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Sanctuary Cities For Gun Rights? A Look The Militia-Backed Ballot Measures In Oregon

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Tom McKirgan stands in front of his house in Camas Valley, Oregon, with a campaign sign supporting the Douglas County Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance. McKirgan, a member of the Oregon chapter of the Three Percenters militia group, helped draft the Douglas County ordinance.

A new kind of gun law is on the ballot in 10 Oregon counties this year. So-called “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances” would give those county sheriffs the authority to determine if state and federal gun laws are constitutional and bar county resources from being used to enforce them.The measures represent a new legal strategy for gun rights groups.“It’s a brand-new approach,” said Rob Taylor, an Oregon gun rights activist who is pushing these ordinances. “It’s something that really hasn’t been tried in a lot of places.”Taylor runs the Committee to Preserve the Second Amendment. The group wrote and shepherded the ballot measure to Election Day with the help of the Oregon chapters of militia groups like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.The proposed ordinances are based on the same 10th Amendment principles that sanctuary cities use to justify not enforcing federal immigration laws, Taylor says. The 10th Amendment, which defines the relationship between the state and federal government, affirms the principle that any powers not granted to the federal government would be reserved to the states or the people.“We thought if a state can do that with the 10th Amendment, why couldn’t a county do that against the state using the same type of anti-commandeering principles,” Taylor said.

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