LA GRANDE, Ore -(Ammoland.com)- A group of Oregon Sheriffs has taken a stand against the state’s new gun laws.
Last week voters passed Measure 114, known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, which included some of the most restrictive gun control measures and the country.
The new law will ban magazines holding over ten rounds. Magazines that hold only ten rounds that the state considers readily convertible will also be prohibited. This includes magazines with removable base plates. A similar law is being challenged in California in Duncan v Bonta.
The law goes beyond just restrictions on magazines. The state will enact new regulations on the purchase of firearms. Anyone who wants to buy a gun would need to get a permit-to-purchase. The gun buyer must pass a background check successfully to obtain the permit. This background check is redundant since the federal firearms licensee (FFL) must run a background check before transferring the firearm.
The issuing agent can also deny a permit to a person wanting to buy a gun if they have any reason to believe the gun buyer is a danger to themselves, others, or the community at large. The law doesn’t lay down the criteria that the approving agent can use to deny a permit meaning the agent is free to use their own reasoning to restrict a permit-to-purchase. Many worry that this power could be abused.
The permit would also require the applicant to complete a firearms safety course. This requirement means this is the only right that the state requires the citizen to take a class before they can exercise. This is the only right the state requires the resident to pay a fee before exercising.
The applicant must also submit pictures and fingerprint cards. The assigning agency will then investigate the applicant and approve or deny them. The applicant must repeat the entire process every five years. The assigning agency must also keep electronic records of all applications and post statistics every year. The information in the database is also not exempt from records requests, meaning gun owners’ data can be shared.
Because the law is so Constitutionally dubious, a group of five Oregon sheriffs has decided to take a stand against enforcing it. They see it as fulfilling their oath to the Constitution. Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen leads the group. He is joined by Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan, Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe, Jefferson County Sheriff Jason Pollock, and Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey.
“The biggest thing is this does absolutely nothing to address the problem,” Sheriff Bowen said in a statement released to the press. “The problem that we have is not … magazine capacity. It’s not background checks. It’s a problem with mental health awareness. It’s a problem with behavior health illness. Our society as a whole is a bigger problem rather than saying that, you know, the guns are killing people.”
The Sheriffs believe they are doing what the people elected them to do. They think they are keeping their oath to protect and defend the Constitution and see the new law as a direct attack on a Constitutionally protected right.
The law will be sure to be tested in the courts, especially considering the recent landmark Bruen decision. The law also might run afoul of the Supreme Court’s decision in Murdoch. That was another landmark case brought by a Jehovah’s Witness distributing literature. Pennsylvania tried to charge him a fee, but SOTUS ruled that you cannot issue a direct fee on a protected right, and it looks like that is precisely what is going on in Oregon.
The state has not responded to the group of five’s resistance to the new law. It will be certified on December 15 and will go into effect on January 15, 2023.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.