By: Teresa Mull
Republic, Washington Police Chief Loren Culp announced that he holds the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment as the law of the land over the state’s Initiative 1639, which voters approved on the November 2018 ballot, ushering in a slew of new gun control laws.
Chief Culp wrote on his Facebook page:
I’ve talked with quite a few concerned citizens today so let me clear something up.
I’ve taken 3 public oaths, one in the US Army and Two as a police officer. All of them included upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States of America.
The second amendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
As long as I am Chief of Police, no Republic Police Officer will infringe on a citizens right to keep and Bear Arms, PERIOD!
Gunpowder Magazine reported earlier this year that, if enacted, Initiative 1639 would: raise the legal age for purchasing a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21, require gun purchasers to pass an enhanced background check and wait 10 days to take possession of their weapon, require that gun owners take a firearms training class, and establish “secure gun storage requirements.”
GPM also reported that prior to the November election, “The Washington State Sheriffs Association (WSSA), Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs (WACOPS), and Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA) have all come out against the initiative.”
Joe Wolverton II, J.D. explains in The New American how Culp’s stance is sensible:
Some readers may agree with Culp in principle, but believe that since the citizens of Washington have spoken, he should recognize their will and carry it out, even if he is personally opposed to it.
The reality is that resisting federal trampling of the Constitution is not only a right of state lawmakers, it is a constitutional obligation. Therefore, the Washington state legislators who voted for Initiative 1639 were in violation of their oaths.
Article VI, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution reads:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Simply put, this clause puts all state legislators under a legally binding obligation (assuming they’ve taken their oath of office) to “support the Constitution.” There is no better way, it would seem, for these elected state representatives of the people to show support for the Constitution than by demanding that the officers of the federal government adhere to constitutional limits on their power.
MyNorthwest.com reports a student-led group, “We Won’t Be Next Seattle,” which is similar to the anti-gun March for Our Lives organization, is “speaking out against [Culp’s] ‘sanctuary city.’” One of the students purportedly challenged Culp to a debate on the matter.
The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit to challenge Initiative 1639.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.