Oregon News

State lawyers ask Oregon Supreme Court to allow gun measure to proceed

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By PETER WONG
Oregon Capital Bureau

State lawyers asked the Oregon Supreme Court to allow the state’s new voter-approved gun law to take effect as scheduled, despite a ruling by a Harney County judge blocking it.

The Oregon Department of Justice filed a motion with the high court on Wednesday, a day before Measure 114 is scheduled to take effect.

In a separate lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Judge Karin Immergut turned aside a request by the Oregon Firearms Federation and others for a temporary restraining order to block the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines in Measure 114.

But the ruling by Judge Robert Raschio in Harney County Circuit Court blocks state enforcement of the entire measure.

Both judges issued their rulings on Tuesday. There are at least four lawsuits pending on Measure 114, which voters passed in the Nov. 8 election.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said this when her agency announced its motion filed with Oregon’s highest court:

“We strongly disagree with the decision of the Harney County Circuit Court.

“Our mandamus petition to the Oregon Supreme Court gives our highest state court the opportunity to weigh in now and reverse the Harney County judge’s ruling. Magazine capacity restrictions and permitting requirements have a proven track record: they save lives! We are confident the Oregon Constitution — like the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — allows these reasonable regulations.”

In addition to the limit on ammunition magazines, Measure 114 requires purchasers to undergo training before they can obtain permits to acquire firearms, and to complete criminal background checks by the Oregon State Police. Under federal law, a transfer must proceed if a background check is not completed within a specified time.

State lawyers did ask the federal court for more time to implement the new permit system, and Immergut allowed for 30 days.

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