Chiloquin, Oregon Gun Code Mandates Ownership

Herald and News – by SHELBY KING H&N Staff Reporter

Chiloquin believes in gun control — every resident needs to control their own gun.

According to City Ordinance No. 428, every head of household in the city of Chiloquin “is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition.”

The law is not enforced and there’s no penalty for not owning one, said City Recorder Teresa Forman. It also provides exemptions for those who are unable to own a gun for legal, physical or mental health reasons.

“I think the law is just kind of there,” said Forman. “The handful of people who know about it are just tickled by it.”

Forman said most people don’t know about the law, but those who do have never said anything negative about it to her.

“Most everybody out here owns a gun anyway,” she said. “They don’t think about the law much except every few years when the media brings it up.”

The law

On June 17, 1982, three-fourths of the City Council voted to enact the law “in order to provide for the civil defense of the City of Chiloquin, and further to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.”

Exemptions were written for “those heads of households who conscientiously oppose firearms as a result of religious doctrine or belief,” people legally restricted from owning a firearm because of a felony conviction, or those who have physical or mental issues that would prevent them from being able to properly use a gun.

City Council members at the time are quoted as saying they supported the ordinance out of worry that Californians moving to the area would try to enact stricter gun laws like those on the books in that state.

With the recent push by President Barack Obama and other federal lawmakers to increase restrictions on gun ownership, lifelong Chiloquin resident and past City Councilman Floyd Hescock is glad for the law’s existence.

“They put this law in place because they didn’t trust the government,” he said. “I don’t think anybody would have the courage to come and try to get them from us.”

Gun violence in Chiloquin

Hescock said most people in Chiloquin would own a gun regardless of the law.

“Now they want to take our semi-automatics; well that means taking every .22 in the county,” he said. “When you see someone around here walking around with a semi-automatic gun they’re probably heading out to shoot squirrels or going down to the river to shoot at the water.”

Hescock, who’s nearly 80 years old, said the lack of gun violence in Chiloquin means the law is working.

“We haven’t had any deaths by a gun since the 1960s,” he said. “I’ve lived here all my life and it’s been a long time since anyone has been killed with a gun.”

Asked about the 2011 shooting death of Lynda Dunham and the 2010 shooting death of 18-year-old Troy Shane Allen, Hescock points out neither of those incidents occurred within Chiloquin city limits.

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah said that owning a gun is a constitutional right that brings responsibilities with it.

“People say they own a gun to protect themselves in their home,” he said. “A lot of people have a gun, take it out and shoot it once or twice and think they have expertise.”

Skrah recommends getting proper training and practicing regularly in order to be comfortable handling and shooting a gun. This could help the owner react with better judgment in a high-stress situation.

“It takes a lot of good judgment to know when to drop the hammer on that thing,” Skrah said.

9 thoughts on “Chiloquin, Oregon Gun Code Mandates Ownership

  1. God Bless Chiloquin,Ore. And for those who might have forgotten, the home of this sites founder, Henry Shivley. I have visited this little slice of heaven myself to visit Henry. Beautiful doesn’t even come close as a description for this slice of a natural paradise.

    1. Ore is my home state – Gold Beach – haven`t been back there since the mid 80`s and I miss it. This has been my favorite site now for some time now and if it wasn`t for Henry we all wouldn`t have this site. It`s simply the very best I think. Here is to the state of Ore. and The Trenches.

    1. Oregon is a beautiful state – at least it used to be. I used to call it Gods country Jolly Roger. P.S. To me Oregon is like Wi. under a big magnifying glass. awsome country in Ore.

    2. Chiloquin is about 20 miles from crater lake. as for the picture it could be. There’s a lot of mountains, and it is beautiful

  2. Growing up there, Henry, you’d never be able to handle the insanity where I live. It’d drive you crazy.

    Lucky dog!

    (just an expression, I mean that in a good way).

  3. “I don’t think anybody would have the courage to come and try to get them from us.”
    Thats the truth, The cops don’t even like coming here, to much out of there way. LOL
    Hescock is right! there has not been a murder with a gun for a very long time. Criminals and thugs knows most every one has a gun here, that is what keeps the violent crime down. We have petty crime mostly. But there has been few family related murders, one a knife & a beating & one with a hatchet. Is the government going to try to ban those next. LOL

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