Oregon voters just enacted one of the most restrictive gun control bills in the nation.
Measure 114, also known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, was passed 51 – 49 and requires Oregon residents to obtain a permit in order to purchase a firearm.
The measure also requires a firearm safety course that includes hands-on training with an instructor, eliminates person-to-person transfers (often called the “gunshow loophole”) and bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. People who already owned magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds prior to the law taking effect would be exempt.
“We began this historic campaign to save lives with faith, and we remain hopeful as we wait for all of the votes to be counted,” said Rev. Mark Knutson, one of the supporters of the new law.
“We thank everyone that helped put Measure 114 on the ballot and supported us every step of the way, gathering signatures, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and turning those precious ballots in,” he told a crowd gathered at Portland’s Augustana Lutheran Church. “We are eternally grateful for your strength and dedication.”
The permitting process will be overseen by the Oregon State Police. While permits will not be required for ownership of a firearm, they will be required to purchase one. So, people who currently own or possess a firearm would not need to obtain a permit unless they wanted to purchase another firearm.
Opponents to the new law have argued that it is overly restrictive and well beyond what its supporters believe is a minor inconvenience to keep Oregon residents safe.
“In fact, this measure will make it almost impossible to purchase a firearm in Oregon,” the Oregon Firearms Federation warned in a September campaign against the measure. “Not only will gun buyers be locked out, it will essentially destroy gun dealers as well.”
Ardent opponents of the new law don’t just object to the substance of the legislation — they argue that it will cost local officials money.
“The estimate of costs to local police is $51.2 million dollars the first year and 47.5 million in subsequent years,” according to the website stop114.com, which was part of the campaign against passing the measure. “The ‘anticipated revenue’ is only $19.5 million dollars. The sponsors of the measure have no plan to pay for it.”
Part of that cost estimate is from local police and sheriffs’ offices who anticipate the need to hire more staff to process applications, conduct background checks, and create and maintain the database needed to track permit applications and denials.