November 14, 2022
Although all the votes have yet to be counted in Oregon, law-abiding gun owners in the Beaver States might soon be facing some of the most severe restrictions on gun ownership in the country.
At the time of this writing, proponents of Oregon Ballot Measure 114, a horrible proposal that would enact sweeping changes on gun ownership in the state, led in the delayed vote count by about 26,000 votes with nearly 80 percent of the votes tabulated.
As gun control measures go, this one is a doozy. It doesn’t just put a minor restriction here and there like so many ballot questions.
“This is the most extreme gun control measure in the country, or at least one of the most extreme,” Oregon State Shooting Association President Kerry Spurgin told Fox News. “It will virtually eliminate firearm sales in Oregon as written.”
That’s no exaggeration. Among other things, the measure requires that anyone wanting to purchase a firearm must first apply for a $65 permit, which would have to be renewed every five years, and complete an unspecified law enforcement firearms training requirement, which currently doesn’t exist. The state’s concealed handguns license and hunter safety certification would not meet the training requirement.
Dangerously, there is no cap set on how much law enforcement could charge for the training. And since live fire is a required part of the training, it would make it virtually impossible for a prospective new gun owner to apply for a permit to purchase a gun.
Ballot Measure 114 also creates a government registry of firearms owners, a violation of federal firearms law. Each year law enforcement must report permit information, which could be disclosed to the public.
Finally, the measure would unconstitutionally ban any magazines—fixed or removable—that can hold more than 10 rounds. Currently possessed magazines holding more than 10 rounds will be limited to use on the owner's own personal property, at a shooting range or while hunting, and there is no affirmative defense available for magazines owned before the effective date.
Some Oregon sheriffs had spoken out against the proposal, saying it would cause more problems than it was likely to fix.
“This measure will not make our community safer,” Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, who is president of the Oregon State Sheriffs Association, said in a video statement. “It will put our communities at greater risk for violence because it requires that every sheriff's office and police agency divert scarce public safety resources to background systems that already exist.”
Under the ballot initiative, the magazine ban would take effect 180 days after the proposal’s passage. It is not clear how long it would be before the permit is required to purchase a firearm.
While there are still 20 percent of the votes left to be counted and gun owners are hopeful, proponents of the measure have already declared victory.
“There’s more work to be done, but right now, we are going to celebrate with so much joy in our hearts, knowing that brighter and better days are ahead,” Mark Knutson, chairman of Lift Every Voice Oregon, said in a statement released on Wednesday morning.
If this one is, indeed, lost at the ballot box, it’s sure to have its day in court. It’s quite likely that a flurry of lawsuits will be filed the minute the new unconstitutional restrictions take effect. In fact, the Firearms Policy Coalition, an organization dedicated to fighting unconstitutional gun laws in the courtroom, has already promised a lawsuit on the ballot question.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.