U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Oregon gun owners are entering a bare-knuckles political battle whose outcome will determine whether their right to bear arms becomes a strictly-regulated privilege as they fight to defeat Ballot Measure 114 in November.
It’s a bare-bones effort with something of a loosely organized army of activists that appears to be growing in numbers, but the main question is whether they will be able to generate enough momentum to get people from Gresham to Grants Pass and Pacific City to Pendleton to actually vote. What’s at stake is massive, as spelled out at Ballotpedia. If the measure passes, it will:
- Require permits issued by local law enforcement to buy a firearm;
- Require photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, criminal background check, and fee payment to apply for a permit; and
- Prohibit manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using, or transferring ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and make violations a class A misdemeanor.
As explained on their website by the Stop 114 PAC, “The measure requires a ‘class’ with live fire training before a person can apply for a permit to purchase a firearm. There are virtually no facilities that will be available for this training. For first-time gun buyers, this could well require that you have a gun before you can get a permit to buy a gun.
“No matter where you stand on guns,” the website notes, “the simple fact is someday, somewhere you may have to protect yourself. And you cannot rely on the police. Under Ballot Measure 114, you could literally wait forever for permission to purchase a home defense firearm.”
Some activists also warn the measure, if passed, “is almost sure to have a negative impact on minorities both racial and ethnic.”
Stop114 was “created…specifically to fight this extreme and dangerous measure,” by the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF). The organization insists the measure is unconstitutional.
The Stop 114 group’s website includes statements from several opponents to the measure, including county sheriffs and private citizens.
OFF head Kevin Starrett recently noted via telephone, “The biggest issue is making people aware of it.” He has spoken “to people all over the state—sheriffs and police—and they didn’t know about it.”
That must change, say opponents of the ballot measure, and activists using the Northwest Firearms forum to coordinate their efforts are spreading the word. One member of that forum, John McDonnell, told Ammoland News via email he will be manning a table at the Albany Gun Show Sept. 24-25, distributing handouts and encouraging gun owners to vote. The show is sponsored by the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club. Albany is about 90 minutes south of Portland via I-5.
But this is just a single gun show, and activists such as McDonnell realize they have a monumental task ahead, with limited resources.
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action has alerted its Oregon members to oppose the measure.
As reported by Ballotpedia:
“Lift Every Voice Oregon is leading the campaign in support of Measure 114. The initiative has been endorsed by the Oregon Progressive Party, Oregon Nurses Association, League of Women Voters of Oregon, and Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety.”
The measure is opposed by the National Rifle Association, and Ballotpedia quoted the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, which said Measure 114 “is yet another anti-gun ballot initiative that seeks to further erode Second Amendment rights in Oregon. It imposes a permit requirement in order to exercise the Second Amendment right to acquire a firearm …The permit application process includes a one-size-fits-all training mandate, a subjective mental health review that is ripe for abuse, submission of fingerprints, and payment of a fee – up to $65 to apply, and up to $50 to renew. Issuing authorities have up to 30 days to issue permits to qualified applicants and they must be renewed every five years. Meanwhile, criminals will continue obtaining their firearms illegally.”
The recent U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen may nullify the permit-to-purchase requirement, but Beaver State gun owners are in no mood to wait and find out. They want to stop the measure in its tracks.
The Oregon State Constitution states, “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence (sic) of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.”
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