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Politics & Government

Lane County Won’t Enforce New State Gun Law

Rachael McDonald

Calling it an “unfunded mandate” the Lane County Board of Commissioners Tuesday voted not to enforce a new Oregon law that expands background checks for gun sales. 

The vote was 4 to 1 in favor of the resolution which states support for the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The board heard from Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp who says his department can’t afford to enforce the expanded background checks.
Trapp: “This will fall into that category just because it’s not an imminent threat to persons or property if this was to occur and be a crime under the new legislation.”
Commissioner Pete Sorenson was the lone “no” vote. He questions the motives of the board majority. Since the gun measure passed in Salem, gun rights activists have started recall petitions against legislators who backed it.
Sorenson: “Are we trying to weigh in to a political process of helping fire up the people that want to recall these legislators?”
The state law requires all gun buyers and sellers who aren't related to visit a licensed gun dealer who can run a background check. Lane County’s non-binding resolution says the county will not enforce the law.