Oregon judge blocks gun control law for being unconstitutional News
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Oregon judge blocks gun control law for being unconstitutional

An Oregon county judge blocked Oregon Ballot Measure 114 (BM 114), Oregon’s gun control law, from taking effect on Tuesday. The court found that the ballot measure violated the state constitution, despite a previous federal court ruling finding that the measure complied with the US Constitution’s Second Amendment.

The court found that two provisions of BM 114, the “permit-to-purchase scheme” and the high capacity magazine ban, were facially unconstitutional. The court said that Oregon citizens’ “right to self-defense against an imminent threat of harm” would be unduly burdened” by BM 114.

In his reasoning, Judge Robert Raschio highlighted the fact that support for BM 114 spiked after the 2022 Uvalde, Texas shooting. Raschio said, “The mass shooting events have a significant impact on the psyche of America when they happen,” and therefore, “people tend to believe that these events are prolific and happening all the time.” Raschio pointed to this mentality as one of the reasonings behind BM114’s magazine ban and other limitations on gun sales. Raschio found that this belief “was not validated by the evidence.”

BM 114 was narrowly passed by Oregon voters in November 2022. The law required gun purchasers to go through a criminal background check and to complete a gun safety training course to obtain a permit before purchasing a firearm. The measure also banned high-capacity magazines from being purchased as well. Earlier this year a US District Court Judge for the District of Oregon ruled that BM 114 was constitutional. The federal court found that the Second Amendment of the US Constitution does not protect high capacity magazines.

In a statement to AP News, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she intends to appeal Raschio’s Tuesday ruling. She argued, “The Harney County judge’s ruling is wrong…Worse, it needlessly puts Oregonians’ lives at risk. The state will file an appeal and we believe we will prevail.”

Judge Raschio’s block of BM 114 will go into effect on December 8.