Ballot measure 114 barely passed (with 50.7% of the vote, and only 1/6 of Oregon counties) in Oregon back in November. Along with establishing a permit-to-purchase scheme, it enacted a ban on the sale, transfer and manufacture of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Fortunately –as measure 114 is clearly counter to both the Oregon and US Constitution– it was immediately mired in lawsuits from Oregon Firearms Federation, Firearm Policy Center and others, resulting in an injunction –upheld by the state supreme court while the case proceeds– that is ongoing. Basically, the law cannot be implemented until the state has won this case. The most successful such suit against 114 to date was filed in rural Harney county (pop: 7,575), challenging the measure on state constitutional grounds.
In response to the checks and balances of the American governmental system working as designed, the Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature has decided to simply draft their own legislation (114 was a citizen-led initiative) to implement most of 114’s policies. You know, those same policies which have been validly challenged in court? The ones currently being blocked from implementation until the constitutionality of such can be determined by the state judiciary?
Not satisfied with simply trying to avoid judicial scrutiny of 114, the legislature is also adding some extra provisions: A mandatory 72hr waiting period for all gun purchases, removes the 3-day time limit for return of a background check, and they’ve proposed doubling the cost of the proposed permit. The included magazine capacity ban would be retroactive to 12/8/22, though no provisions for how an OR resident would actually prove their magazines were purchased prior to that date (or surrendered to police following it) is offered or even hinted at (likely because enforcement of such is a dubious prospect at best). Perhaps most absurd though, is the most recent amendment requiring any challenge to the law be filed in Marion county.
Why Marion county? One need only look at the state of 114 to speculate: 85% of Harney county voted against 114, and that is where the lawsuit that is currently slowly choking the ballot measure to death was filed. Marion county however is home to Salem, the state Capitol, and a lot more anti-gun sentiment. Restricting the citizenry’s right to self-defense with the most safe and effective tools available is bad enough, but restricting their right to legal redress of governmental overreach to 1 of 36 counties is a transparent attempt to circumvent a foundational concept of American governance: the checks and balances of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
Where measure 114 was a single facet of oppression, Senate Bill 348 is a 5 carat diamond of abuse –designed, shaped, and mounted atop the rights of all Oregonians like a terrible crown jewel– the better to crush under its weight any resistance to a legislature who neither recognizes, nor cares about the human right to effective self-defense.
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