GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- An ordinance that aims to protect Josephine County Residents' Second Amendment rights might soon pass. It’s called the Josephine County Firearm Ordinance. Josephine County Commissioners held their first hearing on the Josephine County Firearm Ordinance.
"The board was petitioned a couple of months ago to address the issue of Second Amendment rights as it relates to petitions that were filed at the state for refining the right to bear arms in the state of Oregon and like many other counties have done we took up the subject of addressing an ordinance here locally to reflect the local position of the citizens we represent," said Josephine County Commissioner Simon Hare.
The two petitions filed at the state he addresses are Initiatives 43 and 44. 43 is the Oregon ban on certain firearms and magazines with more than a 10-round capacity. 44 is the Oregon firearm storage, control, transfer and reporting initiative. Neither will be on the November 2018 ballot.
“It's obviously a hot button issue not just in state politics or local politics but for national politics and this is one small measure that the county can take to reflect the local citizens positions on the Second Amendment rights,” Hare said. “We felt as though we were fairly pushed into this having those initiatives at the state level. We're different than any other county in the state of Oregon given that we have a provision within our Charter that reflects the citizens’ desires to have those Second Amendment rights upheld."
The ordinance states if those two petitions were to pass in the future, Josephine County law enforcement, offices or departments would not be able to use public funds, tax dollars, equipment or personnel to enforce them.
Some that went to the meeting agreed with the ordinance saying there have been attacks on the citizen's Second Amendment rights.
"It protects just the county’s citizens’ constitutional rights. It adheres to our state constitution, all state laws and it supports the Josephine County Charter and gives the citizen the tool of protection," said Joseph Rice, the original drafter of the ordinance.
Others ask why the board spent time drafting the ordinance since the second amendment already exists and some say the ordinance is a bit extreme.
"This ordinance is to protect gun owners’ ammunition and activity involving those. Why on earth would you even consider adding this restriction?" Mayana Kingery said.
The board voted to pass the ordinance at the first reading today two to zero. However they have to wait until the next reading to officially pass it. If it passes then it will go into effect 90 days later.
The next reading is on July 25th at the Anne G. Basker Auditorium.