Oregon sheriff says proposed gun background-check law won't be enforced

An Oregon sheriff said Tuesday that he will not enforce an upcoming state law that expands gun background checks to include private sales, The Herald and News reported.

Sheriff Dave Daniel, from Josephine County, which sits on the border with California, told the paper that it appears that the law is not in line with the county’s charter and said he does not have the personnel to pursue violators committing a misdemeanor.

The Oregonian reported that Senate Bill 941, which passed the state Senate on Tuesday, calls for criminal background checks for private gun transfers. The Beaver State would become the 12th state to adopt the policy. The state already requires a background check at dealerships.

'I have felonies going on daily in Josephine County. That’s my priorities.'

— Sheriff Dave Daniel

Like any gun law, supporters say any measure that makes it more difficult for a criminal to obtain a firearm is positive. On the other hand, those opposed say criminals will manage to get their hands on a gun anyway and will not be scared off at the thought of committing a Class B misdemeanor.

The Herald and News report pointed out that Daniel is in a precarious position because state law would seemingly trump the county charter. But Daniel appeared to play down the significance of the law.

"I can't enforce that law, so therefore it won't be enforced," Daniel told the paper. He continued, "I have felonies going on daily in Josephine County. That's my priorities."