Gun measure fails to hit target

    A handgun with bullets symbolizing gun rights while framed with a judge's gavel and block.

    Voters Tuesday soundly rejected a Jackson County measure that would have given the sheriff authority to resist changes to potential future gun control laws by declaring them unconstitutional.

    Measure 15-181, known as the Right to Bear Arms measure, was failing by a wide margin Tuesday evening — 49,456 to 38,210, or 56.41 percent to 43.59 percent, after late returns.

    The gun measure was modeled on a Josephine County ordinance passed in the 1990s, according to Ryan Mallory, who ran the campaign.

    Mallory, a co-owner of the Jackson County Scanner Facebook group, also managed the campaign for sheriff candidate Bill Froehlich, who lost to Sheriff Nathan Sickler by wide margin Tuesday evening.

    In a Facebook message after the election results came through, Mallory said he understood the measure would be a long shot.

    “We had always questioned that we could pull it off in such a liberal area. Not enough conservatives voted, in our opinion,” Mallory wrote in his statement. “Although we are a little disappointed, the county will now revert to the resolution to protect the right to bear arms that the county commissioners made a couple years ago.”

    Mallory introduced the gun measure last spring in reaction to a pair of proposed statewide gun-control initiatives, but those measures, which would have limited ownership of certain semiautomatic firearms and proposed mandating gun owners lock their firearms or be held liable for injuries, couldn’t overcome ballot title hurdles to make the state ballot.

    Mallory touted the Right to Bear Arms measure in tandem with Froehlich’s campaign through his website Froehlich ran as a “Constitutional Sheriff” supporting the rights of gun owners.

    Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

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