Oregon Ballot Measure 114: What You Need To Know
Oregon Ballot Measure 114 was a ballot measure initiative pushed by Mark Knutson and Michael Cahana and Lift Every Voice, a shell Political Action Committee (PAC) treasured by Jef Green and funded primarily by out-of-state anti-gun interests. Past versions drafted by the supporters included a ban on nearly all semi-automatic rifles and handguns, and also sought to make mere possession of a standard-capacity magazine a Class “B” felony. The full text of ballot measure as narrowly passed by votes in the election November 8th, 2022 can be read here.
The first lawsuit filed to challenge Ballot Measure 114 was filed Friday November 18th, 2022 in Federal court by Attorney John Kaempf, on behalf of the Oregon Firearms Federation, Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey, and Adam Johnson, owner of Coat of Arms gun store in Keizer, Oregon. Case No. 2:22-cv-01815-IM. The plaintiffs asked the court to declare the law unconstitutional and issue an injunction to prevent it from going into effect on December 8th. Alternatively, the plaintiffs sought a partial order striking down the standard-capacity magazine ban. A copy of the “Plaintiffs’ Complaint For Declaratory And Injunctive Relief” can be found here.
The plaintiffs also filed a motion for an emergency preliminary injunction (“Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Supporting Memorandum of Law”), a copy of which can be found here.
A hearing was held on December 2nd before United States District Court Judge Karin J. Immergut, and you can read a transcript of the Temporary Restraining Order Hearing here.
The second lawsuit was filed by Attorney Shawn M. Lindsay on behalf of plaintiffs Katerina B. Eyre, Tim Freeman, Mazama Sporting Goods, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Oregon State Shooting Association, also in Federal court. Case No. 3:2022cv01862. The suit is backed by the NRA. The full text of the complaint can be read here.
The third lawsuit was filed by Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, Joseph Arnold, and Cliff Asmussen in Harney County Circuit Court, a state court. Case No. 22CV41008. A hearing took place on Tuesday December 6th, 2022 and– at the conclusion of the hearing–Judge Robert Raschio heard arguments from the plaintiffs requesting that he temporarily enjoin the ballot measure. An overview of the case is here.
On Sunday December 4th, 2022, the Oregon Department of Justice sent a letter to Judge Immergut conceding that the permit-to-purchase scheme would not be ready in time for the effective date of the ballot measure. A copy of the letter is here.
On Tuesday December 8th, 2022, Judge Karin Immergut denied to enjoin Ballot Measure 114 entirely, but did order a stay on the portion of the law which required a permit to purchase a firearm. The full order and rationale is here.
On the same day, just hours later, Judge Raschio enjoined the entire ballot measure on Oregon State Constitutional grounds. A copy of the restraining order can be found here.
On Wednesday December 7th, 2022, the Oregon Department of Justice filed a writ of mandamus with the Oregon Supreme Court asking them to intervene and declare the trial court judge out of line. A copy of the petition is here.
That same day– later on Wednesday December 7th, 2022– the Oregon Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus. The order of denial is here.
What this means is that the hearing set by Judge Raschio previously set for Tuesday December 13th, 2022 at 9am will remain, and the ballot measure will not go into effect pending the outcome of the hearing. A notice for the hearing is here.
On Wednesday December 7th, 2022, the Oregon State Police released their draft “Oregon Permit To Purchase Application.”
On Thursday December 8th, 2022, the Oregon State Police went live with a website explaining the permit-to-purchase scheme. However, as of December 8th, OSP still had no system in place to approve these permits. If Ballot Measure 114 were to be implemented immediately, not a single Oregonian would be able to purchase a firearm or lawfully transfer a firearm because there are no approved live-fire courses to complete the proposed permit-to-purchase program. Furthermore, there are no laws or regulations even detailing what the live-fire safety class is going to consist of (e.g. how long will the class be, will the purchaser be required to engage in live-fire drills or simply watch someone else live-fire, will there be a required course of fire or accuracy testing, and– if so– what level of skill will the shooter be required to demonstrate).
On Tuesday December 13th, 2022, Judge Raschio held an all-day hearing in case no. 22CV41008. The Court continued the TRO (temporary restraining order) barring Ballot Measure 114 from taking effect until further order of the Court. Another hearing was scheduled for Friday December 23rd at 10am.
On Thursday December 15th, 2022, Judge Raschio issued a written opinion via letter issuing a preliminary injunction against Ballot Measure 114 specifically with thorough details regard to the attempted ban of standard-capacity magazines. In short, the judge correctly found not only that 10-plus-round magazines were actually in use at the time Oregon was founded as a state, but– more importantly– that 10-plus-round magazines are in common use today and that most firearms sold today include and make use of 10-plus-round magazines. A full copy of the opinion can be read here.
Friday December 23rd, 2022 at 10am, Judge Raschio in Harney County Circuit Court will have a continued hearing on the restraining order.
On Tuesday January 3rd, 2023, Judge Rashio issued a letter opinion in Harney County Circuit Court no the issue of whether the attacks on Measure 114 should be severed so as to allow the “Charleson Loophole” to take effect notwithstanding the other prohibitions of the TRO. The judge declined to sever the attacks on the measure. What does this mean? It means that Measure 114 is temporarily restrained in it’s entirely pending the outcome of a challenge to the constitutionality on the entire measure. You can read the judge’s opinion letter in-full here.
On Thursday January 5th, 2023, Oregon Firearms Federation filed an amended complaint in federal court with their new lawyers, Stephen J. Joncus and Leonard W. Williamson. A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Where Are We At Now With Oregon’s Ballot Measure 114?
As of Friday January 6th, 2023, Ballot Measure 114 is not law, and will not be taking effect until further order of the Harney County Circuit Court. More updates will be provided as they develop.
If you are waiting to buy, sell, or otherwise transfer a firearm while awaiting to see whether any part of Measure 114 goes into effect, please read our recommendations for how to complete a background check in Oregon after passage of Measure 114.