Some Yakima and Kittitas county residents plan to challenge Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s support of Initiative 1639 on criminal grounds.
I-1639, which goes into full effect in July, requires gun buyers to complete a firearms safety course and go through a background check that includes a mental health history. It also requires that guns be secured, and could subject gun owners to criminal charges if their firearms are used by someone else to commit a crime.
Yakima Valley attorney Michael Scott Brumback, who spoke at a meeting organized by Second Amendment For Everyone Kittitas County (SAFE) on Tuesday near Ellensburg, outlined why he believes Ferguson committed criminal wrongdoing, focusing primarily on Ferguson’s involvement with an endorsement of I-1639 beginning when the initiative was filed in May 2018.
About 90 people attended the meeting at Damman School, the Ellensburg Daily Record reported.
“I’m a firm believer that the left wants us to forget about the Constitution. ... This is the perfect example of democracy undermining constitutional law,” Brumback told the group. “We had a majority rule under a citizen initiative create law, and I say ‘law’ a little bit sarcastically because I don’t believe it is a law, that it is in absolute conflict with our U.S. and Washington constitutions.”
In an email to the Yakima Herald-Republic, Brumback cited criminal statutes dealing with official misconduct and failure of duty by a public officer.
According to a post shared by the Supporters of Sheriff Udell Facebook page, 200 affidavits of complaining witness against Ferguson have been filed in Yakima County, with a hearing planned in District Court in Grandview on Friday. Brumback said he will attend as a citizen, not as an attorney.
Ferguson previously has said he is confident the measure is constitutional. He told a newspaper group in Olympia on Thursday that he wasn’t too worried about the latest effort.
Proponents of the bill say it will increase public safety by implementing stricter firearm safety measures. The new law has already raised the minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21. The initiative passed with 60 percent support statewide.
Yakima County Sheriff Bob Udell and sheriffs in Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Stevens, Grant, Benton, Ferry and other counties have said they won’t enforce the law.
The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the initiative is unconstitutional.