While Oregon’s new voter-approved gun control measure is getting worked out in the courts, there remains uncertainty among local gun shops and firearms instructors in Central Oregon.
Sharon Preston, owner of Ladies of Lead in Redmond — and an instructor who specializes in self-defense training for women — says there are a lot of questions that still have not been answered about the implementation of Measure 114.
Preston says business has been through the roof. But she says she’s had to stop firearm sales, not knowing what is next with the measure. But she says selling guns is only part of what she does.
“Selling guns is a very small portion of my business. I do it as an added value to my clients, so it’s educational based gun sales. But my main focus is always going to be in training,” said Preston.
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She’s been forced to find alternatives as 114 is in limbo.
“I’ve heard too many stories in this store from women, locally. The brutality and violence they have been through, survived through. They want a tool that will allow them to live their lives large again, and they’re not going to be able to get on. That’s why I’m switching to crossbows, pepper ball guns, tasers, knives,” Preston said.
Preston’s biggest concern with the measure lies in the required live fire training — meant to prove shooting proficiency. As of now, she says no guidelines have been spelled out as to how the state will facilitate the training courses. And no one knows who will be authorized by the state to lead those courses.
And there are other unanswered questions.
“They don’t know how many rounds we have to shoot, at what distance we have to shoot, at what target we have to shoot. They don’t know what firearm we can use. So there’s so many questions out there,” said Preston.
The next hearing on Measure 114 will be held Tuesday at Circuit Court in Harney County. Those who support the measure will be able to argue against the temporary hold set in place by Judge Robert Raschio.