Four different counties in Oregon recently declared sanctuary status, and said that they will not uphold the universal background check laws that democrats passed in 2015.
The background check laws are opposed by the NRA, and by many police departments around the U.S., who have complained that there are not enough staff people to deal with background checks. Many of those departments have been saying since 2015 that background checks for gun owners are not priority.
Since 2015, four counties have passed a measure known as the Second Amendment Preservation ordinance, and commissioners in Malheur, Union and Lake counties have heard the same measure in the past few weeks.
The ordinance is a reaction to the Oregon Firearms Safety Act, passed by the state Legislature in 2015, which requires background checks for transfers of firearms between private parties. These county ordinances allow sheriffs to ignore this law – which gun advocates see as unconstitutional.
But Ceasefire Oregon Executive Director Penny Okamoto said there’s a fatal flaw in the measure.
“There’s an Oregon firearms pre-emption law that states that counties, municipalities, cities actually can’t make certain laws regarding certain aspects of firearm sales, ownership, storage,” Okamoto said. “So these ordinances or resolutions really are largely very symbolic.”
The legality of this ordinance is still in question.
Rob Taylor of Coos County is one of the chief petitioners for the Second Amendment Preservation ordinance. He said he wants Oregon to have what he called “sanctuary counties” for the Second Amendment.