Gun initiative meets county approval
When it comes to prospective petitions for the proposed Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance, the third time's a charm.
A petition filed April 29 by Chris Brumbles, a gun rights advocate and chief petitioner for the SASO, has been approved by the county's elections supervisor, Don Clack, and is being forwarded to Columbia County District Attorney Jeff Auxier, who will draft a ballot title and summary.
There will then be a seven-day public comment period on the ballot title before the petitioner can begin collecting signatures in hopes of qualifying for a future ballot.
Columbia County Circuit Judge Ted Grove issued a decision last month finding an earlier version of the prospective petition for the SASO was unconstitutional.
The proposed measure was determined to be unconstitutional on the grounds it did not "include the full text of the proposed law," according to the decision issued by Grove. The ruling did not determine if the contents of the petition were unconstitutional, only that the particular petition was not prepared in accordance with the state Constitution.
The county clerk rejected SASO in January, a week after Brumbles filed the initial peti-
Brumbles, through his lawyer Tyler Smith, appealed the decision in a court case naming Columbia County, the county clerk and Clack as respondents.
There are three requirements for initiative petitions as specified in the Oregon Constitution: the petition must include the full text of the proposed law, embrace a single subject, and be legislative rather than administrative.
Though the court upheld the county's rejection of SASO, Grove only determined that the petition failed to meet the first requirement for initiative petitions. In his decision, issued April 12, Grove did not address the other two requirements.
"The voter cannot determine beyond the listed categories what other state or federal restrictions may be nullified by this initiative measure," Grove wrote.
"The alleged 'ambiguity' has been removed from the current SASO that many counties are using and this Judge Grove's reason for denying the Columbia County SASO # 19-1 should not and cannot be applied to the newer versions of SASO," Brumbles' attorney wrote in a public letter dated May 3.
On April 18, less than a week after Grove issued his decision, Brumbles filed an updated prospective petition. The following week, Clack rejected the updated petition, again writing that the petition did not meet any of the three requirements for a prospective petition.
Brumbles then filed two more prospective petitions, April 29 — which the county has approved — and May 6.