Sanctuary city for guns: Republic police chief presents ordinance to city council

A sanctuary city for people with guns: that’s what the police chief of Republic, Washington wants his city to become. Chief Loren Culp formally presented the idea to the city council Monday night in the form of an ordinance.

Chief Culp turned heads when he announced he wouldn’t enforce recently passed Initiative 1639, saying it violated the constitutional rights of citizens between the ages of 18-21 years old.

“I will stand up for citizens rights and I will not back down,” Culp said as he spoke before council and a crowd of more than 200. “I never dreamed that a police officer, stating that he will not violate anyones constitutional rights, would be such a big deal.”

Culp said he took an oath to uphold the constitution and protect the rights of citizens. I-1639 raises the age to buy a semi-automatic rifle, and prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from using one outside of their own private property. I-1639 also includes a safe storage provision that can lead to criminal charges if gun owners allow someone not authorized to access a gun displays it or uses it to commit a crime; and puts an enhanced background check and waiting period in place for people who want to buy a semi-automatic rifle.

“After Initiative 1639 passed, I had a citizen who was concerned that law enforcement was going to start arresting people under 21 for having semi-automatic rifles. After all, guns are an integral part of life here any many places across our nation,” Culp said. “God, guns, and guts are what made this country.”

Culp said he had received more than 800 emails in the last week from people all over the world, expressing support for his stance on the new gun laws.

“Our founders set us up as a republic – which is a rule of law. In a democracy, it’s majority rule, and that’s what’s being practiced right now in Washington state,” Culp said. “The big cities are telling us what’s allowed, and what isn’t. It’s like three wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner.”

Initiative 1639 passed with a statewide approval of nearly 60 percent of the vote. In Ferry County, where Republic is located, 73 percent of voters said no to the measure, which was 2,542 votes against.

Former Washington State Rep. Bob Sump attended Monday’s council meeting and said he wanted to be the first to endorse Culp for president.

“Continue to make history. Any help we can give you as a community, we’re here,” Sump said. “God bless you. This is big, guys.”

The Republic city council will need several weeks to look over the ordinance before a vote, but Culp said he does not need the council’s permission to go forward with his enforcement policy.

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