An Oregon law known as Measure 114, which has been described as the nation’s “most extreme” gun control measure, is set to go to trial next week. This case has garnered significant attention from both supporters and opponents of firearms.
The Arguments Against Measure 114
Lawyer Giuseppe Aiello, representing a pair of gun owners from Harney County, argues that Measure 114 is a poorly written ballot measure that erodes and potentially eliminates a constitutional right. Aiello contends that the law operates as an outright ban, which goes against the Oregon Constitution.
Details of Measure 114
Last November, Oregonians passed Measure 114 with just over 50% of the vote. However, only six of Oregon’s 36 counties supported the measure. The law, considered the most extreme gun control initiative by the NRA, requires a permit to purchase any gun and prohibits the sale of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Despite its passage, legal challenges at the federal and state level have prevented the law from taking effect.
Legal Battles and Appeals
A federal judge ruled in July that Oregon’s law aligns with the tradition of regulating features of firearms to ensure public safety. The plaintiffs are currently appealing this ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, Aiello will present his case in court on behalf of Joseph Arnold and Cliff Asmussen, who argue that Measure 114 violates the Oregon Constitution.
Arguments in Favor of Measure 114
The interfaith group Lift Every Voice Oregon drafted and collected signatures for Measure 114, with the goal of reducing homicides, suicides, and other shootings through a permit-to-purchase system. However, representatives of the group have not responded to interview requests.
Impact on Gun Sales and Business Owners
After the measure passed, there was a surge in gun sales, and Oregon State Police received a significant increase in background check requests. Bob Fitzgerald, a pawn shop owner, has been closely monitoring the legal battles surrounding Measure 114. While he believes his business is relatively secure due to its diverse inventory, he sympathizes with firearms dealers who are concerned about the impact of the law.
Controversy Surrounding the Permit System
A major criticism of Measure 114 revolves around the permit system it introduces. The law requires prospective gun buyers to demonstrate their ability to handle and store firearms in-person, following strict guidelines. Police and sheriffs have stated that there are currently no training programs that meet these requirements. However, Judge Robert S. Raschio has excluded claims regarding potential delays in permit processing due to speculation. Those who face permit denials or delays can petition their local circuit court for a remedy.
The Trial and an Expected Appeal
The trial is set to last for a week, and regardless of the outcome, all parties anticipate that the case will eventually reach the Oregon Supreme Court.