Oregon sheriffs are saying that new gun control measures voters approved in the midterm election won’t be enforced in their counties, a month after New York sheriffs said they were bucking new restrictions in their state, too.
The new Oregon law, called Measure 114, is a significant clampdown on gun ownership. Magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds are banned, and to buy a new gun, citizens must take a hands-on gun safety course to get a permit from local law enforcement on top of the already-required federal background check, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
At least five county sheriffs have said they won’t be enforcing the law, either in part or as a whole, Fox News reported.
Four of those counties are in the state’s rural east, but one, Linn County, stretches into Oregon’s liberal Willamette Valley and is the state’s eighth most populous, according to state data. The other counties are Malheur, Union, Jefferson and Sherman.
In a Facebook post, Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen called the measure “an infringement on our constitutional rights.” He went on to characterize it as an unfunded mandate that would require cuts to police service to make up for new law enforcement responsibilities.
But Bowen told Fox News “the biggest thing” with Measure 114 is it “does absolutely nothing to address the problem,” which he believes comes down to “mental health awareness.”
In a letter to residents, Jackson County Sheriff Jason Pollock said the idea that “restricting magazines to 10 rounds will make you safe is one of the most ignorant statements ever made,” adding that his “will not enforce Measure 114,” Fox reported.
Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said the new law is “not going to be a priority, or really even much of a consideration” in his county.
Requests for background checks quadrupled in Oregon following the passage of Measure 114, OPB reported, indicating a spike in gun sales ahead of its implementation.