Pro-gun measure doesn’t make Nov. ballot

Bend-based Deschutes Arms and Munitions displays rifles at a 2017 Wes Knodel Gun Show. (Colby Brown/Spokesman file photo)

Deschutes County voters will not be asked in November to support a so-called “Second Amendment preservation ordinance,” but the chief petitioner said he expects to make the next ballot.

The deadline to gather signatures to make the Nov. 6 general election ballot passed Wednesday with supporters of the pro-gun measure failing to turn in the required 4,144 signatures. Now, there will be no county-wide voter initiatives on the November ballot.

Initiative 9-2018-1 would have allowed the Deschutes County sheriff to determine the constitutionality of firearms laws, and expanded the definition of “firearm” to include firearm accessories and ammunition. Second Amendment supporters were pushing versions of the initiative in most Oregon counties this election season.

Redmond resident Jerrad Robison, chief petitioner for the local initiative, said he’s about 1,000 votes short of the goal. His efforts so far have primarily included gathering signatures at public events such as gun shows and gun range open houses, rather than soliciting door-to-door.

“I’m continuing with it,” he said Friday. “Last night, I went out and got about 40 to 50 more, and I’m going to keep going.”

Robison has two years to gather the required 4,144 signatures. He said his next goal is to make the May 2019 ballot.

Earlier this summer, two Deschutes County residents opposed the wording of the measure chosen by Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, arguing it didn’t it appropriately convey the significance of the proposed measure. Judge Wells Ashby agreed with them and opted to rewrite the ballot language himself.

Zandra Brant, one of the women who challenged the original ballot language, said Friday she was thrilled the measure failed to make the November ballot, and said she will oppose future efforts.

“There are many organizations in Deschutes County that would be willing to oppose this,” she said. “We’ll be watching.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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