- Jan 28, 2009
so the sheriff gets to choose what laws he believes in when it comes to guns. So how would this work exactly can a gun nut shoot someone and if the sheriff decides it is ok it is?
WASHINGTON -- The residents of Coos County, Oregon, passed a ballot initiative Tuesday night that requires their sheriff to block the enforcement of state and federal gun laws that he thinks seem unconstitutional.
The 2nd Amendment Preservation Ordinance passed with 61 percent of the vote. The measure directs the sheriff to decide whether certain state and federal gun laws violate the Second Amendment. If he thinks they do, the county is then banned from using any resources to enforce those laws. Any county employee who violates the ordinance will be fined $2,000.
It is questionable how local officials would enforce the initiative.
Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni told The Oregonian last month that he is a strong supporter of gun rights, but had concerns about his role in deciding what is and isn't constitutional.
"I'm not sure the courts would agree with that concept," he said. "I would just bet there would be some legal challenges to it."
Charlie Hinkle, a constitutional law expert in Portland, Oregon, said Zanni would be violating his oath of office by enforcing a county ordinance that is contrary to state or federal law.
"Of course local officials can’t decide what laws are constitutional. That’s why Kim Davis went to jail," Hinkle told The Huffington Post. "Even the president can't decide what’s constitutional -- that’s why a federal court enjoined his executive orders regarding immigration."