Wahkiakum County Sheriff Mark Howie has joined other sheriffs in condemning Initiative 1639 and said Wednesday he will not actively enforce the law, which in part requires gun owners to store firearms in a place where a “prohibited person” could not gain access to them.
The initiative violates his oath of office and the state and federal constitutions, Howie said.
“I am not going to violate my oath I have taken to uphold the constitution and go and check people’s houses on a yearly basis to make sure they’re complying with this initiative as it’s written.”
The sheriff’s office will take enforcement case by case, Howie said: A 70-year-old man living alone with an unsecured gun on his nightstand, for example, would be treated differently than a house with guns “lying all over the place” and children running around.
But he wants more clarity in the law and said he’s awaiting the results of a state Supreme Court challenge that gun rights groups have filed against the initiative. Howie said it was “(at) least negligent” for lawmakers to write the initiative without collaborating more with the sheriffs, who will be tasked with performing criminal and mental health background checks the measure requires. Read More Here