Election day is less than a month away, with early voting quickly approaching, and in Oregon, freedom is on the ballot in the form of a measure that, if passed, could enact some of the most-restrictive gun-control laws in the nation.
Ballot Measure 114, previously known as Initiative Petition 17, includes the creation of a “government registry of gun owners’ personal information and firearms, requires a permit to purchase a firearm, imposes an indefinite delay on background checks, and bans any magazine with over a 10-round capacity,” as reported by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA).
The good news is that a recent poll shows that support for these policies is not as popular as anti-gun lawmakers had hoped. A recent poll shows that 51% of people will vote ‘Yes,’ while 39% said they would vote ‘No,’ and the remaining 10% said they are undecided.
According to local media, “[s]upport is stronger among voters in the Portland area … where 63% of respondents said they would vote yes, compared with 49% of respondents in the Willamette Valley and 37% elsewhere in the state.”
America’s 1st Freedom has covered each of the nonsensical policies in this ballot measure throughout the years, and one common theme is that these policies punish law-abiding gun owners and do nothing to actually address the criminal element within society.
Magazines with more than 10 rounds are often erroneously dubbed as “large-capacity magazines,” but are actually standard capacity in most instances. Under this measure, if passed, law enforcement and military will also be subject to the 10-round magazine restrictions unless the “acquisition, possession or use of the magazine is related directly to activities within the scope of that person’s official duties”, aka on-duty.
Ballot Measure 114 also claims to grandfather in any magazine over 10-rounds owned prior to the effective date (if passed). However, the Oregon law cited in the measure that would provide you a legal defense is in fact, not a law at all. The Oregon Legislature will have to go back and “fix” this alleged mistake, but only if it wants to. Gun owners should not count on the same legislature that has been voting to strip away Second Amendment rights for years to provide them with this grandfathered defense, because there is no guarantee that it will. Further, any use of a magazine over 10-rounds will be strictly limited to the magazine owner’s personal property, at a shooting range, or while engaged in hunting. While transporting your firearm and magazine over 10 rounds, it must be stored separately in a locked container, rendering that magazine useless for self-defense.
As for the indefinite delay on background checks, this adds another impediment to law-abiding citizens’ ability to exercise their rights. In most states, a federally licensed firearms dealer can proceed with a transfer if the background check conducted through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is not responded to within three business days. This puts the onus on the FBI to find out if a person is prohibited from owning a firearm. In Oregon, however, FFLs contact the Oregon Department of State Police. With the implementation of a permit-to-purchase system, the process to lawfully acquire a firearm could take days, weeks, or more, as the government functionally withholds someone’s constitutional right to purchase a firearm.
Perhaps most troubling is the creation of a government-run registry of gun owners, which would be published annually. “As history has made clear, the ultimate goal of any registration regime is gun confiscation,” wrote NRA-ILA Executive Director Jason Ouimet of the dangers posed by the creation of a firearms registry.
One thing is certain, Oregonians need to get out and register to vote, otherwise they may soon be registering their firearms.