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At least five county sheriffs are openly refusing to not enforce at least parts of the law, according to Fox News. The officials say that the law oversteps Constitutional gun rights and will be an additional drain on law enforcement while failing to address problems with more serious crimes.
“The biggest thing is this does absolutely nothing to address the problem,” Sheriff Cody Bowen of Union County told Fox News. “The problem that we have is not … magazine capacity. It’s not background checks. It’s a problem with mental health awareness. It’s a problem with behavior health illness.”
“Our society as a whole is a bigger problem rather than saying that, you know, the guns are killing people,” he said.
Organ voters approved Measure 114, voting for some of the strictest gun control regulations in the country. The ballot measure banned the sale or transfer of any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The rule also bans Oregonians from receiving a firearm from a licensed dealer without a completed background check from state police. Current federal regulations say a potential purchase can only be postponed for up to three days if the background check is not completed.
Measure 114 appears to have passed by a slim 51% to 49% margin, though votes are still being tallied. By Wednesday evening, six of Oregon’s 36 had voted in favor of the measure.
Sheriffs across the state have echoed Bowen’s concerns with the law and said they will not enforce part or all of it.
“The Linn County Sheriff’s Office is NOT going to be enforcing magazine capacity limits,” Sheriff Michelle Duncan said in a Facebook post, according to the Willamette Week. Sherman County Undersheriff James Burgett said that Sheriff Brad Lohrey would not enforce the new restrictions either.
Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said that enforcing Measure 114 would be a needless waste of his department’s resources, according to Fox News.
“It would take away from the things that we’re doing every day to try to keep people safe,” Wolf said. “Restricting people from ownership of guns in my opinion, is not going to help anything. We’re going to make it harder for people to purchase guns for self-defense.”
Jefferson County Sheriff Jason Pollock released a statement over the weekend outlining his disagreements with the new law and stating that he would not enforce it.
“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce Measure 114,” he wrote. “I do not have the personnel to attempt to permit every gun purchase in Jefferson County. Additionally, I believe the provisions of Measure 114 run contrary to previously decided judicial decisions.”