U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The Oregon Firearms Federation on Friday filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of gun control Measure 114 in what is only the first legal action against the recently-passed citizen initiative.
Joining OFF in the lawsuit are Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey and Keizer, Oregon firearms retailer Adam Johnson. They are represented by Portland attorney John Kaempf.
Named as defendants are Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, in their official capacities.
The 18-page complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Pendleton Division.
OFF and its partners moved fast because the law is supposed to take effect on Dec. 8.
In a blistering announcement, OFF noted, “A number of other gun rights organizations have announced their intentions to challenge this truly evil measure and we look forward to, and welcome, any legal action that will stand in the way of this clearly unconstitutional attack on common sense and the rights of Oregonians.
“Because of the rush to force this measure into law,” the statement added, “the devastation it would create came at us faster than we expected so we had no choice but to act quickly. We simply could not wait. There are too many good people whose personal safety and life savings were at risk.”
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment and injunction against enforcement of the measure.
According to a report at KGW, a spokesman for Lift Every Voice Oregon, which sponsored the gun control measure, insisted that the measure was drafted with help from “gun owners, hunters, and law enforcement.”
Regarding the ban on so-called “large capacity magazines” holding more than 10 cartridges, Rev. Dr. WJ Mark Knutson told the station, “Those who already have them — it already says they would keep them, could use them on their property or at shooting ranges, so nobody’s taking away anybody’s guns or their magazines.”
However, that is hardly the only problem with the initiative. Measure 114 requires training for anyone seeking to purchase a firearm, and those would-be buyers also must obtain a permit from a law enforcement agency. But OFF’s Kevin Starrett has previously noted police and sheriffs’ departments are not presently capable of providing such training courses or issue purchase permits. It was a warning he has issued repeatedly over the past few months leading up to the Nov. 8 election.
Starrett’s warnings were confirmed by KTVZ News, which reported, “To qualify for a permit under the measure, an applicant would need to complete an approved, in-person firearm safety course, pay a fee, provide personal information, submit to fingerprinting and photographing and pass a federal criminal background check. The permits would be processed by local police chiefs, county sheriffs or their designees.”
Ominously, over the weekend, a Vancouver, Washington gun shop—Sporting Systems operated by Daniel Mitchell—posted a message on social media declaring, “Gear up folks. The AWB (“assault weapons ban”) is coming this session. Going to need more volunteers with unique PR skills.”
The message referred to the possible introduction of legislation in Olympia to ban modern semi-auto rifles. Evergreen State anti-gunners are emboldened by passage of Measure 114. At least two wealthy Seattle-area elitists reportedly contributed to the M114 campaign, according to Oregon Live. Two people mentioned in that story helped bankroll anti-gun initiative campaigns in Washington in 2014 and 2018.
According to critics of the initiative, after it takes effect it could seriously threaten the existence of small gun shops, which rely on firearm and ammunition sales to stay in business.
Passage of the law explains the recent surge in Beaver State gun buying. According to KGW, the owner of a southeast Portland gun store said his sales have doubled in the aftermath of the Nov. 8 vote. The story said gun sales are “soaring” across the state by people hoping to beat the Dec. 8 deadline.
The story quoted Warren Lacasse, owner of The Gun Room Inc., who observed, “I can’t believe that people are so stupid that they would give away their Second Amendment rights.”
As earlier reported by Ammoland, at least three sheriffs in Oregon have already announced they will not enforce the provision in the new law against magazines. And, as Starrett and OFF noted, there are expectations of other court challenges soon, and in the wake of the June 23 Supreme Court decision in the Bruen case, enactment of Measure 114 could be in jeopardy. It will take a judge to make it so.
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