Hunters fear ‘end of firearm sales’ until Oregon creates gun permit system
One of the nation’s strictest gun control measures takes effect next month in Oregon. Hunters and other gun groups fear it will force all firearm sales to pause.
The Oregon Department of Justice has requested a temporary delay over a gun control requirement that Oregon residents receive a permit in order to purchase firearms after law enforcement officials came out in full-force that they lack the infrastructure, funds and personnel to create such a program.
The NRA says the state’s move is a “concession that there are grave problems” with the measure.
“The state of Oregon agreeing to be bound by our preliminary injunction is concession that there are grave problems with this ballot measure. The harder they look, the more they will realize that this ballot measure should never be a part of Oregon law,” NRA-ILA executive director Jason Ouimet told Fox News Digital.
Oregon’s Measure 114 narrowly passed at the ballot box last month, when 50.7% of Oregonians threw their support behind the gun restrictions. The law is set to take effect on Thursday, before Oregon’s election is certified.
Ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds will be banned under the law, and the measure requires the creation of a permit-to-purchase program. Such a program includes Oregonians applying for the permit to purchase or transfer firearms, submitting fingerprints, completing a law enforcement firearms training course and passing a background check, among other requirements. The permits can cost up to $65 and last for five years with a new background check required for every gun purchase.
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A worker restocks AR-15 guns.
(Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
Supporters of the measure say it will curb violent crimes in the state, as well as accidental deaths and suicides.
An NRA-backed lawsuit was filed on Thursday and requested a preliminary injunction over the measure allegedly placing “severe and unprecedented burdens” on state residents looking to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The case was filed on behalf of two former Oregon lawmakers, the Mazama Sporting Goods shop, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Oregon State Shooting Association, which is an affiliate of the NRA.
“Oregon’s Measure 114 is blatantly unconstitutional,” Lawrence G. Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement previously provided to Fox News. “The right to keep and bear arms begins with the ability of law-abiding citizens to be able to obtain a firearm through a lawful purchase at a firearm retailer.”
A photo of various handguns on display.
The NRA says the phrase “permit to purchase” is a “misnomer,” as it requires residents to complete several requirements to receive a permit but does not actually ensure a resident can purchase a firearm. There is no program already in place to obtain the permit, leaving police departments and sheriff offices scrambling on how to create and implement such a program.
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“One might think that a state bent on imposing such a novel and burdensome permitting regime would at least take the time to make sure it had the infrastructure and resources in place to ensure that it would operate as smoothly as possible. But Oregon is not even willing to do that. Instead, the state has rushed the effective date of its new law to December 8, 2022—before the vote on Measure 114 has even been certified, and before the mechanisms to comply with it will be anywhere close to in place,” the lawsuit states.
Law enforcement officials have sounded the alarm on the program, including some who submitted affidavits in the NRA-ILA backed lawsuit.
“Measure 114 placed a substantial amount of work on all law enforcement agencies but came with very little direction, no funding, and no additional staffing,” retired Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers, who serves as the executive director of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, wrote in an affidavit which was provided to Fox News Digital.
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Fox News Digital learned that a sheriff in a county of roughly 200,000 people said it will cost about $700,000 to implement the permit to purchase program. Oregon has a population of roughly 4.2 million people.
Job listings posted by the Oregon State Department of Police and reviewed by Fox News Digital on Tuesday show postings for analyst and supervisor positions. The listings show analysts will make $5,875.00 – $8,663.00 to “focus on implementing the new [permit to purchase] program to ensure it complies with the law.” Supervisors will make between $5,079.00 – $7,861.00 to serve as the “representative to criminal justice agencies for the policy, procedure, and coordination of criminal record issues, as well as the Federal Government for the policy, procedure, and coordination of programs.”
“Americans in every state should take heed because what happened in Oregon is an example of what happens when anti-gun lawmakers abuse democratic processes,” Ouimet said. “Billionaires like Michael Bloomberg are always waiting to finance these types initiatives to get bad measures passed that fail to garner support in legislative chambers. The Oregon initiative was financed by a small group of billionaires and now the entire state of Oregon is left to clean up the mess.”
The state’s Department of Justice sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut on Sunday requesting a two-month delay for the permit to purchase requirements and cited the outcry from law enforcement officials.
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“[L]ocal law enforcement partners have made it clear that necessary pieces of the permit to purchase system will not be in place by December 8. Most significantly, Measure 114 requires a person applying for a permit to purchase a firearm to present their police chief or county sheriff with ‘proof of completion of a firearm safety course….’ [T]he State learned from local law enforcement agencies that one element of the safety course … will not be available by December 8. Associations representing local law enforcement also informed the Court of this and other limitations that they perceive,” the state’s justice department said in a letter to Immergut, who was nominated to the court by former President Trump.
In this Feb. 19, 2021, file photo, firearms are displayed at a gun shop in Salem, Oregon.
(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)
The NRA called the state’s request for a temporary delaya “good, small, first step in the case.”
On Tuesday, Immergut granted a 30-day delay for the permit to purchase program. Other restrictions in the measure – such as banning magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds – were not be delayed.
“It’s difficult to imagine that no one realized the problems embedded in this ballot measure. It’s a great example of what happens when people with no experience with an issue attempt to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” Ouimet added to Fox News Digital.
Hours after Immergut’s ruling to delay the permit to purchase requirement from taking effect, Measure 114 again landed in limbo. A state circuit judge granted a temporary restraining order against the entire measure.
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“It’s been a busy day for Measure 114, Oregon’s new gun safety law, which is supposed to go into effect Thursday. A federal and a state judge both issued rulings today. Here is where things stand,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wrote in a Twitter thread. She explained the state will petition Oregon’s Supreme Court to “align the result in our state courts with the federal court’s well-reasoned and thoughtful decision.”
Fox News Digital reached out to the Oregon Department of Justice but did not receive a reply by time of publication.
Fox News’ Hannah Ray Lambert contributed to this report.