- The Washington Times - Friday, November 16, 2018

The city of Republic in Washington state is mulling legislation that would shield residents from state gun control laws that were approved by voters last week.

Republic Mayor Elbert Koontz said the Republic City Council will begin discussing the idea of becoming a “sanctuary city” to protect residents against Initiative 1639, which goes into effect Jan. 1, The Spokesman-Review reported.

The sweeping gun-control measure includes raising the age limit for buying semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 and requiring buyers of those weapons to pass an enhanced background check, show proof of firearms-training and complete a 10-day waiting period before obtaining the weapon.

The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit Thursday against the state of Washington and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, saying the measure violates both the Washington state and U.S. constitutions.

The idea of protecting the city of Republic from such measures has gained widespread support in the city, Mr. Koontz told The Spokesman-Review.

The mayor started speaking with city leaders after Republic Police Chief Loren Culp announced on Facebook that his department would refuse to enforce the new laws.

“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,” Chief Culp wrote. “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!”

Mayor Koontz told The Spokesman-Review that city leaders were currently gathering information on the issue and would discuss it at the next council meeting.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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