What do you need to know about Oregon’s Measure 114? The National Rifle Association (NRA), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) opposed it and anti-gun groups such as Bloomberg’s Everytown, Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence supported it. That’s the short — and somewhat cynical — answer. However, the details do tell the tale of the new assault on our gun rights.
Oregon Measure 114, Changes to Firearm Ownership and Purchase Requirements Initiative (2022) was described by the NRA as “The nation’s most extreme gun control Initiative.” With all the rhetoric bandied about these days, that’s quite a statement. Let’s look at why Measure 114 is bad law.
What is Oregon Measure 114?
Measure 114 requires permits to be issued by local law enforcement to purchase a firearm. It requires photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, criminal background checks, and a fee payment to apply for a permit. Additionally, Measure 114 prohibits manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using, or transferring ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Measure 114 makes any violation a class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine and up to 364 days in jail.
The State Police can deny a permit to an applicant believed to be a danger to oneself or others or if an applicant is prohibited from possessing a firearm. In truth this does nothing to keep the people safe. It sounds good when tweaked slightly by a politician or activist. Reread the statement. The State police are given the ability to deny a permit to a person already prohibited from obtaining a firearm. The only purpose of that statement is to sell the Measure to those who do not read it closely.
To that end, the Oregon State Police has been tasked with creating systems to enforce the new gun restrictions by January 15, 2023 — 30 days after the vote is scheduled to be certified. However, the agency has not offered a plan for how the systems will work, how they will be created, or how the Measure will be enforced.
The Oregon State Police has not responded to multiple requests for details regarding implementation. However, it did release a statement that it is “assessing the required processes,” and couldn’t comment further until after the vote is certified in December.
To be clear, nothing in the text of Measure 114 allows for implementation delays.
In what seems to be a logical, if not legal contradiction, supporters of Measure 114 are seemingly not concerned with the 30-day requirement. In fact, Anthony Johnson (the anti-gun spokesman for Measure 114) has gone so far as to claim:
“Sales will not halt because permits cannot be required until they (Oregon State Police) develop the rules and finalizes the standardized form to apply.”
That’s an easy claim to make when it is not your business, livelihood, license, and risk of running afoul of the law is at stake. According to Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, “A lot of gun-store operators are concerned that they’re not going to be able to sell any guns when there’s no system set up to be able to do it. “[Measure 114] supporters are arguing that that won’t be the case, but we don’t see how the wording allows them any authority to delay enforcement.”
Challenging Measure 114
The poorly written, nearly impossible to implement in 30 days, and likely unconstitutional, Measure 114 is sure to quickly be challenged in the courts. The Firearms Protection Coalition and Second Amendment Foundation have signaled that they are sitting on the sidelines until it is clear how Oregon officials plan to proceed with its implementation. To that end, FPC and SAF have particular parts of the Measure 114 that they are already preparing to challenge.
The portion concerning the magazine ban tops the list. The permitting and training requirements, which the infrastructure and are requirements are not currently available, will also be legal points to be challenged.
I have never trusted that common sense would prevail when anti-gun fanatics can judge shop or the legislation is in a known liberal-leaning (anti gun) jurisdiction. The Federal government is restricted from creating registries of firearm owners and the firearms they own. Measure 114 seeks to do at the State level what the Federal government is prohibited from doing. No one is safer because legal gun owners can only carry 10 rounds in a magazine. Criminals have no such restriction.
Likewise, the People have never been made safer by restricting law-abiding gun owners’ access to firearms. And by definition, criminals’ access to firearms are unaffected by the draconian laws. The only benefit derived by Measure 114’s implementation, and a less-safe society, is to those who prey on the innocent, the weak, and the vulnerable.
If you live in Oregon and are on the fence about purchasing a new gun or magazines… Get them before the madness goes into effect and the court challenges begin. For the rest of the country, stay active in your state’s politics and squash these bills before they get started and threaten the protection the Second Amendment offers.
Note: Cheaper Than Dirt may need to restrict firearm sales to Oregon because of the backlog of dealers are unable to process the background checks before December 7. Several dealers in Oregon are refusing new to process new transfers.