OLYMPIA, Wash. — After taking a hard stance on sheriffs refusing to enforce the recently-passed gun measure I-1639, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson took a different tact in a new letter.
In mid-February, Ferguson issued a letter to officials who publicly stated they wouldn’t enforce I-1639, warning of possibly legal consequences. A new letter sent out Monday, though, was far more carrot than stick, suggesting that refusal to enforce it was due to a lack of understanding of the measure, rather than disregard for the law.
“Recent public statements from your colleagues regarding the refusal to enforce Initiative 1639, approved by nearly 60 percent of Washington voters last November, suggest widespread misunderstanding regarding the requirements and status of the new law,” it reads.
In this latest letter, Ferguson focused on what he views as misconceptions related to I-1639. Concerns from sheriffs in the past have included a fear they would have to “go door to door,” intrude in private homes, and go after people whose guns aren’t stored securely.
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Looking to debunk those claims, Ferguson spoke plainly.
Ferguson also pointed to a new FAQ page created by the Attorney General's office, designed to address common questions and concerns regarding I-1639.
“I hope this document is helpful to you and the Washingtonians you represent and serve,” he stated in closing.
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