By editorial board • 

Dump ideological posturing; get down to local business

Here we go again.

Last week, advocates for unrestricted gun rights urged commissioners to declare Yamhill County a Second Amendment sanctuary, free from enforcement of all local, state and federal firearms’ regulations.

The clearly unconstitutional resolution drew commission support only from Mary Starrett, whose brother heads Oregon Firearms Federation, self-described as “Oregon’s only no-compromise gun rights organization.”

The hearing resembled one held four years ago on the same issue.

That time, conservatives Allen Springer and Stan Primozich helped Starrett pass a narrower resolution. It was aimed at thwarting enforcement of a single state measure — Senate Bill 941, mandating background check requirements to private party firearm transfers.

The commissioners are facing many crucial issues over which they actually hold sway, and citizens are relying on them to address those issues. So it’s disheartening to see them sidetracked into aimless tilting at state and federal windmills.

The local campaign is part of a national movement pressed primarily by the Three Percenters militia and its equally extremist Oath Keepers bedfellow. That movement has won passage of state resolutions in supportive Idaho, Kansas and Alaska, and rural county resolutions in less-sympathetic Oregon, Washington, Illinois and New Mexico, where Democrats control the governorship and both legislative chambers.

The same forces promoted 2018 ballot measures in 10 rural Oregon counties and succeeded in passing eight.

The ballot measures purported to grant county sheriffs unilateral authority to “determine whether any law or regulation pertaining to the right to bear arms, or related rights, violates the U.S. or Oregon Constitution.” Ironically, that itself represents a clear violation of the Constitution, whose framers assigned legislation review to the judicial branch.

By their own admission, the militia forces bent on wiping American gun laws off the books are modeling their latest initiative on the immigration sanctuary movement, pioneered by Oregon. But Oregon’s immigration stance, which voters reaffirmed resoundingly in November, is vastly better grounded and much more narrowly framed.

Oregon’s immigration sanctuary declaration merely prevents area law enforcement agencies from using local resources on a job reserved for the nation’s 20,000 federal immigration agents.

It prohibits them from inquiring about immigration status or honoring non-binding detainer requests. But it makes no attempt to overturn federal immigration law, merely to limit local involvement in enforcement.

Locally, Springer hailed the county’s defiant 3-0 gun-law stance of 2015 by saying, “This speaks to the conservative bastion that Yamhill County still is, in a liberal state.” He went on to say, “We can work from that foothold and gain ground, and that’s really what they propose.”

Over the ensuing four years, however, a majority of voters sent a different kind of message, ousting Springer and Primozich while retaining Starrett.

Enough of this ideological nonsense from the dark corners of the fringes on either side. We have pressing local issues to address.

Comments

Bigfootlives

Here we go again. Detailing how creating sanctuary status for a group of people is perfectly fine and legal. Giving this group protected status. Equal protection under the law, some people are more equal than others.

Ignoring requests for immigration holds from ICE and other federal agencies. The 20k or so federal agents are not in our communities interacting with people on a daily bases, but our police officers and sheriffs deputies are. Let them do their job!

And this radical group the Oath Keepers is made up of police officers, military soldiers former and current, sheriff deputy’s and county sheriffs that vow not inforce unconstitutional gun laws.

The next federal grant the city, county or state applies for should be denied until we comply with federal requests for immigration information. You can’t have it both ways.

You cannot champion the constitution when it suits your agenda and ignore it when it doesn’t.

ElkChaser

This editorial shows how out of touch and biased the News Register editorial board really is. Marginalizing proponents of the 2nd Amendment by stating they are on the dark corners of the fringes is ridiculous.

Oregon Democrats would love nothing more than to abolish the 2nd Amendment if they could and holding a super majority they can pass any law.

All of the bills they have proposed will do nothing for public safety but they will restrict the rights of law abiding citizens and in some instances criminalize them.

Creating a sanctuary county at the least sends an important message to lawmakers that local law enforcement won’t criminalize people for practicing a constitutional right.

I guess in the eyes of the editorial board some God given rights are not as important as others.

Rotwang

That's a strange, new perversion of the word "unconstitutional" - to propose that the local government not follow unconstitutional laws passed by Salem is unconstitutional.

sbagwell

You seem to have missed the point.

The Constitution leaves it up to the courts to decide whether new legislation passes muster. Sheriffs have no authority to usurp that power. That makes any measure purporting to do so constitutionally invalid.

Steve

Bigfootlives

Steve. You mean laws like Federal immigration laws? Seems like we are already picking and choosing which laws we like. Those laws have already passed muster.