Washington state is a curious mix of Pacific Northwest liberals and rural conservatives. Typically, the liberals are the winners — at least when it comes to statewide contests and the ability to legislate that comes with them.
However, the police chief in Republic, Washington says that the state government in Olympia isn’t what he’s taken an oath to. Instead, it’s the U.S. Constitution — and he says his refusal to enforce new state gun control laws is part of that.
According to KXLY-TV, the Chief Loren Culp says neither he nor his department will be enforcing Washington’s new Initiative 1639, arguing the strict new gun control legislation violates the Second Amendment.
Initiative 1639 was on the ballot this November and made Washington’s gun control — at least when it comes to “assault rifles” — some of the strictest in the nation. It raises the age to buy what it describes as “semiautomatic assault rifles” to 21, requires mandatory training and stricter background checks, implements a 10-day waiting period on any purchase of said weapon and levies a purchase fee on such weapons.
Republic Police Chief Loren Culp is proposing a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary City” in his Eastern Washington town. It would “prevent federal and state infringement on the right to keep and bear arms,” Culp wrote on Facebook. https://t.co/Bm9PYDFNZx pic.twitter.com/AdVHlwHlqg
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) November 17, 2018
It also makes it a Class C felony to store a weapon in such a manner where a prohibited person can gain access to it and either display it or commit a crime with it.
“Initiative 1639 passed with a statewide approval of nearly 60 percent of the vote,” KXLY reports. “In Ferry County, where Republic is located, 73 percent of voters said no to the measure, which was 2,542 votes against.”
Chief Culp is definitely in the against column — and he used the official Facebook page of his police department to let everyone know it.
“I’ve talked with quite a few concerned citizens today so let me clear something up,” Culp wrote. “I’ve taken 3 public oaths, one in the US Army and Two as a police officer. All of them included upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States of America.
“The second amendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” he added.
“As long as I am Chief of Police, no Republic Police Officer will infringe on a citizens right to keep and Bear Arms, PERIOD!”
Speaking to KXLY, Chief Culp shared similar sentiments.
“We took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the State of Washington, and (I-1639) completely flies in the face of both the U.S. and state constitution,” he said.
The Facebook page also posted the text of an ordinance that would be proposed to the council, prohibiting the enforcement of laws that are an “infringement of the right to keep and bear arms.”
“The ordinance also called on neighboring communities and jurisdictions in the state to pass similar ordinances, and for the copies of the ordinance to be transmitted to the lawmakers that represent that district for them to introduce legislation on the matter next session,” KXLY reported.
Culp, meanwhile, believes the ordinance eventually won’t be needed.
“I believe, eventually, this will be overturned in the courts, but that could take some time,” he said.
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