City and county battle over who governs your guns

City and county battle over who governs your guns »Play Video
Attorney Bruce McCain (back to camera) presents an argument in court Wednesday, July 9, 2014. He represents people who oppose a Multnomah County gun ordinance.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The battle over who controls the gun laws in Multnomah County was argued in court Wednesday.

Bruce McCain, who represents the people who are opposed to the gun ordinance, told KATU,

"What's at stake here is ability of Multnomah County to impose its police power on cities without city's consent."

He's the attorney representing the five people who filed a lawsuit against the county after it passed the gun ordinance last year.

Last year KATU met one of the five county residents suing the county over this. Roxanne Ross lives in Gresham and owns a gun and believes the county gun control ordinance oversteps its bounds. Her attorney argued the county should be able to enforce its ordinance in unincorporated areas, but not in the eight cities within the county like Gresham without the city adopting the ordinance as its own.

On Wednesday, KATU learned the county gun ordinance may not have teeth in at least one city. The Multnomah County District Attorney intends to drop a criminal charge based on that county ordinance in the case against Josef Powell, the man arrested the day of the Reynolds High School shooting after police found a gun on him. He was charged with violating a state law and charged again for violating the law included in the county ordinance.

Chuck Sparks, the chief deputy with the Multnomah County District Attorney told KATU, "Based on the county counsel's opinion that the county ordinance does not apply in the city of Troutdale, we are going to dismiss count two against Mr. Powell."

That charge for carrying a loaded firearm, will be dismissed Sparks said. The first count stands, which is a charge filed under state law for unlawful possession of a firearm.

A ruling in the court case involving the five residents suing the county is expected in several weeks.

This lawsuit was the topic of KATU's "Your Voice, Your Vote" last Sunday. Watch the show below: