From his temporary office in the basement of the Klickitat County Courthouse, Sheriff Bob Songer is carrying out a provocative mission: he’s refusing to enforce a new Washington State gun control law.
The law, Initiative 1639, raises the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, expands background checks, and adds new rules for the safe storage of firearms. Some of its provisions went into effect on January 1st; the rest are supposed to start in July.
But Songer says the law is unconstitutional — and he insists he won’t carry it out, nor, as an elected sheriff, should he be obligated to.
“Even if it was a legal law, you have discretionary power,” Songer tells VICE News Tonight. “There is no other law enforcement official in the entire United States except a sheriff is elected to office by the people.”
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