City of Dallas passes controversial resolution aimed at protecti - KPTV - FOX 12

City of Dallas passes controversial resolution aimed at protecting gun rights

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The city of Dallas passed a “Second Amendment Resolution” to a round of applause at its council meeting Monday night.

Councilors voted 6-3 to pass the resolution that says in part, “The City of Dallas, Oregon, supports the right of the people to lawfully bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Oregon Constitution, and opposes any state or federal law that unconstitutionally restricts a citizen’s right to bear arms.”  

Similar resolutions and declarations are popping up across the country.

Recently, five counties in Illinois voted to become “gun sanctuary” counties. The Associated Press reports the resolutions are meant to warn the Illinois state legislature that if tighter gun restrictions are passed, the “counties might bar their employees from enforcing the new laws.”

Back in Oregon, the city of Dallas resolution was proposed by City Council President Micky Garus, who declared a potential conflict of interest before casting his vote in favor of the resolution. Garus is the owner of an outdoor and sporting goods store that sells firearms in Dallas.

After the resolution passed, Garus told FOX 12 it was a “victory for the citizens” of Dallas, but he was disappointed three city councilors voted against it. He said he hopes the resolution will “send a message to Salem and Washington (D.C.)”

Garus told city council he proposed the resolution in response to Oregon Ballot Initiative 43. The initiative would ban sales of assault-style weapons, some semi-automatic guns and high capacity magazines. Those who already own those types of guns would either be required to give them up, render them inoperable, or register them with the state.

Several Dallas residents said they are fearful of the initiative and were encouraged by the city’s resolution. There was a big turnout at the meeting where councilors discussed the language of the resolution before passing it.

Dana Hatch told FOX 12 he came specifically to support the resolution.

“I’m pretty happy about it. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Hatch said. “The city of Dallas has the right to push back against the state of Oregon.”

But another Dallas resident, who didn’t attend the meeting, said he would like to see more gun restriction.

Joseph Bieker said he thinks the resolution is a bad idea, and serves as little more than lip-service to the city’s conservative base.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Bieker said of the resolution, adding that he is a gun owner, but feels that tightening gun laws will make communities safer from mass shootings and other unstable individuals.

“There’s no need for people to have those type of guns,” Bieker said.

As it sits now, the resolution may be largely symbolic.

FOX 12 asked Garus about the city’s future, if Oregon were to pass laws restricting gun sales or firearm ownership.

“It’s too soon to say what this would mean for us,” Garus said. “I think at that time, the police chief, the sheriff and the city administrators would probably sit down and have a conversation about what does that really mean, how would we handle that and what would our next step be.”

Garus said taking a stand against enforcing any gun restrictions would likely be a key consideration.

Oregon law experts told FOX 12 that because Initiative 43 is written to include criminal penalties --  if it passes --  state laws would likely preempt any local gun laws. Lawyers said city resolutions and ordinance on the matter could, however, pave a path to suing the state over the regulations.

Garus told FOX 12 it’s something he and other city leaders have considered.

Along with its resolution, the city of Dallas also submitted a letter from Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton. In the letter, Garton said he does not support Oregon Initiative 43 and supports the rights of citizens to bear arms.

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