Oregon Judge Allows Sanctuary County Ordinance To Stand

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Can a county declare itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary County?

That’s the question courts are going to have to answer. While Progressives had no issue with cities or counties refusing to enforce immigration laws, they don’t like that counties are now doing the same thing with gun control laws.

As a result, several challenges have been issued over such ordinances. Those opposing such measures got a setback earlier this week.

A Columbia County judge has dismissed the court case reviewing the validity of two gun rights measures approved by voters in recent years.

The Columbia County Board of Commissioners asked the court to review the Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance (SASO) and Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance (SAPO), and an ordinance adopted by the commissioners which merged the SASO and SAPO.

Columbia County Circuit Judge Ted Grove issued his opinion in court Thursday afternoon, July 29.

State law allows governing bodies to seek judicial review of ordinances when there is a “justiciable controversy.”

In his opinion, Grove said the county, through its attorneys, “have not demonstrated such a controversy.”

Through the petition for judicial review, county leaders “seek what amounts to an advisory opinion designed to invalidate their own newly passed ordinance,” Grove wrote.

Grove’s decision did not address the legality of the voter-approved measures, which prohibit county enforcement of most state and federal gun control measures.

The state attorney general and attorneys with the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety, represented by the firm Stoll Berne, had each entered their own filings in the case, arguing that the two measures violated state and federal laws and would prevent local officials like the sheriff and district attorney from fulfilling their duties.

Grove said the involvement of those “intervenors” did not constitute a justiciable controversy.

Of course, that doesn’t actually address the legality of such measures, but it’s a good first step. Especially since the argument is that there’s not really much controversy on the measure in the first place.

This is a setback for the Everytown crowd, but it won’t be the final one. They’ll come back over and over again like a nasty STD and we all know it.

However, at the end of the day, it’s unlikely the courts will do anything. After all, the courts have previously ruled that you can’t make local police departments enforce federal laws. These generally just take it a simple step further and applies it to state laws. That’s it.

Then again, I’m not an attorney, I never played one on TV, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  I’m just a guy who follows this stuff pretty closely, which means I could well be wrong. Then again, so could an attorney or a judge, so…

Anyway, this is a good first test of the laws, but we’ll have to wait and see how an outright challenge works out. With luck, the results will be the same, and groups like Everytown can keep beating their heads against the desk over something they simply cannot change.

Dec 08, 2021 12:30 PM ET