Oregon’s law-abiding gun owners can breathe a sigh of relief as a ballot initiative banning “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines—and even laying the groundwork for a gun registry—won’t appear at the voting booth this year. Supporters of Initiative Petition 43 (IP 43) announced last week they were having trouble getting the requisite number of signatures to advance the proposal.
IP 43 would have prohibited the sale and manufacture of “assault weapons” and “large-capacity” magazines in Oregon. State residents who own existing firearms and magazines that fall within the parameters of what constitutes an “assault weapon” or “large-capacity” magazine would have been able to keep those items, provided they pass a criminal background check and register said items with the state.
Supporters of the Second Amendment had challenged the petition on another front, too, saying that the ballot title was misleading. IP 43 was being put forth with the title and summary that read: “Prohibits ‘Assault Weapons’ (Defined), ‘Large Capacity Magazines’ (Defined), Unless Registered With State Police. Criminal Penalties.” The gun-rights challenge said it was not right to use terms that were imprecise or otherwise open to interpretation.
The Oregon Supreme Court agreed and had requested rewording. Chief Justice Thomas Balmer wrote: “We conclude that the (ballot title) caption could accurately state that the proposed measure would criminalize the possession and transfer of many semi-automatic weapons, as well as magazines holding over 10 rounds.”
The clergy-driven initiative will likely be filed ahead of the 2020 election, backers of IP 43 told The Oregonian.