Sheriff Bob Songer is one of several sheriffs from the state of Washington that will not be enforcing new gun control laws until they hear from a judge that the policies do not breach the Second Amendment.
During an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Songer explained that he believes new laws that dictate how guns must be stored and prevent those under the age of 21 from buying semi-automatic rifles not only trample the Second Amendment, but they are outside the bounds of the Washington state constitution as well.
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“As a constitutional sheriff, I’ve taken an oath to uphold both the Washington state constitution and the United States Constitution, and I believe very strongly that this law violates the constitution,” Songer said.
He noted that Washington could have passed a state constitutional amendment to implement these new laws but that the state legislature didn’t do that because it would have needed two-thirds of both chambers to agree rather than the 50 percent of voters they needed to pass the referendum, which is how the regulations came to be.
Songer especially has a problem with the age restriction on purchases of semi-automatic rifles. He noted that 18-year-olds who took up arms to defend the country wouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun to protect their home until they turned 21.
“They come back from battle, and under [initiative] 1639, they can’t even buy a hunting rifle that’s a semi-automatic, and so I think they’re taking this way too far,” Songer claimed.
Songer also noted that he doesn’t believe the law will make the people of Washington any safer.
“This law, 1639, will not do one iota of making our county citizens safer,” Songer said. “Bad guys are going to have guns regardless.”
As sheriff, Songer has requested that all legal complaints filed under 1639 be brought directly to him and that he will review the case but will not arrest anyone found in violation.
“I am not going to arrest them for what I consider a violation of their constitutional rights. Plain and simple,” Songer said.
He is not the only sheriff in Washington who has announced their refusal to enforce the law.
“I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones told the Associated Press. “I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”
As IJR previously reported, Washington sheriffs have refused to enforce some gun control laws in the past.