“Ever hear of the Constitution?” At least three Oregon sheriffs say they’ll refuse to enforce new magazine limit bill


The editorial comments in this article are brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

OREGON- Liberals often try to implement feel good measures in order to pat themselves on the back for “doing something” about crime. Unfortunately, most of those measures do little to target criminals and instead target law-abiding citizens. In Oregon, such a measure is receiving pushback from some state sheriffs who are vowing not to enforce it.

According to KOMO, the sheriffs say they will not enforce a gun magazine restriction which is included under a law titled Measure 14, which looks to be poised to pass that state’s legislature, albeit by a razor-thin margin.

This week, Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan took to that agency’s Facebook page and announced her office would not enforce the measure.

“I want to send a clear message to Linn County residents the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is NOT going to be enforcing magazine limits,” the post read. “This measure is poorly written and there is still a lot that needs to be sorted out regarding the permitting process, who has to do the training and what exactly does the training have to cover.”

Duncan was also opposed to the portion of the measure that requires permitting to purchase firearms.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing the passage of Ballot Measure 114, which creates a required permitting system in order to purchase firearms AND bans gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. This is a terrible law for gunowners, crime victims, and public safety.”

Duncan also complained the measure is “poorly written” while assuring her office will work to find “the best course of action to take on permitting,” KATU reported.

“I want to ensure anything we do or don’t do will not hinder gunowners rights to purchase firearms, intentionally or unintentionally.”

Duncan also expressed her hope that the measure would result in the filing of a lawsuit while claiming “there is going to be a lot to sort out on how this will impact our residents, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and other police agencies in Oregon.”

After Duncan posted her missive, two other Oregon sheriffs also weighed in and have likewise said their offices will not enforce the proposed law either.


In a response to Duncan, Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen also posted on social media supporting her statement.

“As Union County Sheriff I agree 100% with Sheriff Duncan! This is an infringement on our constitutional rights and will not be enforced by my office,” the post reads. “This measure will only harm law abiding gun owners and result in wasted time with additional redundant background checks.”

Likewise, the Sheriff in Malheur County, Brian Wolfe, said in an interview he also would not be enforcing magazine capacity limits.

“That is just the way it’s going to be. We have already made that decision,” he said. “The supreme law of the land is a constitution of the United States, and I believe that this measure is totally contrary to the Constitution.”

Wolfe was asked if sheriffs had the authority so supersede state law, whereby the federal government breaks federal immigration laws and the Constitution daily by not enforcing the border, to which Wolfe disagreed on that assessment.

“I don’t think this is superseding anything. I don’t believe that I am superseding state law by not enforcing it. Anybody in law enforcement, including the state police, including the state police, including the governor, has to pick and choose what laws they are going to be able to enforce.”

Prior to the election, Wolfe’s office posted the following to their Facebook page:

In addition to the three sheriffs, the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association has also weighed in to oppose the proposal, claiming it will divert badly needed resources from state and county law enforcement offices that would be in charge with issuing permits to those desiring to purchase a firearm.

Wolfe did note that he does not oppose that portion of the measure and would ensure his personnel are trained to issue permits. He continued that the overall bill is not necessary because “the real problem is mental health issues.”

“Nobody that is reasonably capable of thinking rationally would ever want to go and shoot another person,” he said while calling attention to the mental health aspect of people who criminally shoot others.

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