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Washington Attorney General sends letter to sheriffs concerning I-1639

SPOKANE, Wash. - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson continues to stand firm in his defense of Initiative 1639 despite numerous sheriffs saying the law in unenforceable.  

In a letter sent Monday to all 39 Washington sheriffs, Ferguson writes, “Recent public statements from your colleagues regarding the refusal to enforce Initiative 1639, approved by nearly 60% of Washington voters last November, suggest widespread misunderstanding regarding the requirements and status of the new law.”

Here are a few of the points the Ferguson makes in the letter.

Initiative 1639:

   --Does not require that a firearm be stored in a particular place of in a particular way;

   --Does not require you to enter homes to investigate whether firearms are safely and securely
      stored.  There are strict constitutional limits on when law enforcement can enter your home;

   --Does not create criminal liability for a stolen firearm, provided the firearm is reported stolen; 

   --Does not prohibit a person between the ages of 18 and 21 from possessing a semiautomatic
      assault rifle provided they have the weapon for defense of their home, business, or personal 
      property, or while hunting or at a shooting range.

   --Does require local law enforcement to perform enhanced background checks on all sales
      and transfers of semiautomatic assault rifles regardless of your personal views on the initiative;

   --Has not been found by any court to violate the Second Amendment.

Ferguson said the background checks which begin in July are more intensive than currently required for sales and transfers of semiautomatic rifles, and identical to what has been required for pistol purchases for many years.


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