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Several sheriffs in Washington state counties refuse to enforce new gun-law measure



Some sheriffs in several conservative counties in Washington refused to apply state restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decided whether they were constitutional.

The November measure raised the minimum age for the purchase of semi-automatic from 18 to 21, requires buyers to go through a safety training for the first time and added in-depth controls and requirements for the storage of weapons. The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the measure is unconstitutional.

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Sherifs in twelve, mostly rural, the counties have decided not to apply the law until when the courts decided on the challenge, including Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason and Klickitat. The police chief of the Republic followed the sheriff's route.

"I have sworn to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights," said Grant County sheriff Tom Jones to the Associated Press. "I do not believe that the popular vote prevails over that".

Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers said that 75% of his county's voters voted against the bill and defined the new rules inapplicable.

The Washington initiative passed nine months later an armed man opened fire at a Florida high school, killing 1

7 people. The support of the provision said they were disappointed by the comments of their sheriffs, but noted that they should not apply the law until July 1, when the rules come into force.

"The political triumph is discomforting," Renee Hopkins, the CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, told the Associated Press. "If they do not [run the background checks] we will have a huge problem."

Hopkins, whose group pushed for the initiative, added that only a small number of senior officials of the Washington command forces spoke against the measure.

and the Clark County Sheriffs have stated that they will apply the measure while it was being discussed in court

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The ANR and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Seattle after the law was passed, arguing that the measure violates the second and the 14th amendment of the Constitution and the rights of arms vendors under the trade clause. The suit does not test advanced background checks or training requirements.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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