Fifty-one percent of Oregonian voters embraced one of the strictest gun safety initiatives in the United States. Despite Measure 114 narrowly passing, supporters declare this victory is a significant move toward curbing gun violence in the state.
Technically, the new gun laws kick in on January 15, 2023, 30 days after the vote certification. However, state police will presumably seek an extension to allow time for Legislators to establish the gun permitting system.
However, since the initiative could be unconstitutional, its legality will be decided in the courts.
Not only is it possible the measure violates the constitution, but many counties are not adequately staffed. In protest against Measure 114, Oregon Sheriffs vowed their counties would not enforce the new laws.
Oregon’s election office’s results showed 50.92% of votes in favor, whereas 49.08% of Oregonian voters were against the gun safety measure. Interestingly, seven liberal counties voted in favor, and 29 conservative counties did not.
The election outcome is not surprising to one of the measure’s primary proponents, the Portland-based Oregon Values and Beliefs Center. The group’s pre-election survey showed that 60% of Oregonian respondees favor the new laws.
Oregonian New Gun Safety Initiative
Measure 114, the Changes to Firearm Ownership and Purchase Requirments Initiative, requires purchase permits, safety training, criminal background, and a 5-year license to buy any type of firearm. Furthermore, the new gun law would prohibit manufacturing, importing, purchasing, and selling ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
The initiative would also make possessing, using, or transferring larger-capacity illegal. If passed, magazine violations will be a class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $6,250, or both.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Oregonian: Oregon passes Measure 114, one of strictest gun control measures in U.S.; by Maxine Bernstein
The Oregonian: When will Oregon Measure 114′s gun limits start: Uncertainty reigns; by Maxine Bernstein
KGW8: Oregon voters say yes to stricter gun laws, appearing to approve Measure 114; by Mike Benner
Religion News Service: Oregon interfaith leaders declare win in vote to tighten gun control; by Alejandra Molina
Ballotpedia: Oregon Measure 114, Changes to Firearm Ownership and Purchase Requirements Initiative (2022)