Oregon’s new strict gun control law could withhold from citizens the rights enshrined in the Second Amendment. However, a temporary restraining order, courtesy Harney County Circuit Court Judge Robert S. Raschio, currently staves off that infringement. A slim majority of voters opted for Oregon Measure 114, which would ban the sale or transfer of magazines that hold more than ten rounds and lock the right to keep and bear arms behind the paywall of a state licensing program.
The restraining order, however, only remains in effect until the judge receives notice from the state that the new permitting system is up and running. So, the threat to liberty hasn’t passed; it was merely held at bay for a time.
Strict Gun Control for a Progressive State
According to Ballotpedia, a “yes” vote on Oregon Measure 114 supports a ballot initiative to:
- Require permits issued by local law enforcement to buy a firearm;
- Require photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, criminal background check, and fee payment to apply for a permit; and
- Prohibit manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using, or transferring ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and make violations a class A misdemeanor.
The license would cost “no more than” $65 – which, of course, means it will cost $65 – and require fingerprints, photographs, and a background check by the state police, as well as proof of completion of a qualified firearms training course. It allows a state resident to buy as many firearms as otherwise allowed by personal finances and the law in a five-year period. Renewal will cost $50 and entail a repeat of the initial process.
The cost of classes will vary by provider, but the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association currently offers a training course that is good enough for the state Concealed Handgun License (CHL). The class is advertised as free – but the certificate that proves completion of the course, which is a requirement for the CHL, costs $60.
A closer look at the full text reveals the true scope of the law: Even private transfers would require a state permit. That means there would be no legal method of acquiring a firearm in Oregon that doesn’t involve jumping through all the hoops and paying the fees associated with this license. The short text on the ballot, of course, did not mention the universal background checks the anti-gunners managed to sneak in.
Tyranny of the Majority Strikes Again
The people of Oregon passed Measure 114 50.65% to 49.35% – a gap of just over 1% of the vote. It is precisely this tyranny of the majority the nation’s Founding Fathers hoped to avoid in creating a constitutional Republic.
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution reads:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
Oregon Constitution Section 27 reads: “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence [sic] of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.”
Both allegedly protect the citizen’s right to be armed, but neither seem to stand before the might of the progressive majority – a mere simple majority, and a slim one, at that. It took 146 years for that grand experiment in freedom to fail regarding the right to keep and bear arms. The National Firearms Act of 1934 – and then the Gun Control Act of 1968 a mere 34 years later and the federal assault weapons ban and Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act just 26 years after that – proved just how brittle a paper shield the Constitution truly was.
At the state level, the right once held sacred has been suppressed to varying degrees in all the so-called progressive parts of the country. For the people of Oregon – specifically the 49.35% of voters who fell just shy of being the majority – the only thing holding back this new infringement is the fact that the state police wasn’t prepared to handle the workload required to get every qualifying gun owner a license under this act. As great a blessing as Judge Raschio’s ruling was for the tens of thousands of Oregon gun owners, it fell far short of the staunch defense of liberty they hoped to receive.
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