OREGON — Since the 2022 election, Oregon’s firearms sales scene has been thrown into complete disarray, and it’s largely thanks to the passage of Oregon Measure 114.
Measure 114, also known as the Changes to Firearm Ownership and Purchase Requirements Initiative, is being hailed by some as one of the most strict gun control policies in the United States today. How to enforce its incredibly labor-intensive permitting process in the time frame mandated has been a question no one’s effectively been able to answer.
The state’s attorney general admitted December 4 that the state wouldn’t be ready to have a permitting process in place by the end of this past week as required by the measure, according to The Oregonian.
So, what is in this measure that’s proven so contentious and disruptive?
Aside from the fact that all gun control measures (rightfully) are extremely contentious, the reach of this single measure should make its implications apparent to all:
|A “yes” vote supported this ballot initiative to: require permits issued by local law enforcement to buy a firearm; require photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, criminal background check, and fee payment to apply for a permit; and prohibit manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using, or transferring ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and make violations a class A misdemeanor.
|A “no” vote opposed this ballot initiative thereby maintaining no limit on the capacity of ammunition magazines, except for hunting, and the existing law, which requires a seller/transferor to request a background check before firearm purchase.
For our TL/DR readers out there, the measure essentially states that its passage means that ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds are banned, and that there will be a very involved permit-to-purchase system that includes fingerprinting and law enforcement-approved firearm training.
According to Ballotpedia, that makes a violation of this new class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail, a fine of $6250, or both.
The measure squeaked by with almost the literal narrowest of margins, passing with a 50.65% majority. Almost exactly 25,000 more people voted “yes” than “no.”
The magazine capacity ban is something we’ve seen in other states, while the proposed permit system is reminiscent of a lot of states’ concealed carry permit pathways – this time, it’s for all firearms.
The permit system also includes a significant cost to undergo, and still doesn’t exempt a purchaser from going through a background check, which they were already doing.
The NRA-Institute for Legislative Action denounced the measure.
“[Measure 114] is yet another anti-gun ballot initiative that seeks to further erode Second Amendment rights in Oregon. It imposes a permit requirement in order to exercise the Second Amendment right to acquire a firearm …The permit application process includes a one-size-fits-all training mandate, a subjective mental health review that is ripe for abuse, submission of fingerprints, and payment of a fee – up to $65 to apply, and up to $50 to renew. Issuing authorities have up to 30 days to issue permits to qualified applicants and they must be renewed every five years. Meanwhile, criminals will continue obtaining their firearms illegally.”
Since its passage, questions of its constitutionality and the new permit system have both slowed down the implementation process. Law-abiding citizens hoping to avoid the entanglements of the new law and make their firearms purchases have swamped firearms retailers in the state.
Despite its passage, the fight over Measure 114 isn’t over. We should expect to see more from both its defenders and detractors over the coming weeks and months.
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