Several sheriffs in Oregon said they will not enforce the state’s new gun law that places a limit on magazine capacity, arguing that the provision violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
Oregon voters approved Measure 114, also known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, during the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The rule, among other restrictions, outlaws magazines that hold more than 10 rounds—similar to rules that have been implemented in New York, California, and other Democrat-controlled states.
Several county sheriffs have publicly announced they won’t enforce the law or parts of the law.
“The biggest thing is this does absolutely nothing to address the problem,” Sheriff Cody Bowen of Union County told Fox News on Tuesday. “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.”
Bowen added that “society as a whole is a bigger problem rather than saying that, you know, the guns are killing people.” Union County, which is sparsely populated, is located in northeastern Oregon near the Idaho border.
“There’s just no way possible for us to enforce that and nor would I simply because it’s an infringement on our Second Amendment, you know, our right to keep and bear arms,” he said, adding that it won’t reduce shootings in the state.
Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe stated that he won’t enforce the magazine limit.
“I don’t think this is superseding anything. I don’t believe that I am superseding state law by not enforcing it. Anybody in law enforcement, including the state police, including the governor, has to pick and choose what laws they are going to be able to enforce,” he told local media.
Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan wrote on Nov. 9 in a Facebook post that she wants “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.”
“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,” Duncan said, writing that the measure should face an “immediate lawsuit.”
According to an analysis of what counties voted on the gun-control measure, voters in only six Oregon counties out of 36 favored it. The counties that had a majority of voters who voted in favor of it were located in and around Portland, the state’s largest city; the county that includes Eugene; the county that includes the city of Corvallis, the home of Oregon State University; and Lincoln County, located on the coast.