Students at the University of Washington protesting I-1639 say guns are an "equalizer" for women and think they should be allowed on campus.
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Students at the University of Washington protesting I-1639 say guns are an "equalizer" for women and think they should be allowed on campus.
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/CASEY MARTIN

Sheriffs disagree with Washington state's voter-approved gun law

More than a dozen sheriffs have said they won't enforce I-1639, approved by voters in November. We speak to one of those sheriffs, as well as a sheriff who is enforcing the law, and a sponsor of the initiative.

After the initiative passed, Sheriff Jim Raymond of Franklin County sent a memo to his deputies, telling them to not take any enforcement actions relevant to the gun law. We speak to Raymond about why.

We also hear from Sheriff Brian Burnett of Chelan County, who disagrees with the law, but plans to enforce it.

Finally, we hear from Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

Sheriffs on I-1639

Last fall, ballot initiative 1639 passed into law. It restricts people under 21 from buying semi-automatic rifles, beefs up background checks, and requires safe storage of firearms. Sheriff Jim Raymond of Franklin County says he won’t fully enforce the law. Chelan County’s Brian Burnett, on the other hand, will comply with the law. And Renee Hopkins from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility is one of the sponsors of the initiative.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has issued a warning to local sheriffs, saying if they fail to enforce the state's law and its background checks, they could be held liable.

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