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Oregon County Passes Initiative Allowing Sheriff to Void Gun Control Laws If He Thinks They’re Unconstitutional

2nd Amend.

Oregon County Passes Initiative Allowing Sheriff to Void Gun Control Laws If He Thinks They’re Unconstitutional

Nearly a month after a tragic mass shooting shook Umpqua Community College, a rural Oregon county roughly two hours west of the school passed a measure directing the sheriff to bypass state and federal gun laws if he judges them unconstitutional.

Coos County residents smoothly approved the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance on Tuesday with more than 60 percent voting for its passage. The ordinance bars public employees from using county funds to enforce any laws the sheriff deems unconstitutional.

It also prohibits enforcement of Oregon’s recent law requiring background checks on private gun transfers, including transactions between friends. County employees who violate the measure could face a $2,000 fine.

Rob Taylor, a retired optician who sponsored the measure, said the residents he spoke to while helping collect nearly 2,000 signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot were “thrilled” about it.

Nearly a month after a tragic mass shooting shook Umpqua Community College, a rural Oregon county roughly two hours west of the school passed a measure directing the sheriff to bypass state and federal gun laws if he judges them unconstitutional.

Coos County residents smoothly approved the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance on Tuesday with more than 60 percent voting for its passage. The ordinance bars public employees from using county funds to enforce any laws the sheriff deems unconstitutional.

It also prohibits enforcement of Oregon’s recent law requiring background checks on private gun transfers, including transactions between friends. County employees who violate the measure could face a $2,000 fine.

Rob Taylor, a retired optician who sponsored the measure, said the residents he spoke to while helping collect nearly 2,000 signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot were “thrilled” about it.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

“We are a big gun ownership area. Coos County has the highest percentage of concealed carry licenses in the entire state,” Taylor told The Daily Signal. “They’re tired of having their rights eroded, and not just under the Second Amendment, all of their rights, so they were thrilled that somebody was trying to do something about it.”

The National Rifle Association said the measure’s passage reflected a uniform sentiment among gun owners in the U.S.

“The ordinance passed in Coos County is a sign of the frustration law-abiding gun owners are feeling all across the country.” NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide told The Daily Signal.

But many are questioning its legality.

Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni, who is now tasked with deciding which gun laws are in line with the Constitution, told the Oregonian last month that while he is a strong gun rights advocate, he had concerns about whether he had the authority to make those decisions.

“I’m not sure the courts would agree with that concept,” he said. “I would just bet there would be some legal challenges to it.”

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