The Portland Oregonian is reporting that two counties in that state have adopted regulations that make it a misdemeanor for police officers to enforce gun control laws including Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO).
While some critics think the measures wouldn’t survive a court challenge, supporters liken this effort to the establishment of so-called “sanctuary cities” where police are not allowed to enforce immigration laws or cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
And, the ordinances in Umatilla and Columbia counties might run afoul of Oregon’s firearms preemption law, which leaves sole authority for regulating guns in the hands of the legislature. Columbia County is near the mouth of the Columbia River and Umatilla County is in Northeast Oregon south of the confluence of the Columbia and Snake rivers in neighboring Washington State.
The move underscores continuing resistance to onerous gun control laws, and may be a signal that the incoming Joe Biden administration that any gun control schemes they launch are going to meet with resistance.
There is no small irony in this situation because the same people who criticize so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary” measures vigorously defend the concept of “sanctuary cities” to thwart immigration laws.
In the midst of this controversy, the Michael Bloomberg-backed “The Trace” online news publication is running a piece about how Biden can shape gun policy without Congress.
One suggestion has Biden doing much of the gun control effort by executive order, as his former boss, Barack Obama did. However, the story says this: “But the effort largely failed to curb access to firearms.” They weren’t supposed to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their rights, which means they would have access to firearms. In this telling passage, The Trace acknowledges that Obama/Biden were trying to keep guns out of everyone’s hands.
And in the next paragraph, The Trace story says this: “Another push following the 2015 San Bernardino shooting required the Social Security Administration to turn over to the federal background check system records of people who were adjudicated as mentally ill, and was intended to get the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to more aggressively enforce the law requiring people “engaged in the business” of selling guns to conduct background checks.”
San Bernardino was a domestic terrorist attack. Neither of the shooters had been adjudicated mentally incompetent. The killers in that attack, a man and his wife, were both killed hours later in a gun battle with lawmen.
Activists will be keeping their eyes open on any new gun control measures put forth by the Biden administration. While they may be described as designed to accomplish one thing, their purpose may actually be something else.
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