Oregon sheriffs promise ‘unconstitutional’ gun law won’t be enforced

Voters adopted strict new restrictions for those trying to purchase a firearm

Voters adopted strict new restrictions for those trying to purchase a firearm.
Voters adopted strict new restrictions for those trying to purchase a firearm.

Bob Unruh
WND News Center

It’s not just lawmakers in America that can do some odd things, like the pending decision in Congress on the oddly named “Respect for Marriage Act” that actually wouldn’t do that.

What it would do is “leave millions of men and women of faith out to dry, as it offers them no meaningful protection from … legal harassment.”

In Oregon this month, it was the voters.

They approved a plan to require people to finish an “approved” in-person firearm safety course, pay a fee, provide personal information, submit to fingerprinting and photographing and pass a federal criminal background check in order to buy a permit – which then could be used to buy a gun.

Multiple sheriffs in the state fear it’s unconstitutional, and don’t want to get caught up in enforcing something that’s illegal.

In question is the state’s Measure 114, which also bans magazines over 10 rounds and creates a statewide gun database.

Newsweek reported the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, representing the 36 elected sheriffs, fought the plan, saying it would hurt public safety by forcing agencies to create and fund a firearm permit process out of their budgets.

Now a number of sheriffs have pledged not to enforce the demands.

Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey “said our office would not enforce Measure 114,” Undersheriff James Burgett told Newsweek on Tuesday. Another opponent is Jefferson County Sheriff Jason Pollock.

The Epoch Times noted several sheriffs said the provision violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

“The biggest thing is this does absolutely nothing to address the problem,” Sheriff Cody Bowen of Union County said in an interview with Fox News. “The problem that we have is not… magazine capacity. It’s not background checks. It’s a problem with mental health awareness. It’s a problem with behavior health illness.”

He warned the agenda is “an infringement on our Second Amendment.”

Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe also said in an interview the ban is a problem.

“I don’t think this is superseding anything. I don’t believe that I am superseding state law by not enforcing it. Anybody in law enforcement, including the state police, including the governor, has to pick and choose what laws they are going to be able to enforce,” he said.

Michelle Duncan, the Linn County sheriff, posted on Facebook that her office is not enforcing the magazine capacity limits.

She explained the measure was poorly written and there “is still a lot that needs to be sorted out.”

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  1. Anna Miller

    Well, well. So, a Sheriff refusing to enforce a clearly unconstitutional assault on the 2nd amendment of our constitution is not such a crazy idea after all. Heads up to our newly elected Sheriff.

    1. Crazy

      Oh it’s crazy-trust me. I know.

      Seriously though, let’s say the legislature voted to require presentation of an ID to vote and local precincts refused to comply and Sherriff’s said they would enforce it because they felt it was unconstitutional. Courts decide not sherriffs

    2. Ron

      Law enforcements job is to enforce the laws. Of course, they have the latitude to prioritize, because they have to, but they and you can only say a law is unconstitutional as an opinion. It’s up to a court to determine if a law is unconstitutional. That’s how it works in this country

  2. Bill

    Regardless of how you feel about Oregon’s new law all of us should agree that Sheriffs shouldn’t be deciding arbitrarily what laws are or are not legitimate.

    Your job is to enforce the law, if you don’t agree take it to court.

  3. Vince

    The SCOTUS has already struck down laws similar to this by unanimous decision stating that no laws may be enacted that make it more onerous for any citizen to exercise an enumerated right. As I understand it court filings have already been made to fight this poorly written law, hopefully it won’t take long to strike down. In the meantime it would seem to be a better strategy for the sheriffs of Oregon to say they’ll enforce it when the state provides them funding and resources to do so, until then their hands are tied.


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