Some Washington sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A dozen county sheriffs in Washington state are refusing to enforce new restrictions on semi-automatic rifles that voters approved in November.

The sheriffs say the measure might be unconstitutional, and they won’t enforce it until the courts rule on a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation.

Supporters of the gun restrictions say they’re disappointed. But they note that the sheriffs have no role in enforcing the new laws until July 1, when expanded background checks take effect.

The background check provision brings vetting for semi-automatic rifle and other gun purchases in line with the process for buying pistols.

The new law also raised the minimum age for buying semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, and requires buyers to first pass a firearms safety course.

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