Oregon Supreme Court Requires Changes to Dangerous Infringement Referendum

Opinion

Oregon Supreme Court, from Wikimedia Public Domain, Scaled by Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- On March 5, 2020, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled the dangerous referendum to require guns to be locked up, and to bypass ordinary protections of tort law where firearms are concerned, had a ballot title caption and “yes” result which did not comply with state law. From justia.com:

In consolidated cases, petitioners sought judicial review of the Oregon Attorney General’s certified ballot title for Initiative Petition 40 (2020) (IP 40). If enacted, IP 40 would establish requirements for securing firearms, reporting the loss or theft of firearms, and supervising minors’ use of firearms. It would also establish consequences for violating those requirements, including strict liability for injuries caused by use of the firearms involved in the violations. After review, the Oregon Supreme Court concluded the ballot title’s caption and “yes” result statement did not substantially comply with the applicable statutory requirements. Therefore, the Court referred the ballot title to the Attorney General for modification.

The court ruled the ballot title and the “yes” result did not adequately describe the effects of passing the ballot referendum, Initiative Petition 40 (2020) (IP40).

There were several petitioners seeking review of the ballot title, which had been certified by the Attorney General.

The Attorney General is faced with a difficult task. The ballot title is required to be 15 words or less.

The Oregon Supreme Court describes some of the problems with the ballot title and the “yes” result.  You can read their decision here. The appendix includes IP40.

The Oregon referendum is a cunning attack on the right to keep and bear arms.  It moves to chill the right of the people to keep and bear arms by attaching enormous civil liability to the ownership of firearms and to restrict the ways in which firearms may be kept, to extremely narrow limits.

It renders illegitimate a great many common ways of keeping firearms for legitimate purposes.

It transfers the responsibility for negligent and criminal acts from the perpetrator of the acts to the victim of firearm theft.

It attaches enormous civil risk to the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

People who possess/own firearms are given a binary choice in their possession: the firearms may be carried, or the firearm may be separately locked up. Anything else is defined, by the referendum, as irresponsible, to the point of being civilly responsible for any act committed with the firearm, outside of their control, except for defense of self or others. Persons can avoid the civil liability by reporting the loss of the firearm within 24 hours.

This eliminates a great many actions which are now considered ordinary and reasonable.

  • Keep a firearm in each room of the house, available for use? Defined as not responsible.
  • Keep a firearm in the barn to deal with pests, as an opportunity presents itself? Defined as not responsible.
  • Keep a firearm on the bedside table, available for use, while you sleep? Defined as not responsible.
  • Keep a firearm in the trunk of your car, for emergencies? Defined as not responsible.
  • Keep a firearm hidden, but not locked, in your domicile?  Defined as not responsible.
  • Do not conduct an inventory of all the firearms you own, every 24 hours? Defined as not responsible.
  • Keeping a firearm in your locked residence or vehicle, but not separately locked up? Defined as not responsible.

It gives firearms owners tremendous incentives to obtain firearms that are not registered to them. Only firearms that can be shown to have been in the possession or under the control of a person can be used to impose the draconian penalties against them.

It has long been a dream of those who wish for a disarmed population, to make people who legitimately own or possess firearms responsible for the criminal acts of others.

IP40 renders every purchase of a firearm through ordinary commercial channels into the purchase of an enormous, unreasonable, civil liability.

An analogous chilling of First Amendment rights would be the requirement to lock up your computer or phone to ensure no one was able to access it.  If you left the computer or phone unlocked, and someone slandered a person online, you would be absolutely civilly liable for all the consequences. If your phone were stolen and used to access child pornography, you would be absolutely civilly liable for it. Unless you reported the loss to the police within 24 hours.

IP40 essentially removes firearms, which can be connected to ordinary people, from the category of items that ordinary people would commonly allow in their lives. It goes a great way toward defining firearms as illegitimate.

IP40 is very similar to defining firearms as a deadly virus that may be possessed under extremely limited and strict conditions. It is no coincidence the agency IP40 gives the power to define what is adequate storage, is the Oregon Health Authority.

People who have made the decision to be voluntarily unarmed see no cost to themselves in imposing enormous costs on gun owners. They are unwilling to admit the enormous benefits of people owning firearms.

The Oregon Supreme Court is correct in stating the ballot title and “yes” consequences are inadequate. Will the Attorney General will be able to adequately do so in the space allowed? It seems a nearly impossible feat.

Article 1, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution only protects the right to bear arms, not to keep them, at least not explicitly.

Section 27. Right to bear arms; mili-tary subordinate to civil power. The peo-ple shall have the right to bear arms for the defence [sic] of themselves, and the State,but the Military shall be kept in strict sub-ordination to the civil power[.]

Keeping arms is required in order to bear them for self defense, but how they may be kept is not addressed.

Would IP40 be ruled to be an unconstitutional infringement on Second Amendment rights?   Logic would indicate it would.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been derelict in its duty to protect Second Amendment rights for many years. A Second Amendment case, NYSR&PA v. NYC is likely to be decided in the next four months. It may shed some light on how the court being shaped by President Trump will treat the Second Amendment in particular and the Constitution in general.



About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

24
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
8 Comment threads
16 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
HankusVernRattlerjakeTionicoMICHAEL J Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Hankus
Member
Hankus

In WA state the kangaroo “supreme court” just looked the other way on I-1639.

Tionico
Member
Tionico

quote: “Only firearms that can be shown to have been in the possession or under the control of a person can be used to impose the draconian penalties against them.” Lets first hope the AtG cannot satisfy the demands of OSC. Which I think would suit the rotter well, as he would then get a taste of dealing with impossible govrenment requriements. But, the quote above gives tremendous slop in the law for any who can keep their mouth shut and think creativel y outside the box. Any arm acquited prior to the universal background check/no private sales law COULD… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

It’s an even bigger shame that they don’t prosecute and jail people like you who completely destroy English grammar and spelling. And it’s laughable how you add (sic) after someone else’s misspelling.

MICHAEL J
Member
MICHAEL J

Democrat controlled state governments use Attorney general’s as their personal pitbulls to further push the anti-gun agenda. Using verbal slight of hand on ballots, my state of California AG has allowed carefully worded ballot propositions to confuse and steer the already ignorant voters into cutting their own throats. Then when voters realize they been duped, they blatantly rub our faces in it by saying it was “voter approved”. If by some reason government sponsored propositions don’t get passed, they tie the public desention up and find a legislative way to impose them anyway. As for anything Second Amendment, we don’t… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@MJ, Yes, state elections for Gov, state attorneys general, and even local county attorney elections is where Bloomberg has been most successful with his money.

MICHAEL J
Member
MICHAEL J

Outside money for buying politicians should be against the law, but we all know it’s the politicians who make illegal acts okay.

JPM
Member
JPM

This country was founded by individuals who refused to accept or OBEY bad laws. They should still be our example today.

23755112_1905308382843269_976033946677388328_n.jpg
Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

In Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court itself declared that “an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void.” http://takebackthepower.us/Not-Laws.html The problem is that there are very few who will stand up for their rights when the time come to do so. They will complain and post comments but when comes time they will cower to government and obey the bad laws. I see this in every state that has CCW permitting, instead of refusing to obey these BS illegal/unconstitutional laws, they concede their right and pay up! How many of you are filing federal or state income… Read more »

Doszap
Member
Doszap

Until these BLUE state people get off their butts and ALL GO VOTE,march on the Capitol and cause all laws from being passed(SHUT it down) you may as well GIVE UP. These SO CALLED gun laws are SO BLATANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL it’s laughable, yet somehow people sit around and in 1000% total apathy allow these same DEMONCRAT idiots to TAKE AWAY RIGHTS they do not have the power to TAKE. BUY SOME ROPE, and thousands storm the place, and demand their resignations as Schumer said to SCOTUS, “YOU WILL REAP the whirlwind you have sown” When are you going to get… Read more »

Finnky
Member
Finnky

@DZ – Go for it. We’ll be behind you. Some of us far behind.
Best of luck.

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

You’re exactly the reason that governments get away with this crap!

Gindy
Member
Gindy

Another great and informative article Dean! My son lives in Oregon and works hard to share this kind of information. But, as we all know, he finds that people just don’t take the time to learn the details and dangers of the bills that will eventually strip them of their rights. Then, again, there are those that just don’t care!

Finnky
Member
Finnky

@Gindy – There are yet others who support the bills and with they’d go further. Have met enough who believe we need to get rid of all guns, including disarming cops. May make for a good utopia in their minds, though not mine – even if agreed with perfection of their end goal, the path is mined and starting by disarming good people is about the worst route to attempt. Among other things, pushing people out of social acceptance tends to reduce their buy in for all social goals, standard, and even morals.

Bill
Member
Bill

The communist nazis have always been the champion of criminals, not only that but they themselves have always been the criminals themselves. Look at their history. Crime is what they were founded on and have always practiced.

Gindy
Member
Gindy

Bill, your statement has a large amount of truth to it! There will always be a criminal element in all societies and, if you think about it, the criminal element becomes a useful tool to continue the push for more and more laws in the quest for disarmament. History has shown us this time after time!

Doszap
Member
Doszap

People look at me(and think I am nuts) when I tell them the true agenda for Dems(Commies) not taking VERY easy steps to STOP Mass shootings, or drug gangs, etc.
It’s because the MORE innocents that are murdered the easier it is to SELL their MARXIST Les.They do not care HOW many of US die,in fact the more the better.It just allows them to get their CONTROL agenda passed that much faster.

Vern
Member
Vern

My question would be, why are the criminal element exempt from these type laws?
Are the democrats now the leaders of the criminal element?
That can be the only reason I can see why democrat politicians are making up laws of this kind.
One can only hope people who vote left can learn to read before voting, only, for freebies.

RoyD
Member
RoyD

“Are the democrats now the leaders of the criminal element?”

Surely you jest.

Vern
Member
Vern

I was thinking the same thing after I posted.

Doszap
Member
Doszap

The Dems ARE THE CRIMINAL element.

Vern
Member
Vern

Absolutely!!!

Tionico
Member
Tionico

democrat politicians are making up laws of this kind I do not believe this is the case. SInce Bloomie has been bribing and buyng people which his BloomBux, he’s got criminals on his payroll working hard to come up with this sort of garbage. Back when his bux bought Washington’s 1639, the ‘uassault weapons ban/training/waiting period/age limitation” citizens initiative (which blatantly violates both state and federal constitutions on many levels) we watched as the almost identical bill hit Oregon and NEvada, and a few states back east. NO WAY that is a coincidence. I’ve seen the orange shirts invading the… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Member
Rattlerjake

God said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness to light and light to darkness, who replace bitter with sweet and sweet with bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight…Who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of justice.

Vern
Member
Vern

It is amazing that they expect perfection to come with all the evil they commit. They will only get what they give, and it won’t be freebies.