The Seattle Times has reported that a small group of citizens, frustrated over the direction of Washington State control gun laws, has chatted about making a “citizen’s arrest” of state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a supporter of those restrictive gun laws.
Interestingly, the story has generated more than 750 reader comments, many calling the idea nutty while others contend that Ferguson has been rather selective about enforcing state laws. Among the laws that many Evergreen Stater gun owners think he hasn’t enforced is the state preemption statute. Otherwise, many believe, he would have gone after the cities of Seattle and Edmonds when they adopted so-called “safe storage” regulations in 2018.
Instead, both cities have been sued by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association, and last Friday, a Snohomish County judge sided with them in holding that the Edmonds regulation violates the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute.
In recent years, Washington voters have approved two big money citizen initiatives, bankrolled by a billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group based in Seattle. The first, Initiative 594, was passed in 2014, and last November, Initiative 1639 was also passed. Ferguson supported both measures and I-1639 is currently being challenged in U.S. District Court by SAF and NRA.
But the state preemption statute is under attack by the safe storage ordinances. Seattle’s regulation was upheld by a King County Superior Court judge. With a different judge, in a different county, holding an opposite opinion, the stage is set for a legal confrontation over the preemption law.
Meanwhile, this controversy over Ferguson has hit some raw nerves. One reader contended that Ferguson “is doing all that he possibly can to ignore or overturn federal laws.” Another commented, “A citizens (sic) arrest of Bob Ferguson? Wow, totally insane. I’d like to be there if that happens so I could see all the so called self-appointed ‘deputies’ get arrested by real law enforcement and thrown in jail for anarchy. Then they would find out what a real background check is all about.”
That essentially is the prevailing temper on both sides.
Ferguson has spent much of the past three years filing lawsuits against the Trump administration for various things including immigration enforcement.
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