State judge temporarily blocks Oregon’s Measure 114 from taking effect

It has been a roller coaster ride of judicial decisions for Oregon’s strict new gun measure on Tuesday.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 8:59 AM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - UPDATE 2:00 p.m.: An Oregon state judge in Harney County has temporarily enjoined enforcement of Measure 114. As of now, the law cannot go into effect on Thursday.

Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she will petition the Oregon Supreme Court for a ruling immediately.

This is a developing breaking update. This story will be updated.

ORIGINAL: A federal judge in Portland ruled against a temporary restraining order to Measure 114, Tuesday, just two days before the voter-approved measure was set to take effect.

The measure, passed by Oregon voters last month to put new restrictions on gun sales, was originally set to go into effect on Thursday. Measure 114 intends to create a new permit process for those buying firearms, making sure background checks are complete for the sale or transfer of a gun. It also puts restrictions on magazine capacities.

Voters were almost evenly split about the gun restrictions measure. It passed by just 5000 votes out of the 2 million votes cast.

Gun rights activists challenged the measure on constitutional grounds. They wanted to put the law on hold, saying it violates the second amendment. Supporters of the measure argue that it does not violate the constitutional right to bear arms. The federal judge ruled against the challenge to the measure.

The Oregon Department of Justice asked for more time for the measure’s enforcement saying local law enforcement was not ready to put the new permitting process in place. U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut, a Trump appointee, granted them 30 days to develop the permitting process.

“In light of the difficulty the State has conceded in terms of implementation of the permitting provisions at this stage, implementation of those permitting provisions is stayed for thirty days,” Immergut wrote.

The measure’s ban on the sale of large-capacity magazines will take effect on Thursday, as planned. The requirements that background checks be completed before any gun is sold or transferred will also take effect.

Measure 114, which narrowly passed in the midterm elections, requires a permit, criminal background check, fingerprinting, and a hands-on training session for new purchasers of guns. It also prohibits the sale, transfer, or import of high-capacity rifle magazines, except in certain circumstances. Numerous gun rights organizations, local sheriffs, and owners of gun shops are suing the state over the measure on the argued basis that it violates Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.

Under the law, the state will keep a list of permit-holders that’s exempt from public disclosure. The $65 permits will be good for five years and can be used to buy multiple guns in that five-year period with a fresh background check.

State laws requiring a permit to purchase a firearm were associated with 60% lower odds of having a public mass shooting, according to a study published in 2020. Limits on large-capacity magazines, meanwhile, were linked with 38% fewer people killed in mass shootings, it found.

Defendants noted in their legal filings, which were cited in the judge’s ruling, that every mass shooting since 2004 that resulted in 14 or more deaths involved gun magazines with 10 or more rounds.

One of the plaintiffs, the Oregon Firearms Federation, expressed disappointment with the decision in a statement and urged their supporters to show patience while they gathered more details on what to do next.

“But for now, unless something really unexpected happens, understand that your rights will be, once again, seriously eroded starting Thursday,” the group wrote.

Challenges to the law are far from over. It is the target of at least four lawsuits. Additionally, Immergut’s decision Tuesday only addresses an initial temporary restraining order and injunction sought by gun rights plaintiffs while its constitutionality is being debated by the courts.

------

The Associated Press contributed to this report.