Measure 114, Oregon’s gun control measure that appears headed toward passage, has Central Oregon’s sheriff’s departments are voicing their concerns. At least one sheriff is saying he won’t enforce it.
Among other things, Measure 114 would limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds and would require strict permitting and background checks.
Every sheriff’s department on the High Desert is showing its concerns over the measure in one form or another.
On Monday, the Crook and Jefferson County sheriff’s departments released statements with concerns over Measure 114.
Sheriff Jason Pollock for Jefferson County said he considers Measure 114 a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce Measure 114,” Pollock wrote. “I do not have the personnel to attempt to permit every gun purchase in Jefferson County. Additionally, I believe the provisions of Measure 114 run contrary to previously decided judicial decisions.”
The press release came as no surprise to Jefferson County Commissioner Kelly Simmelink.
“I think this is an opportunity for him to at least let our citizens know that we are concerned about this,” said Simmelink. “I don’t think it’s going to stand up legally, but I was glad our sheriff came out and did what he did.”
The sheriff’s statement also says “Banning large capacity magazines will only turn law-abiding citizens into criminals,” as well as the strain it will put on an existing staffing crisis throughout law enforcement.
“For our poor sheriff and our poor cities that are struggling to provide public safety, which I think needs to be number one for our county,” said Simmelink. “It’s a slap in the face, really. That’s the best way I can put it.”
A statement from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office said Measure 114 would cause additional strain to an already strained department and that violations would be considered “lower priority calls.”
The Crook and Jefferson County law enforcement agencies aren’t the only ones showing concern. So has Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, speaking on behalf of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association before the election.
“This measure will not make our community safer,” said Nelson. “In fact, it will put our communities at greater risk for violence because It requires every sheriff’s office and police agency to devote scarce safety resources to background systems that already exist.”
Commissioner Simmelink says it’s time for smaller, rural counties to be heard and says he struggles with the idea the state is forcing rural Oregon to solve urban problems.
“It just seems like Portland gets cancer, and we are treated with Chemo and I just get sick and tired of the way things are done,” Simmelink said.
Crook County voted no to measure 114, 80-20%., Jefferson County 70-30% and Deschutes County nearly a 50-50% split.
Linn, Union and Sherman counties in Oregon have already released statements citing their concerns.