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Sheriff Speaks Out on Oregon’s Extreme Gun Control Measure

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

A sheriff in Oregon spoke out this week against a strict gun control law in the state that narrowly passed in the midterm elections this year. In her remarks, the sheriff said she would not enforce the law if it takes effect. 


The law, Measure 114, would require a permit and hands-on safety training and fingerprinting provided by law enforcement to buy a gun, which Townhall covered. In addition, the measure would prohibit the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo. It would not be illegal to own a gun without a permit, but a permit would be required by law to purchase one.

"I can't put handcuffs on someone knowing that there is this black cloud around the constitutionality of that magazine capacity limit," Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan said in an interview on Fox News’ "America Reports" on Wednesday. "The permitting, we'll have to do what we can for our citizens to make sure that they can still exercise their Second Amendment right."

After the measure passed in the election, gun sales in the state skyrocketed and a Second Amendment group filed a lawsuit to stop it from taking effect. The measure is halted for the time being. 

“We’ve seen the statistics that most crimes involving guns that criminals commit, they’re not obtaining those firearms legally anyway,” Duncan said in the interview. 

This is not the first time Duncan has spoken out against the controversial legislation. On Nov. 9, she wrote in a Facebook post that Measure 114 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,” she added.

“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,” Duncan continued.

This year, the United States Supreme Court struck down a gun control law in New York that would have required residents seeking a permit to show “proper cause” to carry a weapon.

In the ruling for the case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, Justice Clarence Thomas penned the 6-3 majority opinion. Thomas wrote that the Second Amendment should not be treated differently than other rights outlined in the Bill of Rights. 

The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self defense is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self defense. New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


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