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Albany looking into sanctuary city for Second Amendment
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Albany looking into sanctuary city for Second Amendment

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Albany City Hall STOCK PIX

Albany City Hall

The right to bear arms is already protected by the Second Amendment, but Albany City Councilor Mike Sykes wants a first-rate guarantee.

On Wednesday, Sykes asked that the city look into creating a sanctuary city designation for gun owners in the same vein that cities around the country have declared themselves sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants. 

Citing measures pending in the Oregon Legislature that would hold gun owners responsible when their firearms fall into the wrong hands and give local schools and governments the right to bar individuals with concealed carry permits from entering their buildings, Sykes said Albany should create its own ordinance. 

Other cities around Oregon have passed such laws in the event that the state or federal government should enact gun control legislation. 

City attorney Sean Kidd said staff is working on several options including a letter supporting gun owners' rights and ordinances that fall in line with Sykes' request. However, while the initial request borrows language from the debate over undocumented immigration, the parallel isn't direct. 

According to Kidd, the right to bear arms already is protected at the federal level. The sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants are in direct opposition to an existing law. An ordinance creating a sanctuary city for gun owners would simply reiterate an existing right.

And any ordinance the council adopts, Kidd said, would not hold up against federal intervention.

"We can't stop federal agents from coming in, no," he said, noting that if the federal government did enact gun control laws and move to enforce them, a local ordinance would not prohibit that action. 

A list of options is set to come before the council at a later date. 

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