Uh oh. The New York Times has finally noticed that sheriffs in Illinois, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico and even Maryland have vowed not to enforce new gun control laws. It looks like the extent of the problem is finally starting to sink in.
(Washington Attorney General Bob) Ferguson has warned the sheriffs that they have a legal responsibility to enforce the new law in the same manner they are sworn to uphold other laws prohibiting criminal activity.
“Local law enforcement officials are entitled to their opinions about the constitutionality of any law, but those personal views do not absolve us of our duty to enforce Washington laws and protect the public,” Mr. Ferguson wrote in a letter last month.
But Bob Songer, the sheriff of Klickitat County, a rural county in southern Washington, said that the law violated gun owners’ rights.
“There is no way in hell I’m going to be going after their guns if they are honest citizens,” he said. “What I’ve told people is: I’m not giving up my guns, and I don’t expect them to give up theirs.”
The sheriff dismissed the pressure from the state’s attorney general to abide by the law.
“They are not the boss of the sheriff,” he said. “The only bosses I have are the voters of Klickitat County.”
– Simon Romero and Timothy Williams in When Sheriffs Say No: Disputes Erupt Over Enforcing New Gun Laws