(Guest post by Michael Strickland)
Just a few weeks ago, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer made headlines for his staunch opposition to the gun registry bill moving through the Oregon Legislature. He is now being joined by several other Sheriffs across the state.
Just yesterday the House rules committee held their hearing on SB941, which is being sold as a “universal background check” bill. Among the folks testifying against the bill were Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson and Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin.
“My fear with SB 941 is that these citizens will now be at risk of being charged and prosecuted for acts they have done several times before with no negative effect on our community” said Sheriff Svenson. He added “There’s no consideration of the financial impact on the already stressed court system” and “SB 941 will not provide any additional protection of Oregon citizens against violence… SB 941 will create new layers of legal barriers to already law abiding citizens.”
Sheriff Hanlin added:
“This law is not going to protect citizens of Oregon, in that it is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It will not do that. We have laws that prohibit the possession of other things, like methamphetamines, and it doesn’t stop it.”
He went on to say:
“What I fear most is that we are going to create criminals, and specifically felonious criminals, out of some of our most ordinary, normal, law abiding citizens. Furthermore, I don’t know how I can, at least in my county, begin to try to enforce this law. Our budget is continuously shrinking to the point that there are times when we have a difficult time simply responding to domestic disturbances, vehicle crashes, the ordinary calls for service that happen every day. And to expect local law enforcement to run down and do an investigation into whether or not a private individual has conducted a background check is nearly impossible.”
Many Sheriffs in Oregon have released official statements opposing the legislation. This includes Crook County Sheriff Jim Hensley, Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe, Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley, and others.
Oregon Firearms Federation is Oregon’s main source for news on firearms rights in the state, and unlike certain national gun organizations, actually spends their money to fight gun control, billing themselves as “no compromise”.