With just 10 days before America decides the fate of the nation with the midterm elections, Oregonians are set to vote on what is being called “the most extreme gun control measure in the country” — the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, or Measure 114.
While proponents of the measure say it will lower the rate of homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings, an Oregon sheriff says the legislation will make communities less safe, not more.
“If approved, Measure 114 would require a background check, hands-on firearm training, fingerprint collection and a permit to purchase a gun,” Fox News Digital reports. “Police would be required to maintain an electronic, searchable database of all firearm permits.”
Additionally, so-called “large-capacity magazines” — defined as those that hold “more than 10 rounds” — will be banned.
“The People of the State of Oregon find and declare that regulation of sale, purchase and otherwise transferring of all firearms and restriction of the manufacture, import, sale, purchase, transfer, use and possession of ammunition magazines to those that hold no more than 10 rounds will promote the public health and safety of the residents of this state and this Act shall be known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act,” the measure reads.
Applicants for a permit will have to undergo hands-on training prior to purchasing a firearm.
“This is the most extreme gun control measure in the country, or at least one of the most extreme,” said Oregon State Shooting Association President Kerry Spurgin. “It will virtually eliminate firearm sales in Oregon as written.”
According to the Oregon State Sheriffs Association, Measure 114 simply duplicates the already required background check process while placing the burden of creating and funding permit programs on local police departments.
“This measure will not make our community safer,” said Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson. “It will put our communities at greater risk for violence because it requires that every sheriff’s office and police agency divert scarce public safety resources to background systems that already exist.”
The cost of the measure to local governments will come with a $49 million annual price tag, the sheriffs association estimates, though up to $19.5 million of it will be recouped through permit fees, assuming 300,000 residents apply for a permit each year.
Should Measure 114 pass, the ban on high-capacity magazines will go into effect 180 days later, but so far, it remains unclear when permits would be required for gun purchases or to what level a prospective gun-buyer will need to be trained.
According to some opponents of the legislation, with those requirements as yet to be spelled out, gun sales in Oregon could come to a complete halt while the state gets the new systems up and running.
While Oregon could pause gun sales, University of Oregon constitutional law professor Ofer Raban told OPB that such a move would be immediately challenged as unconstitutional, making it more likely that sales will proceed as normal until the new systems are in place.
Still, lawsuits are likely to follow Measure 114 if it passes.
“The state sheriffs’ association noted the Supreme Court recently ordered the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit its ruling upholding a similar magazine ban in California,” Fox News Digital reports.
“Unfortunately,” said Spurgin, “that will cost Oregon time, money, and it’s going to impact Oregon citizens, law-abiding citizens.”
And it won’t affect just any law-abiding citizens. Ironically, the state’s attempt to trample on the Second Amendment will, according to OPB, potentially disproportionately affect “communities of color.”
“There is concern — real and manufactured — that a permit system run by law enforcement agencies would make guns harder to access for people in communities of color, who continue to be disproportionately harmed by police violence and who have little trust in the system,” OPB reports.
But, apparently, the race card can’t be played when it goes against a progressive agenda.
According to the new president of the Eugene-Springfield branch of the NAACP, Mike Pendleton, the concerns over making it more difficult for BIPOC people to defend themselves real, but they are outweighed by the added safety such a measure will grant people of color, who are disproportionately affected by gun violence.
In other words, infringing upon the Constitutional rights of people of color is for their own good.
No worries. Pendleton promises Oregonians that the NAACP will stay vigilant should the measure pass.
“We always have to be ever concerned about racial implications,” he said, “and how good-faith measures, regardless of what topic they deal with, regardless what form or structure they take, could in any instance be implemented in an inequitable way if we do let our guard down.”
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