Ballot Measure That Could Halt All Gun Sales Hit with Another Lawsuit
A barely-passed voter initiative that could at least shut down all lawful gun sales in Oregon had another legal challenge filed against it this week.
As previously reported by Guns.com, Oregon's controversial Measure 114 just managed to win the approval of 50 percent of voters last month and is set to become effective on Dec. 8. Besides a magazine ban on devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds-- which earned a lawsuit from the Second Amendment Foundation and others filed earlier this week-- the initiative also includes a "permit to purchase" mandate that requires would-be firearm buyers to first get a $65 permit from local law enforcement after they meet background and training requirements.
The problem is, the permitting system doesn't exist, and no money has been allocated to fund it even if it did, leaving those seeking to buy guns unable to even jump through the new hoop. A Catch-22 scenario that would, in effect, suspend gun sales in the state until further notice.
That, argues two individuals, Mazama Sporting Goods, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Oregon State Shooting Association-- the NRA’s state affiliate-- in the latest challenge filed on Thursday, denies the most basic Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
"Oregon’s Measure 114 is blatantly unconstitutional," said Larry Keane, NSSF’s senior vice president and general counsel. "The right to keep and bear arms begins with the ability of law-abiding citizens to be able to obtain a firearm through a lawful purchase at a firearm retailer. Oregon has created an impossible-to-navigate labyrinth that will achieve nothing except to deny Second Amendment rights to its citizens. The measure is an affront to civil liberties which belong to People, not to the state to grant on impossible and subjective criteria."
The 31-page complaint in the suit, Eyre v. Rosenblum, points out that the Measure installs a myriad of roadblocks in the way of the Constitutionally protected ability to purchase firearms. Besides the fact that the required criteria for the "firearm training course" prerequisite in the permit-to-purchase program hasn't been established, there are no time limits on how long a background check could take, which means progressive police chiefs and sheriffs can endlessly delay issuing permits on a whim.
"One might think that a state bent on imposing such a novel and burdensome permitting regime would at least take the time to make sure it had the infrastructure and resources in place to ensure that it would operate as smoothly as possible," notes the suit. "But Oregon is not even willing to do that. Instead, the state has rushed the effective date of its new law to December 8, 2022—before the vote on Measure 114 has even been certified, and before the mechanisms to comply with it will be anywhere close to in place."
Banner image: A Barrett Rifle at the NSSF's 2022 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)