Oregon gun law placed on hold by state judge

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News December 7, 2022

Oregon’s new gun law was placed on hold by a state judge on Tuesday, just hours after a federal court judge allowed the law’s ban on the sale and transfer of high-capacity magazines to take effect this week.

The ruling by Harney County Judge Robert Raschio threw the implementation law into limbo. It was set to go into effect on Thursday.

(Update: The gun law remains on hold after the state Supreme Court said it would not grant an emergency motion to overturn the lower court’s ruling. Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters issued the ruling Wednesday, denying the request from Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to reinstate the law.)

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said on Twitter that her office will urgently appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court: “It’s been a busy day for Measure 114, Oregon’s new gun safety law, which is supposed to go into effect Thursday. A federal and a state judge both issued rulings today. As of now, the law cannot go into effect on Thursday.”

The law, Measure 114, requires a permit, criminal background check, fingerprinting and hands-on training course for new firearms buyers. It also bans the sale, transfer or import of gun magazines over 10 rounds unless they are owned by law enforcement or a military member or were owned before the measure’s passage. Those who already own high-capacity magazines can only possess them in their homes or use them at a firing range, in shooting competitions or for hunting as allowed by state law after the measure takes effect.

A lawsuit in Harney County, filed by Gun Owners of America Inc., the Gun Owners Foundation, and several individual gun owners, sought to have the entire law placed on hold while its constitutionality is determined.

The state lawsuit specifically makes the claims under the Oregon Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution — and that means for now, Raschio’s ruling is binding in the entire state.

Earlier Tuesday, a federal judge in Portland had delivered an initial victory to proponents of the sweeping gun-control measure narrowly approved by Oregon voters last month. U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut allowed the ban on the sale and transfer of new high-capacity magazines to take effect Thursday. She also granted a 30-day delay before the law’s permit-to-purchase mandate takes effect, but did not quash it entirely as gun rights advocates had wanted.

Gun sales spiked in Oregon in the past month.

The Oregon State Police reported more than 35,000 pending background check transactions for gun purchases as of last week and was averaging 3,000 requests a day compared to less than 900 a day the week before Measure 114 passed, according to agency data. On Black Friday, the agency received 6,000 background check requests alone, OSP Capt. Kyle Kennedy said in an email.

Gun store owners also reported a run on guns, with sales in some stores increasing four- or five-fold in recent weeks.

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