DALLAS — The Dallas City Council passed a resolution that “opposes any state or federal law that unconstitutionally restricts a citizen’s right to bear arms.”
Council President Micky Garus brought the resolution to the council at its meeting Monday in response to an initiative petition and proposed legislation he said would restrict gun rights if enacted, particularly Initiative Petition 2018-43.
That petition would criminalize possession or transfer of “assault weapons,” defined as “certain semiautomatic rifles or pistols with a detachable magazine; pistols or rifles with a fixed magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition; certain semiautomatic shotguns;” and “large capacity magazines, defined as an “ammunition feeding device with capacity of more than 10 rounds.”
“We should be committed to strictly interpreting the Constitution in light of its original meaning and common understanding or the intentions of our founding fathers,” Garus said. “I’ve been told that this issue isn’t for this body to decide, that this is a social issue and this body doesn’t typically deal with social issues. To me, this is a Constitutional issue. This is an American issue and we took an oath to uphold and defend the United States and of Oregon.”
Councilor Ken Woods Jr. made a motion to refer the resolution to the council’s administration committee to allow for more time to review it and the Supreme Court case law it uses to support its conclusion.
That motion failed 3 to 6.
Councilor Kelly Gabliks motioned to have the resolution read, “It is hereby resolved that the city of Dallas, Oregon, opposes any state or federal law that abridges or is contrary to the provisions of the United States Constitution and state of Oregon Constitution.”
She explained that members of the council already took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and Oregon Constitution, when they are sworn into office. For that reason, she said a separate resolution to supporting the Second Amendment is unnecessary.
“As Micky himself said, all of the amendments are sacred, all are equally important … We’ve already agreed to uphold all amendments,” she said.
That motion also failed 4 to 5.
“It is the Second Amendment that is being attacked so much,” Garus said. “If I have to come here at the next council meeting and do the same thing for the First Amendment, I will do that as well. Or the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Gabliks said that she disagreed with the interpretation of the case law referred to in the resolution, District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. Furthermore, she said she disagreed with the statement in the resolution that read: “the first and last protectors of the United States Constition are the people of the United States, and that the ability of the people to fulfill that role rests in large part on the peoples’ right to bear arms.”
She said that people fulfill that role through exercising their First Amendment rights, through electing their government officials, and participating in open meetings.
“I think all of those things go in protecting the Constitution, not just the right to bear arms,” she said.
The resolution pass on a 6-3 vote, with Gabliks, Woods and Councilor Jim Fairchild voting no.