Gun safety measures draw support and criticism from local officials

Multnomah County commissioners will give final approval on a proposed gun control ordinance unanimously passed last week at the board’s Thursday, April 25, meeting.

The ordinance, which the commission supported in a 5-0 vote, mirrors a series of gun-control measures approved by the city of Portland in 2010.

If approved, the county ordinance would ban possession of a loaded firearm in public with exceptions of licensed hunters engaged in lawful hunting, target shooters at an established target shooting area, people licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duty.

Those favoring and opposing the measure testified for nearly two hours last week before a decision was made.

Board Chairman Jeff Cogan said the gun safety measures are “common sense” and “respect our Second Amendment rights,” but are also “intended to make our community safer.”

County Sheriff Dan Staton said the ordinance would not affect his office’s existing policies. He also disagreed with the perception by some that there will be significant infringement of Second Amendment rights.

“That is not the case,” he said.

Others, including Troutdale City Councilor Glenn White, criticized the county for not doing more to solicit the opinions of area municipalities.

Fairview Mayor Mike Weatherby said Friday he tends to agree it would have been better if Multnomah County involved other cities on the gun ordinance proposal from the beginning.

“It’s too bad they didn’t work more with the cities to have something people would be more apt to agree with and more solidarity across county,” he said.

“Instead of saying here it is,” Weatherby said, it should have been “what should we do and work together on that.”

On the issue of gun control, Weatherby says he believes in responsible gun ownership and gun registration.

— Cari Hachmann

Contract Publishing

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