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At least 12 sheriffs in the state have said they will not enforce a controversial gun-control measure passed by voters last November. This week the sheriffs of Clark and Mason County made that announcement, with the list now including Adams, Benton, Franklin, Grant, Grays Harbor, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Stevens, Wahkiakum and Yakima counties.

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett and Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris stopped by KOHO to talk about their perspective on the issue and what they see as the role of law enforcement in this case when it’s in the hands of the courts to interpret the new law.

I-1639 was passed last year by Washington voters with 59 percent of the vote. The measure requires safe storage for firearms and strengthens the background check required to purchase a firearm. It also broadly redefines many guns as “semi-automatic” rifles, while increasing the age limit to purchase a semi-automatic from 18 to 21.


KOHO’s Dan Langager also talked with Sheriff Burnett last week on the KOHO Morning Show about 1639 and you can check out that interview by clicking here.


  1. Brian Thompson on February 8, 2019 at 8:01 am

    I-1639 is illegal based upon both the Federal and State Constitution. Therefore, anyone that takes an oath of office to enforce and abide by their provisions is actually breaking the law.

  2. Doug S. on February 9, 2019 at 1:03 am

    The article says “(1639) also broadly redefines many guns as ‘semi-automatic’ rifles,” but what it actually does is define all semi-automatic rifles as “assault rifles.” The result is that many WA gun owners now possess an “assault rifle” even though they never purchased or had any intention of purchasing, an “assault rifle.” This is what happens when people with an agenda change the meanings of words and low-information people accept the “newspeak” as legitimate. By actual definition, “assault rifle” is not an “assault weapon” nor is it a semi-automatic rifle. All these terms can be found – and defined by dictionary – online by anyone interested in the truth. And yes, semi-automatic rifles have been around since the early 1900s; they’re not something new that needs bureaucratic regulation. Oh, and yet another inconvenient truth; if _all_ rifles disappeared from America, and nothing supplanted them, it would “save” about 350 lives per year. More people die every year from bathtub falls.

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