With Measure 114 set to take effect on Thursday, if a judge allows it, the Oregon Association of the Chiefs of Police (OACP) said Monday it is committed to “doing everything we can to meet the requirements” of the measure.
But OACP says the infrastructure and resources don’t yet exist to make it happen and says it supports a motion in federal court to put that permit system on hold.
“I want to be clear that this is not a value statement about the constitutionality of the ballot measure,” said OACP president and Eugene Police Chief, Chris Skinner. “That’s not ours to decide. That’s for a court to decide.”
Measure 114, which was narrowly approved in a statewide vote Nov. 8, would require a Permit-to-Purchase a firearm, training to obtain a permit, limit magazine capacity and enact other requirements on firearms purchases.
“We want to definitely do something so that no matter where you go, whether its here in Eugene or up and down the I-5 corridor in eastern Oregon to our partners out in Pendleton and beyond, that if you walked into that police department that that application would look the same,” said Chief Skinner.
That measure is facing numerous legal challenges and even the Oregon Department of Justice is asking a federal judge to put the Permit-to-Purchase on hold for two months, citing concerns that it can be implemented by Thursday’s deadline. The judge is expected to make a ruling on some or all of Measure 114 Monday or Tuesday.
“If nothing else, we’re hopeful that we get just a little bit of a pause so that we can collectively catch our breath,” said Chief Skinner.
In a statement released Monday, OACP said it acknowledges that the courts will decide the constitutionality of Measure 114 and that law enforcement is responsible for putting it into effect.
OACP said it started working with Oregon State Police and the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association on the permit system after 114 was passed. Here is the status on that, directly from the OACP press release:
- BM 114 makes each police agency in Oregon a “permit agent” for their respective jurisdictions. Currently, OACP is working with OSP and OSSA to create a permit-to-purchase system that meets BM 114’s requirements. But there is currently no system in place, and therefore no permits to purchase can be issued.
- There will be a financial burden to law enforcement agencies across the state to meet BM 114’s requirements. The revenue generated by the permits (limited to $65 for each permit) will not come close to fully funding the associated expenditures. Most law enforcement agencies don’t have the personnel or money necessary to fund this required program. This will likely result in other public safety resources being reduced to cover the costs of implementing a new permit program.
- BM 114 also requires permit-to-purchase applicants to provide proof of very specific training requirements. Some of these requirements can be completed online, but one requires a demonstration to be completed in-person before an instructor who is certified by a law enforcement agency. We are not aware of any current training program that meets the requirements of Measure 114. OACP believes that every person wishing to obtain a permit, including our law enforcement officers, will first have to complete training that does not yet exist.
Based on these, OACP says it believes there is no way for the Permit-to-Purchase system to be ready by Thursday or even shortly thereafter.
“In response to declarations from OACP and our partners at the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, we understand that the state is agreeing to concede to a stay on the M114 permit to purchase process. We ask for patience from those across Oregon as we get further direction from the court and the details of the stay. In the meantime, we will continue to work collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies to honor Oregon voters by working toward effective implementation,” OACP said in a statement.
Bend Police Department weighs in on Measure 114
The Bend Police Department also weighed in on the issue Monday, echoing many of the points in the OACO statement. Here is Bend PD’s full release:
Since Ballot Measure 114 was approved by Oregon voters on Nov. 8, Bend Police and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state have received numerous questions regarding our implementation of the new law.
The measure is scheduled to take effect on Thursday, Dec. 8, although on Sunday the Oregon Attorney General recommended a delay to the permitting process until February. We do not know whether that delay will be approved.
Bend Police command staff members have been working closely with the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and other agencies to understand the repercussions and challenges of implementing the law. Lawsuits have already been – and are likely to continue to be – filed challenging the constitutionality of Measure 114. Unless and until a court issues a stay on the measure or determines parts or all of it are unconstitutional, our Department is required to fully implement its requirements.
Oregon State Police, the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police are working to implement a permit system that would meet the measure’s requirements.
Here is some information we know about Measure 114 as it currently stands.
The measure prevents anyone from purchasing a firearm without a permit. To obtain a permit, a person must pay a fee and meet requirements, including completing a firearms training course. After obtaining the permit-to-purchase through a local law enforcement agency, a person will still be required to go through an OSP criminal background check at the time of the purchase. OSP is required to create and maintain a database of all firearms sales.
Every local police department and sheriff’s office must set up a system to issue these permits. The fee allowed for these permits, a maximum of $65, is not expected to create the revenue necessary to fund our agency’s required permitting process, or the personnel required to operate the permitting process.
OACP expects that on the date the measure goes into effect, gun sales by dealers, at gun shows and most private transfers in Oregon will immediately stop. Firearms purchases that are not complete prior to the permitting process going into effect will likely not be completed until the buyer obtains a permit-to-purchase – this is because OSP will stop processing the required background checks if there is no permit.
The measure also makes manufacturing, selling, possessing, transferring or using a large-capacity magazine (which holds more than 10 rounds) a Class A misdemeanor, unless it was possessed prior to Dec. 8.
There are some limited exceptions to this rule, including that those charged with possessing a large-capacity magazine can raise an affirmative defense if they can prove they owned it before the measure took effect and that it was used in certain locations – their own property, a licensed gun dealer’s premises, legally at a shooting range, during a firearms competition or exhibition or recreational activities such as hunting, or in transport to one of these locations while locked separately from the gun.
An Oregon concealed handgun license does not exempt a person from the ban on large-capacity magazines or from the requirement to obtain a permit for firearms purchase.
Bend Police appreciate your patience as we work through these issues to prepare for the implementation of Measure 114. We will not have a permitting process in effect on Dec. 8, but will continue working with agencies around the state to determine the best process for moving forward.