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Summary of Sheriff Kevin Morris's Comments on I-1639 (Gun Control Law)

Written by Douglas County Republicans on . Posted in DCRCC News

Here is a summary written by our Executive Board Secretary.   This meeting took place on March 4th, 2019 at the regular Douglas County Republican monthly meeting in East Wenatchee.  

Summary:

Douglas County Sheriff - Kevin Morris

Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris, spoke to the Douglas County Republican party for forty minutes, answering questions from concerned citizens. Sheriff Morris, was invited to speech on issues surrounding I-1639. Morris opened with a statement that he that Douglas County has three pressing issues that must take priority for the Sheriffs Office.

They are first, the Opioid problem, second, mental health issues and third violent crimes. These issues became a theme of Morris' remarks. He also made a point that Douglas County was going to enforce the law, but would do so with much discretion. Morris added that the sheriffs department would not make any arrests or issue any citations on site for any I-1639 offenses. The sheriffs office would just refer all matters to the Douglas County Prosecutors Office.

Morris fielded many questions from the large group. One lady wanted to understand if her 18 year old daughter could still hunt with her own riffle. Morris ensured the lady that hunting was one of the many outlined exceptions for use in the law. Another person asked Morris if we follow the constitution or the laws. Morris asked for clarification, then said we will not violate any rights, rules or laws in the enforcement of other laws. Morris went back to this point multiple times in reference to other questions.

Others asked about how do we challenge this law moving forward. Morris went on to explain he felt it was unconstitutional and that the court challenges were already underway. Another person present stated, that since the Washington Supreme Court is just a extension of King County politics that we may face years before the issue is taken up by the US supreme court. To that point Morris was in agreement, this could be a long drawn out court battle.

Morris was asked about the exemptions for use of a firearm in the measure, and assured the group that there are many listed exceptions for use. Morris was also asked if he had personally reached out to the prosecutors office about how they will follow up with sheriffs referrals. He assured the group he had, and that the prosecutor supported the way he was addressing the issue. A question was raised about if your home was broken into and your guns were stolen then used in another crime would you be held liable if you had no knowledge of the break-in.

The example that was used was if you were on vacation out of state. Morris made note of the fact that the law gives a five day grace period to report for if you know or reasonably should have know your guns were stolen. you would not be held liable for not reporting the guns stolen given you met this provision. Morris was asked about if he was open to being a sanctuary gun county. He said NO, I have an oath to uphold the laws. I will not allow Douglas County to be a sanctuary county on any matters.

Morris was also asked if he got a letter from the Attorney General about how he should enforce the law. Morris said he did get a letter outlining what the state expects the enforcement should be. This line of questioning led to many negative remarks toward Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The point was also made that the Washington State Patrol was tasked with over sight of enforcement.  Morris was then asked how do we deal with the rise of socialism in laws that are supported by King County. Morris went on to inform the audience that had a great passion of getting out in front of the people to engage on the issues facing the Sheriffs office. Finally Morris was asked if all the Sheriffs were against the I-1639. Morris went on to say no, but the vast majority were. He believed that the King County Sheriff might have supported the measure.  

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Review: 03/04/2019 Monthly Meeting w/ Sheriff Morris

Written by Lauren J. Miehe on . Posted in DCRCC News

First off, we wanted to thank all the community members that showed up to our March 4th, 2019 meeting.   The meeting was standing room only and we had over 60 people show up with local media also in the room filming and recording the event.   Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris was our guest and he spoke for about 15 minutes and took questions from the audience for another 30 minutes.

The crowd was very respectful but not surprisingly, very concerned about the new gun control law I-1639.  The crowd rightfully pointed out that since 2014 when I-594 was passed, we are seeing a trend of public initiatives coming from Western Washington to increase restrictions on firearms.   Because this process only needs a simple majority and bypasses the legislature, only three counties in Washington can pass these laws that affect and curtail gun rights for the whole state.  This did not sit well with the crowd.  

Sheriff Morris stated his disapproval of the law but also explained he is one of three branches (executive) and his job is to decide how the implement these laws while not infringing on people rights or conflicting with other existing law.  Morris stated only two of the provisions in the law actually come across his desk.  These are the age and safe storage portions.  He stated on the record that his office will not be filing any formal charges and any action would come from the Douglas County Prosecutor office under Gordon Edgar.   That information would be obtained through the standard sheriff's report and the Prosecutor's office would make the final decision if something is actionable. 

In closing this was an important night and this type of dialogue is critical to inform the public on these issues.   This issue is far from over but these steps are the correct ones to inform our county on impact and allow them to give feedback to our elected and unelected officials.  We want to thank the community and Sheriff Morris for taking time to participate and we will be doing more of these forums in the future for other important issues affecting the residents of Douglas County.

Photos:

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Sheriff Kevin Morris

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March 4th, 2019 - Monthly Meeting w/ Sheriff Morris on I-1639

Written by Administrator on . Posted in DCRCC News

DCR Regular Monthly Meeting on March 4th (Monday), 2019 @ 7:00pm

Address: 377 Eastmont Ave, East Wenatchee, WA

Guest: Douglas County Sheriff Morris
Topic: Discussion on I-1639 (Gun Control) w/ Q&A from public.

Note: After guest, we will have our normal meeting covering various topics. Please spread the word and make our monthly meetings & events. We need your input and feedback. The Douglas County Repulicans are the premiere political organization that is supporting republicans and concervative ideas in our wonderful county.

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Douglas County Sheriff Kevin Morris releases statement on I-1639

Written by Douglas County Republicans on . Posted in News

The statement reads as followed:


"In response to the numerous requests for comment by the media and citizens of Douglas County see the following; I understand the multitude of concerns, questions, and uncertainties raised by the recently passed initiative, I-1639, which alters the existing gun laws throughout Washington State. As the Sheriff of Douglas County, my highest priority is protecting our community and safeguarding the rights of all residents I was elected to represent. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has a proud tradition of common sense policing, a perspective we will continue to apply in our operations as it relates to I-1639.

As Sheriff, I believe strongly in the rules, laws, and constitutions of our State and Nation. These rights form the bedrock of our great Country. Initiative 1639 is currently being challenged through the formal legal process. While the Courts work to determine the legality of the law, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will continue their work as they always have. We believe in creating enforcement priorities to ensure that we address the most serious problems affecting our residents. We are committed to addressing the opioid epidemic, mental health concerns, and violent crimes, all of which are serious concerns for our strong community.

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018 Douglas County voters elected me to this distinguished post, placing in me their confidences and support. It is now that I ask you to continue to trust me and the distinguished deputies of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to work tirelessly in protecting your safety and rights. Our first priority is now, and will continue to be, protecting the citizens of Douglas County.

Respectfully,

Sheriff Kevin Morris"

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Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Written by Douglas County Republicans on . Posted in DCRCC News

As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we commit to continue his pursuit of equality, peace, and respect towards one another. These qualities highlight the best of America, because when we are compassionate and treat our neighbors with dignity, we are at our best.
Respectfully,



Caleb Hemlich 
Chairman
Washington State Republican Party

An important messsage from the Douglas County Republicans and Washington State Republican Party.  Uphold Dr. King's message of unity as Americans to make the United States a better place that supports our best self and ideals.