Gun-rights initiative passes by wide margin in Coos County

Demonstrators wait outside of Roseburg Regional Airport in October for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg in the aftermath of a school shooting. Rural residents, in particular, are reluctant to consider more restrictive gun laws.

COQUILLE — Voters in Coos County overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure that seeks to prohibit enforcement of new gun laws.

With most votes counted in Tuesday’s election, the initiative was passing 61 percent to 39 percent.

It follows a new state law that requires background checks for private, person-to-person gun sales.

The measure seeks to prohibit the use of county funds to enforce the background-check mandate or other new gun restrictions that may pass in the future. It also directs the sheriff to determine whether gun laws violate the state or U.S. constitutions.

The initiative was proposed by an optician from Bandon who says the background check mandate infringes on 2nd Amendment rights.

Legal experts say the court system is the proper venue for sorting out constitutional rights.

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