BURNS, Ore -(Ammoland.com)- Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), along with two Oregon residents, won a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Oregon’s controversial gun law passed in Ballot Measure 114 (BM 114).
“This is an exciting victory for our members in Oregon as the clock was winding down on securing relief from the onerous and unconstitutional requirements this law would have placed on current and future gun owners,” said Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of GOA. “We look forward to continuing the fight.”
On election night, Oregon voters passed BM 114 with less than 51% of the vote. The measure would see Oregon usher in some of the most extreme gun laws in the country. The law was due to kick in on December 8, 2022, before the state asked for the effective date to be pushed back. Some legal scholars surmised that the delay was caused by the multiple lawsuits challenging the law. Unless most of the other suits, GOA determined it would be easier to defeat the state in state court instead of joining the log jam of cases filed in federal court. Because the gun rights groups were fighting in state court, they were not suing over Second Amendment violations. Although the plaintiffs referenced the Second Amendment throughout their briefs, they sued over the state violating its own Constitution. The Oregon Constitution does have a stand-in for the Second Amendment, and this section is what the plaintiffs used to challenge the law.
One of the most controversial provisions in the law is the “permit to purchase” provision. Perspective gun owners wouldn’t be allowed to acquire a firearm without this special license. To get the permit, Oregonians would have to jump through multiple hoops to obtain permission to buy a gun, including taking specialized training.
Currently, there isn’t a class that the state has approved to administer the training. With the law supposed to go into effect on December 8, 2022. The GOA legal team argued that since no one would have a permit to buy a gun, the law effectively stripped residents of Oregon of their gun rights.
In addition to taking a training class, the law made anyone buying a gun get fingerprinted, turn in passport pictures, pass a background check, and pay a fee. The gun buyer would have to renew their permit to purchase every five years. This charge is a direct fee for the right to bear arms. To many, this fee seems like poll taxes which were used to keep people of color from voting during the civil rights movement. None of these checks replace the background checks a buyer must undergo at the gun shop. GOA argued that these provisions ran afoul of the Oregon Constitution.
Gun shops would also have to give all records of transfers to the Oregon State Police. Law enforcement would be able to keep these records indefinitely. The plaintiffs argued that this constituted an illegal gun registry. Oregon didn’t seem to think anything was wrong with keeping transfer records. The court sided with the plaintiffs.
The law also banned magazines that held more than ten rounds and could be readily convertible to hold more than ten rounds. The plaintiffs also argued that it violated the State’s Constitution since most magazine designs have extensions meaning all those magazines would be illegal. If you don’t have a magazine, then that gun has been made ineffective by the state, thus stripping the gun owner of their right to bear arms.
The state filed an appeal with the Oregon State Supreme Court asking the highest court in the state to stay the TRO, but the court rejected the appeal meaning the TRO will stay in effect.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.