Gun-rights initiative passes by wide margin in Coos County sheriff can choose gun laws to enforce.

steve knight

macrumors 68030
Original poster
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."


macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
While i doubt that will fly in the courts, there is a tradition of letting the local law enforcer decide certain aspects of gun ownership. For instance, if you want an automatic, and your state allows it, you have to have consent from your LEO.

That's a whole different story though from having that person determine the constitutionality of federal and state law. I'd say that's above the pay grade of most sheriffs. Way above.
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macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
Prefontaine was from North Bend, and that was why he could run so fast: he was practiced in trying to get away from those people.


macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2013
Birmingham, AL USA


macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2011


When the United States of America was founded the framers spent arduous hours devising a Constitution that would protect future generations from tyranny and government criminality. A system of checks and balances was established to keep all government, especially at the federal level, from becoming too powerful and abusive.

The Bill of Rights was promulgated to augment the limitations previously placed against the government, to further insure that government would stay in its proper domain.

So, what happens when government does not obey its own constitution? What punishment is meted out to politicians who vote for and pass unconstitutional laws? What happens if they appoint unlawful bureaucracies or allow their agents to violate the rights of the American citizen? The answer to these questions is both astounding and lamentable; NOTHING!

Now the question becomes even greater; who will stop criminal and out-of-control government from killing, abusing, violating, robbing, and destroying its own people? Yes, believe it or not, there is an answer to this one. The duty to stop such criminality lies with the county sheriff.
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