Voters in Coos County, OR, this week overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure that sought to prohibit enforcement of restrictive partisan firearms legislation recently enacted in Oregon. With most votes counted in the Nov. 3 general election, the initiative was approved by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin.
Brought forth to voters to counter the passage of SB 941, which enacted universal background checks in Oregon earlier this year, the initiative qualified for the ballot through the efforts of retired optician Rob Taylor, who gathered the necessary signatures.
The Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance prohibits the use of county funds to enforce the background-check mandate or other new gun restrictions that may pass in the future. It further directs the county sheriff to determine whether gun laws violate the state or U.S. Constitutions. It provides for a $2,000 fine for violation.
The measure mirrors ordinances adopted by county commissions in Wallowa and Wheeler counties in eastern Oregon soon after the governor signed SB 941 in May. It was passed solely with Democrat support against Republican opposition and largely bankrolled by the group Sandy Hook Promise and by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety.
“I was pretty confident and sure of getting 60 percent or more, and that’s pretty much what we got,” Taylor told the Coos Bay World newspaper this week. “That we won by 20 percent or more says people support the Second Amendment and oppose the background checks in SB 941.”
Taylor said he understood the ordinance could come under legal scrutiny, but he said he would welcome litigation testing its reach.