Ballot initiative to repeal new Oregon gun confiscation law tanks

Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed the measure into law in August after it squeaked through the legislature, which gave opponents just weeks to gather enough signatures send the issue to voters. (Photo: Gov. Brown’s office)

Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed the measure into law in August after it squeaked through the legislature, which gave opponents just weeks to gather enough signatures send the issue to voters. (Photo: Gov. Brown’s office)

A drive to overturn Oregon’s new Extreme Risk Protection Order statutes failed to gain the needed signatures to be placed in front of voters.

Republican House members Bill Post and Mike Nearman along with 2016 House candidate Teri Grier filed Referendum 302 in August with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office. Termed the “Say No to 719” initiative, it aimed to push repeal the Senate bill of the same in its entirety, but organizers fell short of the 58,789 signatures from registered voters no later than Thursday to qualify for the 2018 general election ballot.

“It wasn’t for lack of support,” said Nearman in a statement. “We just simply did not have enough time. I blame Governor Kate Brown for that,” he said, explaining that since they could not begin gathering signatures until Brown signed the measure on Aug. 15, and as they had 90 days from the end of the session on July 7 in which to circulate petitions, were constrained by a very short window.

As reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, the initiative garnered about 25,000 signatures.

The Extreme Risk Protection Order law allows individuals to ask a judge in a civil court to bar the subject of such an order from possessing or buying firearms or ammo for one year. It grants police enforcing the order the power to search for and seize guns that were not surrendered or stored with a third party such as a gun dealer within 24 hours. The subject of the order has 30 days to request a hearing to keep their firearms, which must be held within 21 days.

The measure is based on similar laws adopted in Washington and California in recent years and passed the Oregon Legislature without a single Republican voting in favor.

“The gun lobby’s effort to repeal Oregon’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law was yet another failed attempt to undermine public safety in our state,” said Andrea Platt with the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “SB 719 is a commonsense policy that empowers families and law enforcement officers to act to potentially prevent tragedies.”