Oregon files motion to implement Measure 114 amid legal battle

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is hoping to get a judge to reinstate Measure 114 while legal challenges against the voter-approved measure persist.

The Oregon Department of Justice filed a motion for a stay on Friday — pending the state’s appeal — to allow the gun restriction measure to take effect after a Harney County judge ruled the measure was unconstitutional in November.

Measure 114 requires people to undergo a background check and gun safety courses for a gun permit and bans magazines carrying over 10 rounds.

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Plaintiffs in the Harney County suit include Joseph Arnold, Cliff Asmussen, Gun Owners of America, Inc., and the Gun Owners Foundation – who argue the law violates the right to bear arms under the state constitution.

In the motion, Rosenblum says the state is likely to prevail — arguing Measure 114’s gun restrictions are reasonable and promote public safety.

The state says the stay should be granted because Measure 114’s restriction of large capacity magazines is constitutional – arguing magazines are not considered arms, which are constitutionally protected.

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The state furthers that large capacity magazines increase the lethality of mass shootings and says state magazine restrictions can reduce those harms.

“Measure 114 is a reasonable use of legislative authority to address increasing harms and threats from gun violence and mass shootings. The statute is therefore facially constitutional,” Rosenblum argued in the motion.

As an alternative to the stay, the state argues the court could expedite their appeal given the stakes of the case, according to court documents.

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In response to the motion, Tony Aiello, Jr., an attorney for the plaintiffs, said “The Defendants are asking the Court of Appeals to infringe on the rights of Oregonians by allowing them to enforce a law during this appeal that has already been found to be unconstitutional. There is no support in law for such a proposition, and this motion continues a pattern of relentless and wasteful overspending by Oregon’s executive branch.”

“Unfortunately, it is not surprising that the Defendants are taking this action despite having lost at every stage of this case, including two trips to the Oregon Supreme Court where similar requests were denied. We remain confident in the record we created at trial and look forward to continuing our fight against the most extreme anti-firearm law in the country,” Aiello Jr. added.

In an emailed statement, the attorney urged gun rights advocates to donate to efforts to stop Measure 114, saying, “The public can join the Oregon Firearms Federation, Firearms Policy Coalition, and Second Amendment Foundation who are supporting this litigation by donating to those organizations or to www.GiveSendGo.com/StateCourt_StopMeasure114.”

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In reaction to the motion, Jess Marks from the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety — a group that supports Measure 114 — said, “Since Measure 114 was brought to the ballot over a year, it is estimated over 600 Oregonians have died from gun related tragedies.”

“It is imperative Measure 114 goes into place as soon as possible, just as voters intended. Data shows in a 10-year-time period, permitting would have saved over 1,000 lives in Oregon. In another 10 years, I believe Oregonians will see permitting as a normal, smart part of the process of purchasing a firearm, that respects both community safety and the rights of responsible firearm owners,” Marks continued.

In November, Harney County Judge Robert Raschio struck down the law after he found the permit-to-purchase scheme under Measure 114 is unconstitutional based on the law’s 30-day-minimum delay to buy a firearm, the measure’s use of language from concealed handgun statutes, and because the Federal Bureau of Investigation refuses to conduct criminal background checks.

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He also determined the ban on large-capacity magazines is unconstitutional under the state constitution because firearm components, such as magazines, are legally protected and magazines are a necessary part of guns, according to the ruling.

The law has been unable to go into effect amid federal and state legal challenges.

The plaintiffs filed the suit against Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and Casey Codding — the superintendent of the Oregon State Police.

After the Harney County court’s ruling, Rosenblum said the state would appeal the decision stating, “the Harney County judge’s ruling is wrong. Worse, it needlessly puts Oregonians’ lives at risk. The state will file an appeal and we believe we will prevail.”

This latest court filing comes after a federal judge ruled Measure 114 was constitutional in July.

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