Federal trial begins in case questioning constitutionality of Oregon gun measure

Oregon Gun Control
An assortment of rifles hang in a gun shop on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Salem, Ore. So many people are buying guns in Oregon these days that the state police are often unable to complete background checks in time, allowing the sales to proceed if the deadline isn’t met. Andrew Selsky/AP

Federal trial begins in case questioning constitutionality of Oregon gun measure

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A federal trial in Oregon began Monday to determine the constitutionality of a voter-approved measure that would implement more restrictions on firearms.

The gun control ballot initiative, Measure 114, enacts tough permit-to-purchase requirements for firearms, requiring applicants to undergo a safety course and strict background check first in order to obtain a permit.


The rule bans the manufacture, sale, possession, and transfer of magazines that can hold over 10 rounds of ammunition. Permits must be issued by the Department of State Police, and violations are a class A misdemeanor.

Oregonians passed the ballot Measure 114 in November, with about 50.7% of votes, according to certified general election results.

However, the measure is stalled after a Harney County District Court judge blocked it this year in a lawsuit issued in December 2022, and the case is expected to be heard in a trial in September.

The federal bench trial will not have a jury and will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Karin Immergut, nominated by then-President Donald Trump in 2018.

Last month, Immergut denied Oregon’s motion for summary judgment and the plaintiffs’ motion for a partial summary, saying, “This case implicates novel questions of law as well as issues of public importance,” adding the 9th Circuit has warned against deciding on summary judgment, “unless it is clear that more complete factual development could not possibly alter the outcome,” as written in the ruling.

The trial will be held in Portland and was formerly multiple cases brought forward by several lawsuits from varying parties but will now be heard in a combined single case.

One of the plaintiffs is the nonprofit organization Oregon Firearms Federation, which first filed a federal suit in November 2022, which argues that the background check protocols are “clearly not allowed under the plain language of the Second Amendment,” as stated on the organization’s website.

Other plaintiffs include owners from Coat of Arms Custom Firearms in Keizer, Garner’s Sporting Goods in Pendleton, and Portland’s Security Guard Training Academy. Sheriffs from Sherman, Columbia, Union, and Umatilla counties are among the plaintiffs, arguing they will not enforce the measure in their communities.

“Measure 114 is radically out of step with the historical and even modern-day tradition of firearms regulation in this country — not to mention with the Supreme Court’s recent and unambiguous pronouncements on what kinds of permitting regimes are and are not consistent with the Second Amendment,” Shawn Lindsay, attorney for the plaintiffs, wrote in a court filing submitted last year.


The Gun Owners of America and the Gun Owners Foundation filed a lawsuit in December. However, they withdrew from the case at the end of May, according to KOIN 6 News.

The federal trial is expected to last five days, concluding at the end of the month, as Oregonians await

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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