vote.

In a press conference on Friday morning, he told media that he firmly believes the initiative is unconstitutional.

"People need to understand that even though people have passed this initiative, they didn't change the constitution of Washington or the United States," Knezovich said.

Ultimately, whether or not it is constitutional will be decided in court.

As opposed to many of his peers coming out saying they won't enforce the initiative, Knezovich says other law enforcement officers are going too far by saying so. He says they are playing politics and grandstanding.

"There is a group running around putting pressure on sheriffs to do so," he said. "But I refuse to give into bully tactics."

He clarified that his position is that, in addition to 1639 being unconstitutional, he doesn't think there is anything that law enforcement can actually enforce in it.

"1639 doesn't give a sheriff anything to do," he said. "Which is why I have a problem with my peers stepping up and saying they won't enforce it."

He told the gathered media that he had gone as far as to offer to join in a federal lawsuit challenging 1639, but that lawyers had told him that they didn't need his support, because they say there's nothing for him to enforce in it.

Another worry Knezovich highlighted on Friday is that he believes the way that I-1639 defines assault rifles paves the way for the state to ban guns going forward.


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