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Klickitat County Sheriff won't enforce new COVID-19 restrictions

Sheriff Bob Songer called the orders "a violation of our citizens' constitutional rights under the First Amendment, Second Amendment and other amendments..."
Credit: Klickitat County Sheriff's Office
Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer

KLICKITAT COUNTY, Wash. — The Sheriff of Klickitat County won't enforce new COVID-19 restrictions put in place by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, according to a message on the Klickitat County website. 

The new COVID-19 restrictions ban indoor dining and social gatherings with those outside your household. They also limit church gatherings to 25% of the building's capacity, or no more than 200 people, whichever is less. 

"Governor Inslee's orders pertaining to public gatherings or businesses operating in violation of his orders in my opinion is a violation of our citizens' constitutional rights under First Amendment, Second Amendment, and other amendments of the US Constitution and Washington State Constitution," the message reads. 

The rest of his statement reads:

"Not allowing citizens to attend church or firearm dealers to conduct business is a violation of the First Amendment and the Second Amendment, but the Governor has no problem allowing marijuana shops to stay open for business. 

As Sheriff I will uphold our citizens’ constitutional rights and liberties and will NOT ENFORCE Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 Proclamation Orders on public gatherings and non-essential businesses. 

No crisis should ever violate a citizen’s liberty or God-given rights under our US Constitution or Washington State Constitution."

The new restrictions went into effect after a surge of COVID-19 cases in Washington state.

Klickitat County has 13 active cases of COVID-19 according to the Klickitat County Public Health Department. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 257 cases and three deaths. Klickitat County's case rate per 100,000 is currently 112, according to the public health department.