Unconstitutional gun control ballot measure passes in Oregon; court challenges to commence soon
Left-wing voters in the bluest parts of Oregon narrowly passed a controversial gun control measure during last week's midterm elections that is very likely headed straight to federal court.
"Measure 114, which will, among other things, require state residents to obtain a permit prior to purchasing a firearm, passed by 74 percent in Multnomah County, where Portland is located. Eastern portions of the state voted overwhelmingly against the measure" because they are very conservative, The New American reported
"The measure would have been defeated in 29 of Oregon’s 36 counties. The results are expected to be certified on December 15, with the law scheduled to take effect 30 days from then," the report continued.
So -- why would this be unconstitutional?
Because of the plain language of the Second Amendment's 'infringement clause."
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms
, shall not be infringed
," the amendment says. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the amendment's historical meaning was that bearing arms is an individual
right and not just for the purpose of being in a "militia."
There are other questionable legal provisions of Measure 114 as well. For instance, the measure prohibits person-to-person transfers of weapons, exchanges that have often been referred to as the "gun show loophole," as well as banning magazines of more than 10 rounds.
However, despite the passage of the measure, The New American
reported, there is a lot of confusion about how the new Changes to Firearm Ownership and Purchase Requirements Initiative would actually be implemented.
“We’re hopeful that the permitting process would be able to be in place, and that was mainly based on the fact that there’s a current process for concealed handgun licenses that’s very, very similar,” Liz McKanna, of Lift Every Voice, an organization that championed the anti-gun legislation, said.
However, something "very similar" is not the same as "ready to go." Some also believe that it may take as long as a year to put the program in place.
Also unclear is whether gun sales will be affected or not until the new measure is actually implemented; some are predicting that gun sales throughout the state could be impacted until the new permitting process is actually rolled out.
“As we see it, legally, when this is signed into law, they can no longer sell firearms until you have a permit to purchase, and you can’t get a permit to purchase until all of these rules and systems are put in place,” said Amy Patrick, the policy director of Oregon Hunters Association, who was against the new measure. “Oregon State Police, in their financial input to the measure, stated they don’t see permits being offered until 2024.”
According to The New American
, at least three Oregon sheriffs have already announced they won't enforce provisions of the law.
In a Facebook post, Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan
clearly noted that her department would not enforce the magazine limit.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing the passage of Ballot Measure 114, which creates a required permitting system in order to purchase firearms AND bans gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. This is a terrible law for gun owners, crime victims, and public safety,” she wrote. “I want to send a clear message to Linn County residents that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is NOT going to be enforcing magazine capacity limits.
“This measure is poorly written and there is still a lot that needs to be sorted out regarding the permitting process, who has to do the training and what exactly does the training have to cover,” Duncan added.
Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen and Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey also indicated they won't be enforcing the measure.
“I agree 100% with Sheriff Duncan,” Bowen said. “This is an infringement on our constitutional rights
and will not be enforced by my office!”
“Per [the sheriff’s] direction our office would not enforce Measure 114,” Undersheriff James Burgett of Sherman County told Willamette Week