The Oregon Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a motion by the state attorney general to review a lower court ruling that blocked Measure 114. As a result, the new gun control measure that was narrowly approved by voters will not go into effect Thursday as scheduled.
The law requires permits, criminal background checks, fingerprinting and hands-on training courses for new gun buyers.
A federal judge in Portland ruled on Tuesday morning that Measure 114 could go forward, including the ban on high-capacity magazines. She said a Permit-to-Purchase component would be put on hold for 30 days.
But Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio, representing Harney and Grant counties, blocked the entire thing hours later. Raschio says Measure 114 could target those who have already purchased these kinds of magazines legally.
The Oregon Department of Justice argued in an urgent filing Wednesday that Raschio got it wrong and asked the state supreme court to review the decision.
“We strongly disagree with the decision of the Harney County Circuit Court,” Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wrote. “Our mandamus petition to the Oregon Supreme Court gives our highest state court the opportunity to weigh in now and reverse the Harney County judge’s ruling. Magazine capacity restrictions and permitting requirements have a proven track record: they save lives! We are confident the Oregon Constitution—like the Second Amendment of the U.S. constitution—allows these reasonable regulations.”
But in a ruling Wednesday afternoon, the court denied the petition to intervene. So, Measure 114 remains blocked.
As a Willamette constitutional law professor told Central Oregon Daily News last week, and a Redmond gun manufacturer reiterated on Tuesday, Measure 114 could be caught up in the courts for months or even years.
Oregon State Police launch Permit-to-Purchase web page
OSP said Wednesday that an informational Permit-to-Purchase web page will launch on Thursday, even if the measure remains on hold.
The department says its Firearms Instant Check System (FICS) unit will continue to work to process and resolve any pended or delayed FICS transactions. The delay on Measure 114 will allow firearm sales to continue being processed under the current law, OSP says.
That being said, OSP will launch the permit website at this link on Thursday. They note that they are not able to accept or start processing Permit-to-Purchase applications, yet. The website will have preliminary information such as the permit application, a description of the steps for acquiring a permit and other information including answers to questions that they are anticipating.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.