FRANKLIN COUNTY, WA - Initiative 1639 is a broad package of new firearms restrictions, and one that has been sparking up a lot of debate.
The first part of Washington's new gun law went into effect at the beginning of this month, which is that you must be 21 years old to buy a semi-automatic rifle. In July, the rest of the law will start, which includes more extensive background checks for people who want to buy semi-automatic rifles, new storage rules and a longer waiting period.
The law has been controversial ever since 60 percent of voters passed it in November, mostly on the western side of Washington. So controversial that many law enforcement agencies around the region have instructed officers not to enforce I-1639; saying that it violates the Federal Constitution. That was made clear for Franklin County during a commissioner's meeting earlier Tuesday morning.
This all comes after Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond wrote a memorandum to deputies back in November.
"I don't want to physically, or my deputies to go out and be arresting anybody for these types of crimes," said Sheriff Jim Raymond.
This was all laid out in Sheriff Raymond's November memorandum, where Sheriff Raymond states I-1639 is unconstitutional.
Franklin County Commissioners say they're on board with Sheriff Raymond's decision.
"We will stand by our sheriff, who's not going to enforce this," said Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier.
In fact commissioner Clint Didier going as far as introducing a resolution in opposition to I-1639.
"What is most frightening is if someone gets into your house and takes your gun to commit a heinous crime, you are now charged with that crime," said Commissioner Didier.
Other commissioners like Commissioner Brad Peck says he's on board with refusing a law that violated any constitutional rights, is for our second amendment and says I-1639 is "deeply flawed," yet is offering some opposition for those choosing to not enforce it.
"We have to acknowledge that taking this action," said Commissioner Brad Peck. "I believe and I've consulted with our county attorneys, this could bring significant liability and a wrongful death against our county."
Nonetheless, commissioner Peck also says initiatives are still initiatives.
"We don't get to pick and choose which initiatives we follow... we don't get to pick and choose which laws we like and don't," said Commissioner Peck. "I just simply propose a one word change that fixed that conflict."
The one word change Commissioner Peck is talking about is a change in Didier's resolution. That is adding the word "lawfully" to the last paragraph. Peck says by changing that, then the resolution can move through.
Tuesday, an approved resolution opposing this initiative was decided on in Franklin County. Yet, the initiative that still stands the state of Washington, with new additions to come in July.
Commissioner Brad Peck says he plans to lobby in Olympia next week opposing this initiative and seeking the radification of it. Commissioner Didier says he hopes this sparks change among other counties in Eastern Washington.