U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- With the apparent passage, by a thin margin, of anti-gun-rights Measure 114 in Oregon, the Sheriff of Linn County, which covers an area of western Oregon between Salem and Eugene, has declared on Facebook that her department will not enforce a major part of it, according to KOIN News.
It is virtually guaranteed the measure, or at least parts of it, will be challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds. Ammoland has learned the Second Amendment Foundation is preparing a case.
Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan has posted a message on the department’s Facebook page declaring:
“Unfortunately, we are seeing the passage of Ballot Measure 114, which creates a required permitting system in order to purchase firearms AND bans gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. This is a terrible law for gunowners, crime victims, and public safety.
“I want to send a clear message to Linn County residents that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is NOT going to be enforcing magazine capacity limits.
“This measure is poorly written and there is still a lot that needs to be sorted out regarding the permitting process, who has to do the training and what exactly does the training have to cover. In the coming days, I will work with other law enforcement partners, elected officials and community members on the best course of action to take on permitting. I want to ensure anything we do or don’t do will not hinder gunowners’ rights to purchase firearms, intentionally or unintentionally.
“Although, I am hopeful that the passing of this measure will result in an immediate lawsuit against it, as it should, there is still going to be a lot to sort out on how this will impact our residents, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and other police agencies in Oregon.
“I will continue to inform the public as decisions are made.”
Ammoland reached out to Sheriff Duncan but she did not immediately respond. However, published reports from Oregon news agencies show she has company. Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen posted this message on his department’s Facebook Page:
As Union County Sheriff I agree 100% with Sheriff Duncan! This is an infringement on our constitutional rights and will not be enforced by my office!
This measure will only harm law abiding gun owners and result in wasted time with additional redundant background checks. With no funding from the state to provide additional payroll costs this will ultimately sacrifice patrol and deputy presence in our community. Another attempt at defunding our police at its finest!
To the people who chime in with me picking and choosing which laws I want to enforce or not enforce! Hear this! When it comes to our constitutional rights I’ll fight to the death to defend them. No matter what crazy law comes out of Salem!
And KATU News is reporting that Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe is also not intending to enforce the magazine capacity limit section of the measure.
“That is just the way it’s going to be,” Sheriff Wolfe reportedly said. “We have already made that decision. The supreme law of the land is a constitution of the United States, and I believe that this measure is totally contrary to the Constitution.”
The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association opposed the measure.
Union County is located in northeast Oregon. Malheur County is in Oregon’s far southeast corner. Sheriffs Duncan, Bowen are being lauded by many citizens in their respective counties, though there are some critics who object to the notion that a sheriff can decide which laws to enforce and which ones they can ignore.
As this story was written, more than 80 percent of the votes had been counted, with 50.8 percent approving Measure 114, and 49.2 percent opposing. Out of more than 1.5 million votes counted so far, only about 26,000 votes separated the “For” and “Against” columns. The margin has remained about the same since Wednesday.
Sheriff Duncan’s message has ignited a sometimes blistering debate on Facebook between gun control supporters and Measure 114 opponents. Sheriff Bowen is receiving accolades on his department’s page.
The initiative, reportedly bankrolled by wealthy out-of-state anti-gunners, according to Oregon Live, would require Oregon citizens to take a law-enforcement-approved training course, then obtain a permit from the police in order to just purchase a firearm. It would also ban so-called “large capacity magazines.” If it passes, the measure will almost certainly be immediately challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds.
According to Willamette Week, a news organ covering the Willamette Valley region of western Oregon, a spokesman from Lift Every Voice Oregon is already declaring victory and promising more action.
“There’s more work to be done, but right now, we are going to celebrate with so much joy in our hearts, knowing that brighter and better days are ahead,” said Chairman Mark Knutson in a statement quoted by the newspaper.
Adding to the drama, KOIN News reported about two more Eastern Oregon counties where residents have voted to seek annexation to neighboring Idaho. The Greater Idaho movement has been pushing the idea of shifting the southwest Idaho border to encompass much of what is now the Beaver State landscape, primarily due to the increasingly liberal—and dominant—politics of Western Oregon.
According to KOIN, voters in Morrow (50%) and Wheeler (58.1%) counties, bringing the total number of counties to 11 (out of 15) east of the Cascades to support the shift. It probably will never happen, but it sends a clear signal that Oregon citizens outside of the I-5 corridor stretching south from Portland through Eugene are feeling neglected, if not downright ignored and dismissed, by the democrat majority in the capitol at Salem.
Idaho, on the other hand, is dominated by Republican politics. The Gem State has not had a Democrat governor since 1995, KOIN noted. Oregon has not had a Republican governor since 1987.
Practically speaking, neither the desire of the counties nor the sheriff’s announcement regarding enforcement of the restrictive gun control measure can be anything more than symbolic gestures at this point. However, both controversies represent the growing resentment by conservatives, gun owners and even some in law enforcement over policies and legislation supported by increasingly far-left activists and politicians along the Willamette Valley corridor, and a federal lawsuit challenging Measure 114 will undoubtedly bring that conflict into sharp focus.
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