Supporters and opponents of Measure 114 make final plea to voters
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - With less than a week to go until the mid-term elections, supporters and opponents of Measure 114 are making their last arguments on why the community should vote in their favor.
Supporters of the measure marched from the First Baptist Church of Portland on North Vancouver Avenue to Dawson Park, where they rallied for the ‘yes’ vote. State Senator Lew Fredrick, the chief petitioners of the measure, and community members gave speeches at a park with a gun violence history. This past March, a man was shot and killed in broad daylight at Dawson Park. Reverend Matt Hennessee, acknowledged the park’s deadly history but also its role in the civil rights movement. He made a passionate plea to voters in joining his side of the gun control debate.
“Nowhere in 114 does it say we’re coming after your second amendment right,” Hennesse said. “It has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with people being responsible with their guns and not using them against each other.”
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 the sale or transfer of magazines that could have more than 10 rounds at a time. Some supporters, like Reverend Mark Knutson said the measure is long overdue.
“Ten years ago this was not possible, 10 years into the future it will not be possible,” Knutson said.
But the opposition to the measure said they see flaws. The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association came out just last week saying it would negatively impact public safety.
“It would move very scarce law enforcement resources away from protecting our communities to doing backgrounds and issuing permits,” Deschutes County Sheriff, Shane Nelson, said in a video released by the association last week.
Nelson is also the president of the association. He said they did a cost impact of the measure on law enforcement and found it would cost agencies around $49 million annually.
“Oregon already has a strong background check system before someone purchases a firearm,” Nelson said. “This measure would create a duplicate background system that further reduces law enforcement resources and that simply makes no sense.”
Nelson ended his video by saying Measure 114 is not the answer to fixing the statewide gun violence problem, but those at Thursday’s rally believe it is.
“It’s not perfect and we’re going to have to work on a number of things when it passes but it’s something that we’re finally going to get the chance to do,” State Senator Lew Fredrick said.
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