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On Bob Ferguson's ban on the most popular firearm in the country

Letter to the Editor

 


The news story “Thousands of gun crimes go unpunished in Washington,” run by King 5 News on Nov. 16, asked King County Sheriff John Urquhart why prohibited persons are not prosecuted when they attempt to buy a firearm. He plainly stated they do not have the resources.

These attempts, sometimes referred to as “lie-and-try,” result in no follow-up law enforcement action because law enforcement does not have the resources. This deficiency was also noted in the attorney general white paper “Access to Firearms in Washington State” dated Oct. 31, 2016. Simply put, Attorney General Bob Ferguson knows law enforcement needs help in this area but offers no legislation to assist.

Instead, he wants to ban citizens of Washington from owning the most popular firearm in the country. According to the AG white paper, in 2013, over 1,500 Washington purchasers were denied due to a felony criminal history and 1,400 more were turned away due to a domestic violence history or active protection orders. Where are the prosecutions pursuant to existing law?

What the AG proposes is really a distraction from bigger problems pointed out by Sheriff Urquhart. Why aren’t the AG and the Legislature giving men like John Urquhart the tools needed to do the job? For the past 20 years or so, the Legislature has attempted to invoke firearms education in our youth through the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program. Each attempt to institute this free program has been met with opposition and intolerance, yet gun owners are asked to capitulate with each new law.

The Legislature and state government seemingly no longer represent the people. Local governments along the I-5 corridor do not have the answer and do not speak for the people of the state of Washington.

I will not vote for legislators, judges or other public servants who conspire to erode our fundamental rights as citizens. If called upon to serve jury duty, I will not find guilty anyone defending themselves or their rights with a firearm. Liberty and freedom are delicate, and people give them up only once, albeit a little at a time.

Whitney Slater

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