Josephine Co. sheriff pledges to ignore new gun law


Dave Daniel says he will not enforce law mandating background checks.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel says he will not enforce the law passed by the Oregon Legislature this session mandating background checks on private sales.

In an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Daniel initially said it was a matter of budgeting:

“At the end of the day it boils down to money. We just don’t have the funds right now to support certain levels of enforcement. We talk about person crimes, which are certainly going to be top on our priority list, and then we go down to property crime, second on our list. Then you go down to a background check type of a law, which is really not a person crime or a property crime. If someone were to violate that, it’s more of a statute situation, and with our level of staffing — which is basically 10 hours a day, seven days a week, that’s is all we have for outward patrol — it makes it impossible for us to look at that type of a law.”

(SOURCE: OPB)

But later, he concedes that it is “ideologically important” to him, describing it as a “needless infringement” on the Second Amendment.

“The bad people are going to get guns regardless, whether this law makes a difference or not in how they do their gun transfers. I don’t think the state of Oregon really knows how big of an issue this is going to be yet. I know the Oregon State Police are going to have to ramp up their efforts in their firearms division just to try to run all these criminal histories on people should everybody start to follow this law.”

Daniel did not say if he would apply the same logic to drug laws or other matters of public safety.

Conversely, former Portland police chief Mike Reese argues that the universal background check law would result in fewer police officers being shot in this video:

Josephine County is not alone in using a lack of funds as an excuse to not enforce the law.

In early June, the Lane County Board of Commissioners approved, on a 4-1 vote, an ordinance that declared the new law “an unfunded mandate” from the state. It said that the county “is unable” to spend “any county resources” on implementing or enforcing it.

On Monday, Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp characterized that ordinance as a “statement of fact” rather than “a policy statement” that the county won’t enforce the law.

(SOURCE: Register-Guard)

The Fred Meyer chain stated last week that it would not perform the private background checks at its stores that sell guns, according to the R-G. Other smaller businesses said they would conduct them for a nominal fee.


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