Oregonians could be voting on whether or not to ban certain firearms and high-capacity magazines in the upcoming November election. It is all dependent on whether or not enough signatures are collected to get the idea past the Oregon secretary of state's office and on to the ballot.
The group, Lift Every Voice, is behind the proposed ballot measure. They say now is the time to act in putting a stop to gun violence.
If the idea makes it to the ballot and is passed by voters, it would require legal gun owners to surrender or register certain semiautomatic weapons that meet requirements listed in the ballot text.
That includes semiautomatic pistols or rifles with a fixed magazine that can hold 10 rounds of ammunition.
Owners would be required to do one of five things if passed: Remove the weapon from the state, sell it to someone out of state, surrender it to Oregon State Police, render it “permanently inoperable,” or register it with Oregon State Police.
If a person is found in violation they could face a felony charge.
Supporters of the idea say something has to be done to put a stop to mass shootings and they think this is one step to do just that.
“People I know who are responsible gun owners say there is no need to have an AR-15, there is no need for these kinds of weapons,” said Penny Okamoto, Ceasefire Oregon executive director. "We know what happens when people have these types of guns, too often they fall into the hands of people who should not have them.”
Gun owners argue those who own these types of firearms have already gone through state and federal background checks and legal hoops to own them. They see this proposed ballot measure as taking away from the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
“They feel they are being attacked for no reason, these are not the criminals that are out there conducting heinous crimes and murder with these weapons and they are the ones who have abided by all the laws,” said Dustin Singleton, owner of Strong-Side Firearms Training LLC.
The next step in the process is gathering signatures. Ballot proponents need 1,000 to get the bill to the secretary of state. If that is done, they need to gather another 88,000 more to get it on the ballot.
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