Judge completely blocks Oregon’s restrictive gun law

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The NRA called Ballot Measure 114 the nation’s most extreme gun control Initiative, warning voters that under the guise of the “Reduction of Gun Violence Act,” the measure is an “unconstitutional, anti-gun initiative package that includes a state-run government registry of gun owners’ personal information and firearms, requires a permit to purchase a firearm, imposes an indefinite delay on background checks, and bans any magazine with over a 10-round capacity.”

Oregon Measure 114 calls for a ban on the sale, transfer, and manufacture of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds; requires a permit to purchase a gun; and bars a gun sale or gun transfer before a background check is completed.

Oregonians voted for the measure in November- but there is a problem with the additional background check rule which puts the whole measure under scrutiny in the courts.

A judge on Tuesday placed a hold on a portion of Oregon’s recently passed gun law that enhances background check requirements for firearm purchases, leaving the legislation completely blocked.

“The ruling is another setback for the law, Ballot Measure 114, which is now entirely paused as legal challenges to various portions of the law make their way through Oregon’s court system. The judge determined that the law’s heightened background check requirement could not be implemented while the court continues to debate the other portions of the law, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, as plaintiffs argue the law violates the state’s constitution,” The Daily Caller reported, adding:

Oregon had hoped to implement the background check requirement based on language in the measure that says if any “articles, sections, subsections, sentences or clauses” are blocked or found to be unconstitutional, the remaining portions could still be implemented. Harney County Circuit Judge Robert Raschio ruled that the background check could not be implemented because the language in the measure ties background checks to the “permit-to-purchase” requirement, according to OPB.

“The court declines to remove the background check provisions from the [temporary restraining order] as the provisions are intertwined with the permit-to-purchase program and the court has made no final determination on constitutionality of the program,” Raschio wrote in his order.

“A Harney County judge heard arguments today on whether or not to allow the background provisions in Ballot Measure 114 to go into effect. He’ll issue his ruling by Jan. 3, he said,” J Levinson (@_jlevinson)posted on Twitter in December 23, 2022.

Following the law’s passing, gun restrictions led to a massive uptick in attempted firearms purchases in Oregon. Background checks skyrocketed from 850 per day, prior to the midterms, to 4,000 per day after the law’s passing, and the Oregon state police reported more than 18,000 transactions during election week.

In December, 36,000 Oregon residents were waitlisted in the background check process, Karl Durkheimer, owner of Oregon’s Northwest Armory gun store, said on Fox News.

“Two things are happening. There’s fear they won’t be able to get a gun, but there’s the actual logistics that they won’t be able to do the background check. It’s going to take a year before an Oregonian has a permit,” Durkheimer said.

The NRA reported the dangers of the measure:

  • Ballot Measure 114 is an unconstitutional BAN on ammo magazines with more than 10-rounds. Measure 114 will ban the use, possession, manufacturing, and transfer of ammunition magazines over 10-rounds. Use of a currently owned magazine will only be lawful on private property, at a shooting range, and while engaged in hunting. When a magazine is transported off private property, the magazine must be removed from the firearm and stored separately. Therefore, a magazine over 10-rounds will not be available to exercise the right to self-defense “outside of the home.”
  • Ballot Measure 114 would require government permission to exercise your Second Amendment constitutional rights. Measure 114 requires a permit-to-purchase (or transfer) a firearm. The permit must be issued by law enforcement. There is no exception for law enforcement or military purchase of firearms for personal use. A Concealed Handgun License does not qualify as a permit-to-purchase. A Hunter Safety Certification does not qualify as a permit-to-purchase. Permit must be renewed every 5 years for a fee. Issuance of a permit requires completion of classroom and live-fire training offered only by law enforcement certified instructors. There is no limit to the amount that can be charged for these classes. Facilities and ranges for classes are extremely limited. Nothing requires law enforcement agencies to actually offer the classes required to obtain the permit.
  • Ballot Measure 114 would allow your personal information to be added to a government registry. Measure 114 requires law enforcement to maintain a registry of gun owner’s personal information contained in the permit application including – applicant’s legal name, current address and telephone number, date and place of birth, physical description, fingerprints, pictures, and ANY additional information determined necessary by law enforcement. This data will be published annually.

Here is the full text of the measure.

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