The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

Sheriff on AG's radar


January 30, 2019

This story contains new clarifying information based on a phone call to The Sentinel Thursday morning from the State Attorney General's Office.

Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer has drawn the attention of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for his stand on not enforcing I-1639.

Kate Kelly, Policy Director for the Attorney General's office, responded to an email received by the Attorney General's office that raised concern about Songer's stand. "Attorney General Ferguson asked that I respond to you on his behalf," Kelly wrote, adding, "Your message expresses concerns about the implementation of newly effective Washington firearms restrictions. You are particularly concerned about statements made by Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer. We are aware of this issue and are actively monitoring developments as they occur."

Kelly addressed the Attorney General's stand on I-1639. "Attorney General Ferguson has been clear that he is committed to protecting the legal and constitutional rights of Washingtonians and upholding the will of the State’s voters in passing Initiative 1639," she wrote. "You can learn more about Initiative 1639 and the role of the Attorney General in the implementation of the new law on our website [at] Our office is confident that Initiative 1639 is constitutional, and we intend to defend it in court."

Songer said Monday that he stands by his position. "It appears the State Attorney General is checking me because I made the decision to protect the constitutional rights Second Amendment) of citizens in Klickitat County," he said.

Songer is not alone in his stand in the state. Sheriffs and police chiefs elsewhere in Washington have also said they will refuse to enforce the controversial initiative, including the Lewis County Sheriff's office and the city of Republic.

An earlier report suggested that a representative of the Attorney General's Office commented the office would be "happy to prosecute" Songer, but a call from the office Thursday morning clarified that the comment came from a Facebook reader who posted it over the seal of the Attorney General's Office. The comment did not come from any representative of the office.

The Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association are already geared up for court action against I-1639.


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