Federal Lawsuit Filed in Oregon Challenges Measure 114, as Gun Sales Surge

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Just on the heals of Oregon’s Measure 114 that narrowly passed in the Beaver State, a much expected federal lawsuit has been filed late Friday by the Oregon Firearms Federation. KDRV reports that BM 114 passed by a margin of 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent.

On November 6, 2022, Bearing Arms reported that the measure was being pushed by the Safe Schools, Safe Communities PAC, and took approximately $2.4 million to support the measure. According to Bearing Arms, “five individuals and organizations account for $1.53 million of the $2.4 million that the anti-gun PAC has raked in…[and] none of the five biggest contributors live in Oregon.”

The five contributors are:

  • Seattle socialite Connie Ballmer ($750,000 donation)
  • Seattle venture capitalist Nicolas Hanauer ($250,000 donation)
  • Mike Bloomberg-affiliated Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund ($155,000)
  • National Education Association ($125,000 donation)
  • Gabby Giffords’ gun control group, “Giffords” ($100,000 donation)

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Pendleton, argues that Measure 114, due to go into effect December 8, violates the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Secretary of State’s Office told Central Oregon Daily News that under the state constitution, “an initiative or referendum measure becomes effective 30 days after the day on which it is enacted or approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon.”

The full text of the complaint, filed in federal court, can be read here.

Gun sales have more than doubled in Oregon with Ballot Measure 114, as Oregonians are scrambling to buy firearms. With around 20,000 people waiting for their background checks to be cleared, Oregon State Police are struggling to keep up with the demand. And for now, no one seems to have clear answers if purchasing firearms will even be an option when the measure goes into effect.

 

Measure 114 makes it clear to purchase a firearm in Oregon, a special permit will be required with the new measure, however, at the time of writing this, there is no infrastructure in place for the new permit system. As gun right advocates have pointed out, the measure will halt gun sales due to the fact no one will have said permit to purchase a firearm. Many gun store owners are already talking of closing their doors permanently, as they cannot legally sell guns.

Anthony Johnson, who is a spokesman for the Measure 114 campaign, argues Oregonians can still buy firearms because permits cannot be required until Oregon State Police develops the rules and finalizes the standardized form to apply. Johnson’s statement on the matter was mentioned in an article today by The Oregonian.

“The reason for the popularity of these magazines is that in a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death,” the legal complaint reads.

The plaintiffs are seeking a court-ordered injunction to bar the measure from becoming law and a court ruling that 114 is unconstitutional. As OPB reports, in addition to the gun-rights group, the lawsuit’s plaintiffs include Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey and Adam Johnson, “a resident of Marion County, Oregon, and a law-abiding citizen of the United States.” Lohrey is among a group of sheriffs in Oregon who say they won’t enforce the new rules.

Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, whose office has stated they will defend agfainst challenges to the measure, are listed in the suit as defendants.

Lift Every Voice Oregon, a group of progressive faith leaders, is “preparing to file a bill banning the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons for the Oregon Legislature to pass in the 2023 full session,” as shown on their website here.