What Oregon sheriffs said on social media about Measure 114, strict new gun limits

After Oregon voters narrowly passed Oregon Ballot Measure 114, one of the strictest gun laws in the country, several elected sheriffs spoke out on the new requirements for permits and the ban on large capacity magazines.

Many posted letters to social media with similar talking points or shared the letter released Nov. 17 by the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, which said, “OSSA understands that Oregonians have strong opinions on this measure, and many … believe that it is a violation of their Second Amendment rights.”

Sheriff Brad Lohrey of Sherman County joined the first legal challenge filed against Measure 114. The federal lawsuit, filed last Friday, seeks a court-ordered injunction that would bar the measure from becoming law and a court ruling that Measure 114 is unconstitutional. If a judge isn’t inclined to prevent the entire measure from taking effect, the plaintiffs ask that the court in the alternative at least bar the restriction on gun magazine capacity. The plaintiffs are the Oregon Firearms Federal, Lohrey and Adam Johnson, who owns Coat of Arms Custom Firearms in Keizer.

On Wednesday, the same plaintiffs filed an emergency motion to stop the measure from going into effect Dec. 8. No hearing has been set on their request.

Baker County: Sheriff Travis Ash said, “The Baker County Sheriff’s Office will not focus investigations on magazine capacity issues” and would work with partners on a permitting system.

Clatsop County: Sheriff Matthew D. Phillips posted a letter in October in which he wrote about Measure 114 and said, “Infringing upon constitutional rights is not the path to the change sought.”

Crook County: Sheriff John Gautney says he thinks it is unconstitutional, that it places a huge burden on his strapped staff and Measure 114 violations will “be handled with discretion.”

Deschutes County: Sheriff L. Shane Nelson posted on Facebook that he thought Measure 114 would fail constitutional muster and “given our limited law enforcement resources, our response to violations of measure 114 will not be a priority for our office.”

Douglas County: Sheriff John Hanlin posted that he believes the measure will be found unconstitutional, that he disagrees with it, but that nevertheless he swore to uphold the law. He said violations would be a low priority for him as he worked to develop the required permitting system.

Gilliam County: The sheriff’s office Facebook page shared a video of Deschutes County Sheriff Nelson voicing his concerns in his capacity as president of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association.

Harney County: Sheriff Daniel Jenkins posted that the “best case scenario” would be for the measure to be found unconstitutional (he posted a second message when the effective date of the measure was clarified to Dec. 8).

Jackson County: Sheriff Nate Sickler assured residents his office “will work diligently to ensure people have the ability to get a permit needed to purchase a firearm, as that is a constitutional right. “ He also said, “We will not spend time and resources investigating who has obtained magazines that have a capacity over 10 rounds after this measure takes effect.”

Jefferson County: Sheriff Jason Pollock told The Bulletin in Bend that violations of Measure 114 would not be a priority for his office. He posted on Facebook that for too long “a fraction of Oregon counties has exerted far too much control over rural Oregon.”

Josephine County: Sheriff Dave Daniel said his county had a charter that precluded him from pursuing Measure 114 violations regarding high capacity magazines and that the Board of Commissioners had reinforced that by declaring Josephine a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.”

Klamath County: Sheriff Chris Kaber released a statement before the election result was clear Nov. 9 that said he was relying on advice of the Oregon State Sheriffs Association, which believes Measure 114 to be unconstitutional.

Lincoln County: Sheriff Curtis Landers said he had opposed the measure and assured residents he would not be going “door to door” seeking out high capacity magazines. He said he would uphold the law, as is his sworn duty, if it was constitutional ruled. (His office later posted the Dec. 8 update as well.)

Linn County: Sheriff Michelle Duncan said, “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.”

Marion County: Sheriff Joe Kast said his office was preparing to help residents legally purchase firearms as court challenges played out and would not be prioritizing violations of the magazine capacity provisions.

Morrow County: Sheriff John Bowles said he would not place an enforcement priority on high capacity magazines and would not be “knocking on doors” to check on residents’ guns.

Polk County: Sheriff Mark Garton posted, “First, let me say there are still more questions that simply don’t have answers yet, which I totally understand can cause uncertainty and angst for some, including myself.” He reposted the OSSA letter.

Sherman County: Sheriff Brad Lohrey joined the first legal challenge filed against Measure 114.

Tillamook County: Sheriff Joshua Brown said, “I am unable to speak to the exact process that citizens will have to go through in order to obtain a permit to legally purchase a firearm in Oregon — along with other new restrictions that are spelled out in the Measure.” He said he opposed the measure and would await the outcome of court challenges.

Umatilla County: The Facebook page of Sheriff Terry Rowan reposted the Deschutes County sheriff’s video (above, under Gilliam County) and said he agreed with the sentiments expressed.

Union County: Sheriff Cody Bowen agreed with Linn County Sheriff Duncan, saying, “This is an infringement on our constitutional rights and will not be enforced by my office!”

Wallowa County: Sheriff Joel Fish told the Wallowa County Chieftain he would not enforce some provisions.

Yamhill County: Sheriff Tim Svenson said his office would work to help law-abiding citizens comply with the new process and obtain guns and he would not make the high capacity magazine limits a priority. His deputies from him will have discretion depending on the “circumstances of the encounter.”

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