Gun Rights Sanctuary Counties: Voters in Oregon Set Foundation for Eight Ordinance Counties.

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By: Mike Maharrey
Published on: Nov 6, 2018

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. (Nov. 6, 2018) –  Voters in eight Oregon counties have passed ballot measures that set the stage to create what supporters call “gun rights sanctuary” counties.

Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances on the ballot passed in 8 of 10 counties today. They create a mechanism to “guarantee that no county funds will be used to enforce gun laws that are believed to violate the Second Amendment, including registration rules and limitations on semi-automatic weapons and ammunition,” according to a report in the News-Review of Douglas County.

Voters there passed measure 10-165 by an overwhelming margin of 73 to 27 percent.

It would require the sheriff to determine whether any federal, state or local laws and regulations relating to firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition violate the U.S. or Oregon constitutions. Any law or regulation the sheriff deemed unconstitutional would be unenforceable in the county. Once deemed unconstitutional, the ordinance would prohibit the counties from authorizing the use of funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing such laws.

Similar Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances passed in the following counties as well.

  • Baker, Measure 1-84: 66-34%
  • Columbia, Measure 5-270: 52-48%
  • Klamath, Measure 18-110: 63-37%
  • Lake, Measure 19-32: 72-28%
  • Linn, Measure 22-174: 50-49%
  • Umatilla, Measure 30-128: 65-35%
  • Union, Measure 31-96: 58-42%

Jackson County residents rejected Measure 15-181 43-57% and Lincoln County residents rejected Measure 21-189 by a vote of 36-64%.

Rob Taylor is an Oregon activist who was instrumental in spearheading the movement to get these ordinances on the ballot. He said he wants to see every county in the state adopt similar ordinances

Every time that I file an initiative, there are these feelings of excitement and anticipation, a readiness, an eagerness to begin the campaign. It is so empowering to live in a country where the founders had such foresight to create a process that any individual can use to redress their grievances against the government machine,” he said.

“Politics can be a prelude to war or a solution to an overwhelming conflict. The initiative process is a check on unfettered authority and another way to defeat those who would take away individual rights without the people resorting to real weaponry on real battlefields. However, we will wield these initiative petitions like weapons against the state and federal governments that are intent on taking away our right to bear arms. They will receive no cooperation. The Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance will be our hammer to pound against opponents and a shield to protect supporters until we have created a sanctuary for all law-abiding gun owners in every county of Oregon.”

According to Taylor, sheriffs in eight of the 10 counties publicly support the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance. Only one has publicly opposed the measure. Lincoln County Sheriff Curtis Landers signed onto a statement of opposition that was littered with fallacies, including an invocation of the federal supremacy clause.

LEGAL BASIS

Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances rest on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program — that includes enforcing federal firearms laws. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. U.S. (1997) serves as the cornerstone.

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