JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — A group of community members is pushing for an ordinance they say would protect Jackson County from violations of the Second Amendment.
They say the effort, called a Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance, would essentially void any current or future state laws that would impose unconstitutional regulations on the sale and possession of firearms.
According to the SAPO, the Jackson County Sheriff would bear the burden of determining which laws are constitutional and which are violations.
“Preserving our Second Amendment becomes more and more important,” said Jason Williams, Chief Petitioner for the SAPO. “Limiting constitutional protected rights and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens is in no way going to prevent any kind of crime, and it’s been proven time and time again.”
On Wednesday morning, Williams presented the SAPO to County Commissioners during a regularly scheduled meeting. He said this is one of several attempts he’s made to institute the ordinance in Jackson County over the past year, but now is a more crucial time than ever.
“It’s necessary because our rights are getting slowly stripped away and stripped away,” he said.
Written in the ordinance is the goal of preserving the right of people in Jackson County to “keep and bear arms as originally understood, in self-defense and preservation, and in defense of one’s community and country.”
According to Williams, the most recent push for a Jackson County SAPO comes as a reaction to Initiative Petition 43, an effort created by an inter-faith religious group in Portland.
If passed, that petition would restrict the sale, production and ownership of certain firearms and high capacity magazines throughout the state.
Williams considers IP 43 to be a “legitimate fear”– one he said would be put to rest if a SAPO was instituted.
During the meeting, Williams requested that a public hearing be scheduled for the ordinance.
His plea was met with support from not several audience members.
“How does a police state begin? It begins by disarming the citizenry,” said one audience member in support of the SAPO. “The Second Amendment was written to preserve a free state.”
“In Jackson County,” said another speaker, “It would actually be nice to have a place where we are sanctuous and we don’t have to worry about having our rights taken from us.”
Commissioners were prohibited from discussing the proposed ordinance because it was not listed as an agenda item. However, they did express opposition to implementing IP 43 in Jackson County.
“Certainly, IP 43 is something we, again haven’t taken the official board position on, but I certainly believe this board would vehemently oppose it,” said Commissioner Rick Dyer during the meeting.
So far, Commissioners have not announced further details on a public hearing for the ordinance.
At least four other counties in Oregon have implemented SAPOs since 2013.