Lane County is too cash-strapped to enforce the state’s new background check law on private gun sales, the county’s board of commissioners decided Tuesday.

After more than 90 minutes of heated debate that covered everything from the constitutional origins of the Second Amendment to the difference between the words “as” and “are” in a sentence, commissioners passed 4-1 a resolution reaffirming their support of the right to bear arms and opposition to what they call an unfunded mandate created by Senate Bill 941.

Commissioner Pete Sorenson cast the lone no vote, saying the resolution was basically an effort by the other commissioners to pander to their voter bases.

The Oregon Legislature passed SB 941, and Gov. Kate Brown signed it into law last month. Proponents say it closes a loophole that lets criminals evade the background check system. Opponents argue it infringes on their Second Amendment rights, won’t stop criminals from getting guns and burdens the county with more responsibility without offering funds to pay for it.

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