Spokane congressional candidate starts petition to abolish 'safe storage' gun initiative

WASHINGTON - Monday, two more Sheriff's have announced they won't be enforcing Initiative 1639.

Lawmakers are trying to raise the purchase of semi-automatic rifles to twenty-one, have standards for secure storage of guns, and more.

Okanogan and Grant County both said that the initiate is unconstitutional, and unenforceable, because of the unclear language used in 1639.

Sheriff Jones is joining a handful of Sheriff's across Washington State that are saying 1639 violates not only a person's rights to bear arms, but also the 4th amendment, unreasonable search and seizure. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, who have been advocating for 1639, said they're confident in the way the law has been written.

"We're disappointed to see Sheriff's in general coming out in opposition to 1639," A spokesperson for The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Kristen Ellingboe, said.

Ellingboe told KHQ none of the Sheriff's, who have come out and said they're not going to enforce the initiate, have reached out to the non-profit.

"I think it's particularly miscommunication and misunderstanding at this point of the law," Ellingboe said.

Ellingboe says she trusts if 1639 does pass in Federal court, that Sheriff's will uphold their oath of duty when it comes time to implement 1639.

Grant County Sheriff, Tom Jones, said right now there is no time line for if 1639 will pass or not. But it it does, he'll look into what steps to take next.

"I will then at that point, work with our prosecutor on the next course of action with what we'll do as a Sheriff's office," Sheriff Jones said.

Sheriff Jones cites several reasons he's against 1639, including, he says, if someone steals a gun from a person's home, and that gun is used in a crime, the homeowners could be potientally facing criminal charges toweards that. 

The law says the gun owner would only face charges if the firearm is not properly stored. But, Sheriff Jones says people who keep guns in their homes shouldn't have to worry about facing criminal charges if the gun is stolen.

1639 also says a person has to be over twenty-one to purchase a semi-automatic assault rifle. Ellingboe said since that's already the law for handguns, the same rule should apply here.

"Which we think is a common sense update to our existing law," Ellingboe said.

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility also says 1639 wants to enhance background checks when purchasing semi-automatic rifles, and that it be required you go through safety course training before purchasing.