A police chief in a tiny Washington town has recently asserted that he will essentially break the shit out of the law and not enforce a new gun initiative passed by the state.
The initiative that goes into effect Jan. 1 is one of the toughest in the country, raising the legal age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21, from 18, and requiring enhanced background checks.
The initiative also includes a “safe storage” provision that, in some circumstances, makes firearm owners criminally liable if someone not allowed to access a gun uses it in a crime. That provision won’t apply if, say, a gun is stolen that was secured, such as in a safe, and the owner reports the incident within five days.
Republic, Washington, Police Chief Loren Culp, whose name makes him sound like a placeholder villain in a crime procedural, has announced that his police force, comprising all of him and his deputy, will not enforce the law when it goes into effect in January 2019.
Culp has proposed an ordinance to his city council—supposedly based on the Second Amendment—essentially saying that gun regulation laws like Initiative 1639, the one in question, infringe on citizens’ constitutional right to bear arms and through the ordinance would be “hereby declared to be invalid in the City of Republic,” per the Times.
Actually, Culp had a lot to say. From the Times:
“I’m just standing up for people’s rights,” he says. “I had people asking if the Police Department was going to start arresting teenagers, 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds, carrying and using a semi-automatic .22 rifle. I told them, ‘I’m not going to infringe on someone’s constitutional rights.’”
...And as for having five days to report a stolen gun, he says, “So now you have to check your safe every five days to make sure it’s not been broken into, and make the inventory of guns is still correct? It’s ridiculous.”
Which is high-key not the sort of shit you want to hear a cop say! “You have to be aware of the locations of your deadly weapons, roughly once or twice a week? PSSSSH.” It’s 10 p.m. on a work shift—do you know where your firearm is?
I fucking hope so, officer!
I want to emphasize here that the ordinance specifically limits the purchase of semi-automatic rifles. These barely post-pubescent teens can still buy, for example, a whole shotgun. Then again, Culp doesn’t seem to have much to do, since he’s spending all this damn energy on this, so maybe Republic will be safe with the guns.
Scarily, even if not shockingly, Culp has plenty of support from those around him:
Republic is in Ferry County, which voted 73 percent against the initiative, almost an exact flip from King County, which went 76 percent for the initiative.
As of Sunday afternoon, on the official “Republic Police WA” Facebook page, that Nov. 9 announcement by the chief had gotten 797 thumbs up, 292 hearts and only three sour faces.
797 likes on a post about the future of a town consisting of 1,100 people is pretty significant. But now, to be completely honest, I’m wondering what in the world these people do other than shoot at shit and rant about guns.
Anyway, I’m sure that Culp will end up trying to make himself seem like a martyr whether he succeeds or not, so let’s just hope he fails spectacularly.