Sheriff Bruce Riley of Linn County, Oregon has come out publicly on the Linn County Sheriff’s Facebook page boldly stating that universal background checks, as proposed in Senate Bill 941, are not what they appear to be on the surface. Riley wrote a letter and posted it on the Facebook page earlier this week . . .
“While this bill may look good on the surface, don’t be fooled,” Riley’s letter notes. “It does nothing to make our families, communities, schools or businesses safer. Adding additional requirements and unnecessary laws for law abiding citizens is a waste of time and resources — time and resources that could be better spent on stiffening our current laws that deal with crimes committed with guns and mental health issues that currently face our community every day.” Riley added, “As your sheriff, I am committed to keeping guns away from criminals. I am equally committed in allowing law abiding citizens the right to possess firearms without further infringement.”
Senate Bill 941 would require a background check on all firearms transfers, including private party sales. Transfers between family members, law enforcement, or the passing down of inheritable firearms are exempted from this measure.
The specific text of the bill in the introduction summary states that the bill,
Requires private person to complete transfer of firearm by appearing with transferee before gun dealer to request criminal background check. Punishes violation by maximum of one year’s imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both, or maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, or both, for second or subsequent offense
Riley calls the bill “window dressing” saying it is nothing more than feel-good legislation designed to make it more difficult for good citizens to own guns. If passed, Riley also states that the bill will add a significant layer of government bureaucracy and fees that infringe on law abiding gun owners and their right to keep and bear arms.
Riley would rather see the legislature focus on mental health services in the state instead of concocting laws that would do nothing to accomplish the state’s goal of keeping guns from the hands of criminals.
It’s nice that there are public servants like Riley and other law enforcement officers like him who understand the true intent of the Second Amendment.