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WA man arrested over gun control law death threats on Facebook to sheriffs

Washington State Patrol (Alex Smith/WikiCommons)
March 04, 2019

A Washington man was arrested last week after he posted death threats on Facebook to Washington State county sheriffs for their stance on a recent gun bill passed by the state legislature.

Jaydin Ledford, 23, was taken into custody without incident for making threats to the sheriff’s office because they opposed a recently passed gun control measure, KHQ 6 News reported.

Ledford was disgruntled over the opposition by the various sheriffs and started making social media death threats, KOMO News reported. He posted on Facebook, “I-1639 is law. Sheriffs that are non-compliant will be shot. By me.”

Another said, “Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is gonna get a bullet in his skull.”

One post said, “I really want to kill a police officer.”

The bill, I-1639, requires enhanced background checks for gun buyers, makes the legal age 21 to purchase a semi-automatic rifle, and also requires safe storage for weapons.

Most of the county sheriffs in the state oppose the new law, saying they refuse to honor it because it is unconstitutional.

Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley said Ledford’s threats were taken seriously and all law enforcement agencies in the vicinity were notified and warned to take special caution in the event they were called to his residence.

An investigation was conducted by joint efforts of the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force, Omak Police, and Okanogan County sheriff’s detectives. As a result, Ledford was taken into custody in Omak, where he resided, by the Okanogan County sheriff’s deputies.

He is being charged with harassment for threatening to kill and intimidating a public servant.

Ledford was remanded to the Okanogan County Jail, then transferred to federal custody.

The investigation is ongoing.

Republic, Wash. Police Chief Loren Culp said, “As long as I am Chief of Police, no Republic police officer will infringe on a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, PERIOD,” the Seattle Times reported.

Culp proposed a “Second Amendment Sanctuary City Ordinance” that would make I-1639 considered null and void by the City of Republic.

He added, “I’m just standing up for people’s rights. I had people asking if the Police Department was going to start arresting teenagers, 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds, carrying and using a semi-automatic .22 rifle. I told them, ‘I’m not going to infringe on someone’s constitutional rights.’”

Culp said, “People who live here are very individualistic, probably fairly libertarian. People don’t want anybody telling them what they can do. My position is that we need to ask a different question. If we take the assumption that guns are a right, how do we, as a society, keep them out of the hands of someone who’s not mentally stable?”