U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- As the courageous actions of armed private citizens who came to the aid of two wounded Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies are being praised by local lawmen, Democrat lawmakers in the state legislature are feverishly pushing gun control laws that could ultimately penalize those Samaritans.
Democrats have been pushing legislation (Senate Bill 5078), which would outlaw ammunition magazines for rifles and pistols containing more than 10 rounds. The measure already passed the Senate on a party-line vote and is now in the House, where a hearing is scheduled Wednesday before the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary at 10 a.m.
Another measure, Senate Bill 5568, seeks to repeal Washington’s 38-year-old preemption law to give anti-gun mayors such as Seattle’s Bruce Harrell the ability to set their own gun control regulations.
Against this ironic backdrop, Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo and Undersheriff Doug Chadwick were publicly praising the actions of the armed citizens who came to the aid of wounded Deputies Ryan Rathbun and Jay Thompson.
“We are extraordinarily blessed that several armed citizens came to the deputies’ assistance at the critical moments when they were most vulnerable,” Sheriff Elfo said in a message posted on the department’s Facebook page. “I have contacted all three of the good Samaritans and expressed appreciation on behalf of myself and all members of law enforcement and their families. There will be a more formal recognition of these humble citizen heroes once more details of their actions can be released.”
“We’re thankful they were there and that they were willing to leave the protection of their own homes, put their own safety at risk to help see a fellow human being in need,” Chadwick added to Seattle’s KOMO News. “We’re thankful those citizens stepped up and helped fill that gap and that time until other deputies were able to arrive on scene.”
The Police Tribune noted in its report that the armed citizens—identified in some reports as Jesse Marshall and Cody Deeter—“stepped forward and fired multiple shots” at the suspect, Joel Berck Young, causing him to retreat. The citizens, apparently aided by a third person, pulled the wounded lawmen to safety and began administering first aid.
The confrontation erupted Feb. 10 when Young allegedly confronted a neighbor for burning brush in the community of Peaceful Valley east of Bellingham. The fire created smoke that reportedly drifted into Young’s house. After some apparently harsh words, Young—who had allegedly been drinking, according to one published report—came out with a shotgun and fired into the air, prompting neighbors to call the sheriff’s department.
Deputies Rathbun and Thompson arrived, and in short order, they were both allegedly shot by the 60-year-old Young, who now faces charges of first-degree attempted murder. That’s when Deeter and Marshall ushered their families inside their homes, retrieved their own guns and intervened, according to published reports.
Deeter told Seattle’s KING he came around the corner of a house, spotted Young in the doorway “and I unloaded, just to get him to go away so we can get these guys (the wounded deputies) back.”
It is not known how many shots were fired by the armed citizens, but the suspect retreated and after a couple of hours, was taken into custody.
And now, as lawmakers in Olympia—about 160 miles to the south—are gathered for their 60-day session, majority Democrats are determined to push through gun control legislation banning so-called “high capacity magazines,” and prohibiting open carry in many places, including government buildings or where public meetings are being held. And there’s the effort to eliminate state preemption, which Harrell has already said is on his wish list.
The irony of this scenario is not lost on Evergreen State gun rights activists. Thousands of gun owners have signed up to oppose SB 5078—the high-cap magazine ban bill—and the toll-free Legislative Hotline has been flooded.
While the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has blasted Harrell for falsely claiming Washington is only one of “a few” states with preemption statutes—at least 42 states have such laws—the Seattle-based and billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility has been cheering the progress of SB 5078 and House Bill 1705 to close the so-called “ghost gun loophole.”
KOMO, the ABC News affiliate in Seattle, reported Monday that the gun prohibition movement has “high hopes” for passage of the magazine ban. For some reason, KOMO continues referring to anti-gunners as “gun safety advocates.” However, KOMO at least provided opponents of the measure equal space to explain why they think SB 5078 is wrong.
The Everett Herald is reporting that debate on House Bill 1630, making open carry illegal in a building where a “local governing body is meeting,” has also been contentious. According to the report, Democrat Rep. Tina Senn declared, “Guns have no place in our civil discourse…Nobody needs a gun to make their voice heard in our democracy, and nobody should face armed intimidation.”
In the midst of this gun debate, Seattle Police reported the arrest of a 17-year-old in the downtown area last Friday, carrying a Glock pistol with a 15-round magazine that was reported stolen in north Seattle. He faces charges of possession of a stolen handgun, illegal possession of a handgun and drug offenses.
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