We went to Crook County Friday to ask Sheriff John Gautney his approach.
“The state police are responsible for putting together the guidelines and how we are going to move forward with this measure, and so until we get some guidance from state police and DOJ on how this is going to fold out to all the offices, we really do not know where we are going with it,” said Gautney.
“Not know[ing]” is the issue. The sheriff told us if a permitting process is figured out soon, he does not have the staff to manage it.
“That’s going to take more time than what our staff currently has,” said Gautney.
His office is already backlogged with concealed handgun license applications.
“Currently we are over a month out on where we’re at with being able to bring in new applicants,” said Gautney.
Adding a permitting process would “clog up the system” according to the sheriff.
Funding for the additional work that will be required due to Measure 114 is also an issue.
“The $65 we’re allowed to charge for the permitting process does not cover what it will cost to put a staff member on that,” said Gautney.
Along with the permit-to-purchase aspect, gun-buyers will need to be trained by a law-enforcement-certified instructor.
“We do not have a process for that,” said Gautney. “We do not have a range here that we can train public people on, and so we are not sure how that is going to come about.”
If a permit-to-purchase system is not in place by the time the measure goes into effect, the sheriff predicts gun shops will be unable to sell firearms.
“It’s going to effect the gun dealers and people who want to purchase firearms because, at that point in time, if there’s not any system in place it’ll cease,” said Gautney.
The biggest issue for the sheriff is all of the questions left unanswered.
“We really do not know,” said Gautney. “We are in the dark like everyone else.”
December 8 is when Measure 114 will go into effect. If Oregon State Police are not ready to roll out a plan to implement, they can request an extension to continue working on it.