(Columbia County, Oregon) – The Columbia County Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance, recently adopted by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners to implement the intent of the voters as demonstrated by the passage of the “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance” in 2018 and the “Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance” in 2020, will now move on to Validation proceedings in Columbia County Circuit Court.
In passing the Ordinance, many provisions of both Measures 5-270 and 5-278 remain the same. The Ordinance amended the Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance to incorporate provisions of the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance where it differed from the Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance. The new Ordinance’s adoption kept it consistent with County practice and corrected scrivener errors in the Acts while preserving the intent of the voters. The Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance was then repealed.
The passage of the two initiatives and subsequent adopted Ordinance raises several important legal questions about what firearm regulations can be enforced in Columbia County, according to County Counsel Sarah Hanson. To gain clarity from the Court about the matter, the County filed a “Petition for Validation of Local Government Action,” which authorizes the circuit court to conduct a judicial examination of the Ordinance and provide a judgment of the court as to its regularity and legality.
“This will allow the Court to tell us whether the County can actually decline to enforce certain state laws, and it will tell us how to abide by the will of the voters to the extent that we can,” Hanson said. “It will also safeguard the County in the event we’re ever sued by an organization, for example - a gun safety group, due to the measures.”
Notice and summons to the County and all electors or interested persons will be posted once a week for the next three weeks. Any interested person will have ten days from the date of the final publication to appear and contest the regularity, legality, validity, and effect of the Ordinance.
“As Columbia County Sheriff, it is my responsibility to ensure the rights of all of our citizens are protected, including the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms,” Sheriff Brian Pixley said. “I look forward to the validation process so we can move forward with the will of the voters”.