Oregon Live has come along to let us know that two counties in Oregon have put new ordinances into place to that direct law enforcement to totally ignore firearms-related laws. What laws are they talking about? They’re referring to the gun sanctuaries being established in cities and countries across the country:
Northwest Oregon’s Columbia County and eastern Oregon’s Umatilla County approved ordinances directing county workers – police included – to ignore the state’s extreme risk protection law, the concealed carry law and most other state regulation of guns. Passed in 2017, Oregon’s extreme risk protection law gives judges discretion to remove guns from people not convicted of a crime who show signs they might shoot themselves or someone else.
It is now a misdemeanor for police to enforce some gun control laws that are on the books.
The idea of gun sanctuaries isn’t new, but the movement has definitely gained traction this past year, especially in light of the current political climate. The real question is whether or not those attempts to protect gun owners from new anti-gun measures will have any practical effect.
According to the officials quoted by Oregon Live, the gun sanctuary concept isn’t likely to do much good in the long run:
Umatilla County District Attorney Daniel Primus doesn’t expect the voter approval to have much of a practical effect for his office. He will uphold the law, he said.
“I took an oath,” Primus said, “and I am going to follow that oath.”
The Oregon Department of Justice hasn’t weighed in on the measures. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum “doesn’t have an official view” of the proposals, said agency spokeswoman Karynn Fish.
(Yes, it sounds like the AG is waiting to see what happens.)
Of note is the way those two counties apparently want concealed carry handled from here on out:
No longer will it be left to a sheriff in Umatilla or Columbia counties to decide whether to enforce Oregon’s gun laws in those counties. The new measures make it clear they cannot.
“It’s out of the hands of a human decision,” [gun rights activist Rob] Taylor said. “It goes straight to a directive. You either follow the directive and stay in the law, or you violate the directive and face the penalties.”
Taylor said police can still enforce the felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm law, but they won’t be able to enforce regulations that restrict a gun’s barrel length, magazine size or accessories that limit noise, known as suppressors.
“We thought that people should have access to those things,” he said. “A suppressor is a very good thing if you are out shooting all the time and you want to eliminate a lot of the noise that effects your hearing.”
The “biggest issue,” he said, is the state requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun.
“We should be able to carry it concealed or open,” he said. “It’s our choice.”
He said under the new ordinance, a deputy can’t arrest someone for unlawful possession of a firearm for failing to have a license to carry a concealed weapon because “the county no longer enforces the concealed weapon law.”
This raises a lot of potential issues. Do you guys think concealed carry laws should be (or will be) ignored/not enforced by law enforcement? Where do you draw the line on what should and should not go into these gun sanctuary ordinances?