Harney County, Ore. — The fate of Oregon’s voter-approved gun law, considered one of the strictest in the nation, is set to be determined in a state trial that commences in Harney County on Monday.
Circuit Judge Robert S. Raschio has allocated six days for arguments regarding whether Measure 114 violates the Oregon Constitution.
Measure 114 passed by a narrow margin in November, with 50.6% of voters supporting changes to firearm ownership and purchasing processes within the state.
Under the measure, individuals are obligated to obtain a permit before purchasing a firearm. The law also bans large-capacity magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, except for law enforcement, military members, or those purchased before the law’s enactment. Additionally, the measure establishes a statewide firearms database.
While the law was initially scheduled to take effect on December 8th, it has been on hold due to legal challenges in federal and state courts. In January, Judge Raschio issued a preliminary injunction, pausing all aspects of the measure.
In July, Federal Judge Karin Immergut ruled the gun control measure as constitutional after a weeklong trial, citing alignment with other weapon regulations and Supreme Court decisions. Plaintiffs in that case have appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, potentially escalating the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Key Provisions of Oregon’s Measure 114:
- Requires Oregonians to obtain a permit to purchase a firearm, involving a maximum $65 fee, photo ID submission, fingerprinting, a criminal background check, and approved safety training.
- Designates police chiefs, county sheriffs, or their representatives as “permit agents” with a 30-day issuance window.
- Renews permits at a cost of $50.
- Mandates the State Police to maintain a searchable electronic permit database.
- Criminalizes the sale and transfer of firearms to individuals without permits, categorized as a Class A misdemeanor or potentially a felony for repeated violations.
Measure 114 also bans the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using, or transferring of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. These restrictions were intended to take effect 180 days after the law’s passage.
During the trial, certain testimony has been restricted, including input from physicians regarding gunshot victims, victims, and witnesses of gun violence. Judge Raschio has emphasized his focus on the measure’s text concerning its constitutionality under the Oregon Constitution, excluding broader policy considerations.
The trial proceedings commence at 9 a.m. Monday.