Asotin County Sheriff Reacts To Initiative 1639

Asotin County Sheriff Reacts To Initiative 1639

Close To Unconstitutional

ASOTIN COUNTY, WA – Sheriff John Hilderbrand says no one is going to confiscate guns in Asotin County without good cause.  He’s adding his two cents to the Initiative 1639 conversation.  He says the initiative comes close to being unconstitutional and will add considerably more work to his staff without adding funding from the state.

1639 requires a Police Chief or Sheriff to approve all sales of firearms for anyone residing in that jurisdiction in writing.  It also adds the term “semiautomatic assault rifle” to several sections including a 10-day waiting period and the increase in age to 21 to be able to buy one.

The definition of semiautomatic assault rifle in the text is “any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” 

Sheriff Hilderbrand says he and his staff already enforce most of the laws that are affected because of previous laws and he will continue to do so, but he will not stand for general confiscation.  “I don’t like the way it’s written.  It leaves a possible door open for later on down the road if they start calling confiscation of weapons.  For my perspective, unless you’re a felon or deemed mentally ill, no one is going to take weapons from citizens in Asotin County.”

Part of the law would require him to take firearms from people that the state has considered “ineligible for any reason” that is described in the 30 pages of text. 

Hilderbrand says he's concerned about that part of the law if the state decides to consider everyone ineligible.  “I don’t want to pick and choose what we’re going to enforce, but the constitutionality of it may dictate which way we have to go.

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