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Oregon gun rights group sues state leaders over Measure 114

In this Feb. 19, 2021, file photo, firearms are displayed at a gun shop in Salem, Ore. Measure 114 requires Oregonians to get a permit to buy a new gun, and it prohibits the sale, possession and use of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. The new rules are set to go into effect Dec. 8.
Andrew Selsky
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In this Feb. 19, 2021, file photo, firearms are displayed at a gun shop in Salem, Ore. Measure 114 requires Oregonians to get a permit to buy a new gun, and it prohibits the sale, possession and use of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. The new rules are set to go into effect Dec. 8.

The measure, which narrowly passed this month, bans magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds and requires Oregonians to get a permit to buy a gun.

The Oregon Firearms Federation is suing state leaders over a gun control measure recently approved by voters.

The federal lawsuit, filed late Friday in Oregon’s U.S. District Court, primarily takes issue with Measure 114′s ban on magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

“The reason for the popularity of these magazines is that in a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death,” the legal complaint reads.

Oregon voters narrowly passed Measure 114 during midterm elections this month. It requires Oregonians to get a permit to buy a new gun, and it prohibits the sale, possession, and use of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. The new rules are set to go into effect Dec. 8.

The complaint says the measure violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the state constitution. In addition to the gun-rights group, the lawsuit’s plaintiffs include Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey and Adam Johnson, “a resident of Marion County, Oregon, and a law-abiding citizen of the United States.” Lohrey is among a group of sheriffs who say they won’t enforce the new rules.

The suit lists Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as defendants.

The lawsuit calls on the federal court to declare the measure unconstitutional and to immediately issue an injunction to pause enforcement. Alternatively, the plaintiffs asks a judge to at least pause enforcement of the section banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The legal complaint says the measure gives “criminals” an advantage over “law-abiding” citizens. It says the plaintiffs need guns with magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds to protect their personal property, arguing the measure’s “prohibitions extend to the Plaintiff’s homes, where Second Amendment protections are at their highest.” It adds the measure also impedes hunting, recreational shooting and competitive marksmanship.

Measure 114 is among the strictest state gun laws in the country. It passed with 50.7% of the statewide vote. In addition to the ban on larger capacity magazines, the measure requires Oregonians to take a gun safety class and undergo a background check to obtain a permit before buying a new gun. Oregonians who already own guns don’t need to obtain a permit unless they want to buy a new gun.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.