Spokane County Sheriff’s detectives are reportedly investigating threats made in Facebook posts against Evergreen State county sheriffs who have announced they will not enforce provisions of gun control Initiative 1639, including Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
The individual has apparently been identified, and the Facebook page have apparently been identified. There were at least three threatening posts, including one that stated “Ozzie Knezovich is gonna get a bullet in his skull.” Another post declared, “I-1639 is law. sheriffs that are non compliant (sic) will be shot. By me.”
Passage of the restrictive gun control measure last November has ignited emotions on both sides of the gun rights issue, but the specific posts on the Facebook page in question are alarming to gun owners now following the controversy, which is being widely reported by Eastern Washington media, but not so much on the westside.
In one post, the individual declared, “f—ing republican (sic) terrorists i (sic) am going to kill every single one of them.” Liberty Park Press has seen the alleged Facebook page in question.
According to KXLY, a report was made to “Crime Check” earlier this week, which sparked the investigation.
The 30-page gun control measure, which raised the minimum age for purchasing a semiautomatic rifle of any kind was raised to 21 years, while defining literally every semi-auto rifle ever manufactured as a “semiautomatic assault rifle.” It also requires proof of training to purchase a semi-auto rifle, requires registration and contains other provisions that were opposed by gun owners in the state.
A federal lawsuit has been filed against the measure by the Second Amendment Foundation, National Rifle Association, two retailers and young adults in the affected age group.
Rights groups are tracking the number of sheriffs who have announced they will not actively enforce I-1639 provisions on the grounds that they are unconstitutional. Depending upon which group’s numbers one consults, there are now between 15 and 20 county sheriffs who have declared they will not enforce the initiative, at least while it is the subject of litigation. The NRA/SAF lawsuit may not be the only legal challenge the measure faces, but so far it is the only case that has been filed.
Many gun owners have also declared they will not comply, and they are slowly recognizing that their state has become a petri dish for testing all manner of gun controls.
There is presently a strong effort to dramatically restrict concealed carry in the states. One of those bills is SSB 5174, which the Senate Law & Justice Committee passed on a strictly party line 4-3 vote. Under provisions of this bill, a mandatory training course is added to the requirements for acquiring a concealed pistol license. This course includes “proficiency testing” with each firearm the applicant is applying to be licensed to carry.
One veteran rights advocate observed via email that this legislation “significantly increases the risk of lowering the number of CPL holders,” which may be the ultimate goal. He said passage of this requirement would create “the highest bar to obtaining a CPL in any state in the country.”
According to the state Department of Licensing, there are now more than 613,000 active CPLs in the state, a statistic that cannot be good news to Seattle-based gun prohibitionists.
But with the threats against sheriffs opposed to the initiative, which was backed by the gun control group, many are wondering just who poses a real threat to public safety, law-abiding gun owners or the people who want to disarm them.