by L.E. Castillo
When originally proposed to the county commissioners of Union county, the format of the ordinance was similar to the one page template ordinance issued by the 10th Amendment Center. This proposed ordinance was tossed out, and instead the commissioners opted for a resolution, which stated they would “advocate for the preservation of the Second Amendment through the appropriate state and federal elected officials”. In other words, they were not willing to use their authority to enact a local law that would protect the gun ownership rights of the people in their county, against state or federal unconstitutional mandates.
Outside Counsel and Input
The ordinance evolved. To promote the idea, I began Lightmasters of Eastern Oregon with a friend.
We reached out to and received input from organizations like Oregon Firearms Federation, Gun Owners of America, and the Second Amendment Foundation.
SAF was particularly helpful. They gave us an idea of what type of ordinance to construct, something that would stand up in court. Through them, we decided to adopt an ordinance that would deal with the issue of what counties have undisputed authority over, their own county resources. The political statement of the ordinance deals with the duty of the people at the county level to stand up to unconstitutional mandates. The action part of the ordinance deals with withdrawing county resources for such actions, and imposing a fine on violators within county boundaries. This allows counties to step around the “state trumps county” issue, and essentially move straight to nullification by providing zero cooperation to outside agencies acting illegally under color of law.
The “past, present or future” language adopted for the first draft of the ordinance was dropped, because it was thought to have the potential to present legal challenges in court. Many laws were already on the books that somewhat put restrictions on the Second Amendment. These were later studied, cited, and included. Unlike the post 2012, EO's and proposed state bills, most of the old laws actually attempt to make sure an individual does not lose their right to bear arms easily. Besides, most people were satisfied with gun laws prior to the hostile Second Amendment legislative hysteria preceding the Sandy Hook Massacre.
We received input from attorney Nick Dranias from the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, who reviewed the ordinance. He brought in the language that includes a description showing how some of the current unconstitutional gun control proposals actually violate more amendments and statues than just the Second Amendment. In addition, Nick helped with the language of the sheriff making the determination on the unconstitutionality of new Second Amendment laws within his/her county.
Attorney Kelly Jaske of Jaske Law in Portland reviewed the ordinance and added the idea of local officials being indemnified against certain liability by enforcing it. She also helped remove some unnecessary language. She pointed us to specific preexisting gun laws. In an email, she referenced Dillon's Rule, which inadvertently led to the Cooley Doctrine. The former view holds that states have authority over county rule, where the latter - and more liberty-minded view - holds to the autonomy of local government. This is pertinent; since Oregon is a home-rule state, so we cite it on page one.
Both lawyers had a little concern about the “religious sounding” language we originally used in one of our drafts, because of what might happen in the Ninth Circuit Court. We axed our language, and just quoted our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which emphasizes immediately where our rights come from. That felt good.
We received various comments from the lawyers and SAF about the penalties section in our first drafts. We solved it. The penalties section as it reads now is simply verbatim to what Oregon Statute allows for ordinances created by political subdivisions. We opted for a Class A violation. This can be modified by each county as desired.
Many other similar ordinances and resolutions nationwide were looked at and a few borrowed from. The spirit and language of the Carroll County, MD was especially helpful.
Here are some:
Carroll County, MD Western States Sheriffs Association Cumberland County, PA Dyer County, TN
Franklin County, IN Madison Co, TN
Kuna City, ID Borough of Gilberton, PA
East Coventry Township, PA
McLeod County, MN
Baker County, OR
Another attorney recently reviewed and compared our ordinance to others nationwide. He concluded it was the best one he could find.
OUR GOAL IS FOR EVERY COUNTY IN OREGON TO PASS SIMILAR ORDINANCES!
|Coos County Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance 2015 ~ DateTime Stamped|
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|Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance Electronic Signature Sheet|
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