Oregon’s Measure 114 prompts fierce gun control debate in final campaign days

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 5:31 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - On Tuesday, those behind Measure 114 made an emotional case for their cause. At Augustana Lutheran Church, 170 tolls of a church bell rang out to represent the 170 people who have died from gun violence in Oregon this year.

If passed the ballot measure would extend beyond background checks and require any Oregonian who purchases a weapon to have a permit, take safety courses, and be registered in a new database overseen by the Oregon State Police.

The measure also bans firearms that can hold more than 10 rounds at a time. Rev. Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church and one of the main leaders behind the initiative says it will save lives.

“We know we have to do what we have to do, it’s the right thing,” said Knutson. “And I know the sheriffs believe that as well.”

In opposition to the measure, the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, which represents all the sheriffs’ departments in the state, says that if this measure is passed, law enforcement agencies, which are already stretched thin will carry an even heavier burden of trying to implement the new laws. Other faith leaders acknowledge this, but feel it will still be a success.

“The resources will come for the implementation,” said Dr. Leroy Haines, President of the Albina Ministerial Alliance. “The great citizens of Oregon will not let this go undone.”

Those who use firearms for hunting have also voiced opposition. Amy Patrick is the policy director at the Oregon Hunter’s Association. She tells FOX 12 she has concerns that Measure 114 is taking already established background checks and safety courses, and making them more complicated by making people take a safety course and register in a state database when purchasing a gun.

“That addition in there effectively rules out a lot of these concealed carry license permits as counting as one of these approved firearms training courses,” said Patrick. “It also rules out hunter safety, which is a very comprehensive safety course.”

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Patrick says she is also concerned certain hunting rifles would be restricted because of the ban on guns with more than 10 rounds included in the measure.

The Secretary of State’s office says at this time it’s unclear what the cost would be to local governments if the measure passes. According to the measure, permits would cost up to $65, and cost $50 to renew.