Coosville preserves 2nd Amendment and rejects new tax


by Rob Taylor

Despite the irrational warnings coming from the gun control alarmists, 8,905 Coos county voters decided to preserve a valued right of the individual to keep and bear arms by successfully ratifying the Second Amendment measure 6-151 with a 61% majority.

In turn, and in a display of sheer dissatisfaction with the leadership on the Board of Commissioners, those same voters rejected another government grab for the people’s hard-earned cash by vetoing the Transient Occupancy Tax, measure 6-152.

One of the better resulting factors of the election was the national media coverage debating the legal validity of the preservation ordinance, which keeps the issue at the forefront of discussion.

The spokespersons for the leftist news outlets immediately brought out several law experts rebuking the idea of reaffirming the sacred right of self-defense, while the more constitutionally adherent legal professionals presented rebuttals to the contrary.

The Huffington Post immediately posted this very biased headline on November 03, 2015, Oregon County Passes Measure Directing Sheriff To Block State And Federal Gun Laws P.S.  This is illegal.”

The following is a quote from the article:

“Charlie Hinkle, a constitutional law expert in Portland, Oregon, said (Sheriff) Zanni would be violating his oath of office by enforcing a county ordinance that is contrary to state or federal law.

“Of course local officials can’t decide what laws are constitutional. That’s why Kim Davis went to jail,” Hinkle told The Huffington Post. “Even the president can’t decide what’s constitutional — that’s why a federal court enjoined his executive orders regarding immigration.”” 

The next day on November 4, The Raw Story had this little provocative teaser, Oregon voters pass right-wing measure forcing sheriff to act like an Oath Keeper militia member.”

Sporting such an outrageous title, it was no surprise their expert espoused this bit of legalese opposing the measure.

 ““The Coos County referendum to nullify state firearms law and require the sheriff to analyze whether federal and state firearms laws are constitutional displays a gross misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The measure misuses constitutional provisions to support the proposition that a jurisdiction may disobey federal and state laws when residents disagree with those laws on political grounds.””

Even the legal beagles over at The Heritage Foundation were unusually contradictive on the matter with this gem printed in The Daily Signal

“Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution leaves “no question that federal law trumps state law” and that any sheriff who violates a state law requirement could run into legal issues.”

“On the other hand, while federal law can override state and local laws, the federal government cannot force local officials to enforce federal law,” he noted.

However, not all the lawyers were willing to give up these freedoms without a fight.

On Sunday, November 8, the publication, The New American, came to the defense of the people’s right to act as the “principal” of the country, and “nullify” unconstitutional laws.

The most effective weapon in the war against small and large tyrannical attacks on liberty is nullification. Nullification occurs when a state, county, city, or other local entity holds as null, void, and of no legal effect any act of any government body that exceeds the boundaries of its constitutional powers. 

As the Coos County ordinance demonstrates, the law of agency applies when one party gives another party legal authority to act on the first party’s behalf. The first party is called the principal and the second party is called the agent. The principal may grant the agent as much or as little authority as suits his purpose. That is to say, by simply giving an agent certain powers, that agent is not authorized to act outside of that defined sphere of authority. 

Using a different argument, the most astute analysis came from constitutional attorney Kris Anne Hall, which the Western Journal published on November 10.

First, the Sheriff is NOT an agent of the State. He is an elected representative of The People. The State does not hire a Sheriff; the People elect him, and they expect him to keep his oath to the people. Inherent in that oath is the requirement of the Sheriff to protect the people from all who would take their property in violation of their rights. We expect that our Sheriff, as much as he is able, will help to protect our homes, our property, our lives, and our families from the acts of those who would violate our rights. But what happens when it’s the government itself that takes up the role of one who would take our rights, the role of the criminal?

Mrs. Hall continues to explain:  “we must educate ourselves on the Truth regarding the application of the Constitution and the proper role and duty of our Constitutional Sheriffs.  May I encourage you to support Coos County, Oregon, and their Sheriff as they act in defense of our inherent Right to keep and bear arms?”

Rob Taylor is the founder of a virtual network of local activist @

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Posted by at 05:23 | Posted in 2nd Amendment, Local Taxes, Media, Voting | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • HBguy

    Wouldn’t this exact same legal analysis apply to segregation? That is, the Governor of Alabama was elected by the people of the State. There were State laws that didn’t allow blacks entry into some colleges. Therefore he could lawfully stand in the college doorway thereby nullifying the USSC decisions of Brown v. Board of Education.
    And it was JFK, RFK, the Federal Marshals and the national Guard whopper violating the people Alabama’s constitutional right to segregated Universities.

    • MikePDX

      The direction of your attempt at an analogy is flawed. In each of the cases [infringing gun laws and the governor], the right of the individual is being threatened. The proper place for the law and for the justice system is to protect the rights of the individual against those who would impair those rights. We the People acknowledged the equality of all persons before the law and granted to and limited the powers of state and federal governments through the passage of constitutions. Laws at all levels of government are in subordination to the appropriate constitutions and rights of the individual.

      • HBguy

        The problem I have with your analysis is that it seems to hold that it’s an individuals, or a majority of voters, who get to decide what the constitution means and when an adopted law violates the constitution. Is that the basis of your argument, or do I misunderstand it?

        • Michael Mlynarczyk

          The purpose of a constitution is preserve the rights of the individual from the potential tyranny of government. Every law passed takes rights away from the individual. The challenge is to balance the rights of the individual while maintaining a civil society. The founders of our system of government deemed that all political power starts with the individual person, hence, “We the People” in the U.S. Constitution. Power was delegated (democratic republic) to the State government which then delegated enumerated powers to the Federal government. “We the People” have set up the three co-equal branches of government in order that [theoretically] no individual branch of government would be able to rule in a tyrannical manner. However, ultimately, “We the People” [it is a societal decision and not an individual decision] can determine when laws become too oppressive. Part of the checks and balances is that we elect (delegate) county sheriffs (the highest law enforcement position in a county) to enforce and interpret laws on our behalf. They do have the legal mandate to determine if laws are or are not constitutional on our behalf. Our immediate choice in opposition to his/her decisions is the ballot box.

          • HBguy

            So County Sheriffs are the ultimate deciders as to what laws are constitutional within their jurisdiction, but their legal interpretations are reviewable at the ballot box by the voters who can either re-elect them or not?

          • MikePDX

            That was a cute twisting of what I said. I did not say that the sheriffs are the “ultimate deciders” in a jurisdiction (well, you can re-read what I said). From there we have the courts to review the law as well as the actions of the sheriff and the legislature can review those as well. A central theme of our established system is to have co-equal branches of government that provide checks and balances on each other. A dictatorship is much more efficient, but our system was not designed to be efficient, but, rather, to provide the most liberty possible for a civil society. We the People remain the “ultimate deciders”. Having said that, we are a representative democracy which provides some protection for the liberty of minority positions so that a 50+ per cent direct vote does not unduly oppress a minority position.

          • HBguy

            I’m really trying to figure out how Sheriffs fit into your view of constitutional law and what ultimate authority they have, and whether they must obey a Court interpretation of constitutional law. So, the Sheriffs get the first shot at consitutionality? Then the courts get to review the Sheriffs interpretation? Not sure how the Legislature reviews a Sheriffs actions. And does the Legislature get to review the Courts decisions?

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