Military and Police

Second Amendment Sanctuary State Movement Grows to at Least 20 Sheriffs

Another update on a national reaction to the anti-gun left’s oppressive gun control laws being pushed by anti-Second Amendment groups. However, more than just an update on the issue, this is also an update on how the mainstream media are reporting the issue.

Now, if I were to give The Guardian the benefit of the doubt on their reporting of this issue, I’d say it was lazy. But considering where the state of journalism is today, I’m leaning toward dishonest. The Guardian has overlooked some critical aspects as to why so many sheriffs are resisting the new law.

The Guardian is reporting that at least 20 county sheriffs (and I know of at least one police chief, Loren Culp of Republic, WA) are refusing to enforce Washington State’s new gun law. The state has been implementing the law incrementally since January 1, 2019 after voters passed the highly controversial I-1639.

The Guardian reports several nuanced reasons why county sheriffs are refusing to enforce the law. The reasons cited went anywhere from waiting to see how current court cases, such as those brought by the NRA, are adjudicated, to the law being too vague and otherwise flawed to enforce (which it is), to taking strong Second Amendment stances. One sheriff went as far as saying not only would he not enforce the law but also he would not allow other agencies to enforce that law in his county.

Some things overlooked by The Guardian but not overlooked by, for example, is the effect of millionaire and billionaire donors contributing gobs and gobs of dollars in recent years to Washington State anti-gun campaigns. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer have each poured $1 million to anti-gun rights initiatives in Washington. Billionaire anti-gunner and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg has also injected cash into anti-Second Amendment efforts in the state.

It’s also important to know voters in 27 out of 32 counties in the state rejected I-1639. The initiative passed because of the five heavily populated, left-leaning counties west of the Cascades. Combine that with the massive financial support listed above, and that 27-county majority suffers at the whims of five bully counties. In fact, if states operated with an electoral college system, as the federal government does for presidential elections, the anti-liberty initiative would have failed miserably—protecting the minority’s unalienable rights. But that’s not the way it works. Americans have to rely on each other to preserve our individual liberty.

Another dishonest part of The Guardian’s reporting was about Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, a Washington State resident. Gibson has addressed several county meetings, urging officials to institute “Second Amendment Sanctuary” county statutes. The Guardian chose to introduce Gibson this way, “Joey Gibson, the leader of the Portland-area Patriot Prayer group, which has been involved in several violent protests in the city [emphasis added].” They fail to explain that the violence has been initiated by radical leftist groups such as Antifa. The only violence from Patriot Prayer members has been in self-defense.

The Guardian also failed to mention how controversial I-1639’s passage was. Backers broke just about every initiative process rule that exists and state officials refused to hold initiative backers responsible. They said the law was created without any enforcement mechanism. So no one even tried. Not even the Republican secretary of state. Supporters created a staggeringly flawed initiative that has morphed into a spectacularly flawed law. Just one example: the law restricts gun dealers from selling “assault rifles” to 18-20-year-olds. But the law doesn’t define what exactly an “assault rifle” is. Supposedly, the state will add a definition to the law in July 2019. That should be fun.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, an anti-gun advocate, wrote an open letter admonishing the state’s law enforcement officers. He wrote, “As public officers, our duty is to abide by the will of the people we serve and implement and enforce the laws they adopt.”

True—in part. But there are some significant exceptions. It seems Ferguson has edited the Bill of Rights “exceptions” right out of the Constitution. His quote endorses mob rule, which was the reason a Bill of Rights to protect the minority from an oppressive majority was necessary to ratify the Constitution. In fact, the framers incorporated a Bill of Rights to guard against exactly what Bob Ferguson and the anti-gun left is attempting to do. That’s why the Second Amendment was included so highly among our unalienable rights.

Perhaps, Attorney General Bob Ferguson should take another look at his oath of office. It’s similar to the oaths the 20 sheriffs he’s criticizing swore to. The difference is they meant theirs.

I, Robert Watson Ferguson, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state of Washington, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Attorney General to the best of my ability [emphasis added].

If the left will ignore laws they don’t like, why not ignore oaths they don’t believe in?

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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