Oregon’s Voter Approved Gun Control Measure is Challenged in Federal Court

On June 5, 2023, a federal trial opened in Portland, Oregon dealing with Oregon’s voter-approved gun control. This gun control measure has spent months in the courts as pro-gun groups have tried to challenge the constitutionality of said measure. 

The trial is being held in front of  a judge as opposed to a jury and will determine whether the law infringes on the United States Constitution.

This legal kerfuffle in the wake of the landmark US Supreme Court New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen decision on the Second Amendment has disrupted many gun control laws nationwide, thereby provoking a litany of legal challenges. This decision changed the test that lower courts had long used for analyzing challenges to gun control laws, instructing judges that gun control laws must be enacted in a manner that is consistent with the “historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

The Oregon law is one of the first new gun control restrictions passed since the Supreme Court issued the ruling in June of 2022. 

The legal dispute over the Oregon law could go beyond the trial. Whatever the judge rules on this decision, the ruling will likely be appealed, which will likely go all the way up to the US Supreme Court.

Back in November of 2022, Oregon voters pulled the lever in favor of Measure 114, which mandates residents to go through safety training and a background check to acquire a permit to purchase a gun.

On top of that, this measure prohibits the sale, transfer or import of firearm magazines that carry over 10 rounds unless a law enforcement or a military member owns them or were owned prior to the measure’s passage. Individuals who already possess high-capacity magazines can only own them at their homes or use them at a firing range, in shooting competitions or for hunting as state law permits after this measure goes into effect. 

Back in November, the Oregon Firearms Federation and a county sheriff filed the federal lawsuit, arguing that it violated the right to bear arms as spelled out by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

It remains to be seen how these judicial decisions will play out. Oregon is one of the most anti-gun states in the nation, with Guns & Ammo magazine placing it in a putrid 36th ranking in its best states for gun owners rankings. In light of this, gun activists in Oregon will have to rely on the courts to restore their rights. 

That’s one of the many harsh realities of living in an anti-freedom blue state these days.

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