If you look at the map above, you’ll see that Ferry County in northeast Washington isn’t one of the counties that voted for billionaire-backed I-1639’s California-like gun control laws. But the initiative — no matter how questionable the decision to include it on the 2018 ballot may have been — passed last week by almost 20 points in the Evergreen State.
Republic is a small town in Ferry County. And Republic’s chief, Loren Culp, believes that I-1639’s provisions are unconstitutional. Those provisions include universal background checks, a 10-day waiting period for semi-auto rifles, “safe storage” requirements, raising the age to buy a semi-auto rifle to 21, and classifying virtually all semi-auto rifles as “assault weapons.” And he has promised not to enforce the new law.
iFIBER ONE has talked to Chief Culp and asked him what parts of I-1639 he thinks are a problem.
“All of them,” said Culp. “I pretty much disagree with the whole thing and all it will do is restrict law-abiding citizens. It won’t stop criminals from committing crimes.”
Culp’s additional commentary regarding the issue suggested that he is mainly averse to the portion of the law which places age restrictions on the purchase of semi-automatic rifles.
“They can vote, they can serve in the military, but they’re not allowed to buy firearms,” Culp said. “How can you tell an 18 to 21-year-old who’s fresh out of the military and has been firing the most advanced weapons we have that they can’t buy a 10/22 rifle?”
Good question. As for that “assault rifle” designation . . .
“Assault rifles don’t exist,” said Culp. “Assault is an action and it’s the person behind the rifle who commits an assault if they use it that way, but it’s not the rifle that commits the assault.”
We also inquired with Culp about any other law enforcement agencies whom he has been in contact with that might be considering a similar response to I-1639 in their own jurisdictions.
“With something as blatant as this, I don’t need a bunch of other law enforcement agencies to stand behind me,” Culp explained, adding that he has not had any discussions with fellow departments or offices of the law about the matter.
Culp is trying to get the Republic city council to back him on this and has written a proposed city ordinance he hopes will come up for a vote soon.
A. The Republic City Council declares that all federal and state acts, laws, orders, rules and regulations past, present or future, in violation of the U.S. and/or State Constitutions are not authorized by the said Constitutions and violate the true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers and are hereby declared to be invalid in the City of Republic, shall not be recognized by the City of Republic, are specifically rejected by the City of Republic and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in the City of Republic.
B. No agent, employee, or official of the City of Republic, or any corporation providing services to the City of Republic shall provide material support or participate in any way with the implementation of federal or state acts, orders, rules, laws or regulations in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.
Culp’s refusal to enforce unconstitutional limits on an enumerated civil right is reminiscent of what many downstate Illinois counties have done in declaring themselves sanctuaries from the state’s gun control laws.