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Court Rules Against '2A Sanctuary' Ordinance

An Oregon local ordinance that declared all federal, state, and local gun safety laws “null and void and of no effect" is preempted by state law and is void, the Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled. The ruling strikes down the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” ordinance narrowly approved in 2020 by voters in Oregon's Columbia County, a 50,000-person county just north of Portland, The Oregonian reports. The gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which had joined local residents challenging the law, hailed the ruling as a precedent for other jurisdictions and a "major setback" for the "constitutional sheriffs" movement.

More than 1,900 counties nationwide have declared themselves gun sanctuaries. “Today’s opinion by the Court of Appeals makes it clear that common sense requirements like safe storage and background checks apply throughout Oregon,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who joined the case in opposition to Columbia County’s ordinance. “Hopefully, other counties with similar measures on the books will see the writing on the wall.” A three-judge panel of the appeals court cited a state law vesting the authority to regulate the sale and use of guns in Oregon solely with the Legislature. “If allowed to stand, (the ordinance) would, effectively, create a ‘patchwork quilt’ of firearms laws in Oregon,” Tookey wrote. “It would have the potential to lead to uncertainty for firearms owners concerning the legality of their conduct as they travel from county to county.” County Chair Casey Garrett said he wasn’t surprised the Appeals Court rejected the ordinance. “Our voters showed the desire to pass an ordinance to help better protect our Second Amendment rights. I appreciate that,” he said. “But the reality is, counties don’t necessarily get to make those decisions, whether I wish they could or not.”


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