Gun Control on Next Week’s Ballot in Oregon By: William Lawson


The campaign to restrict Second Amendment rights will be front and center for Oregon voters on November 8. Oregon Measure 114, the Changes to Firearm Ownership and Purchase Requirements Initiative (2022) asks voters to decide whether the state should enact tougher gun laws, including a permitting scheme and magazine restrictions.

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Oregon State Flag
November 8 will see Oregon voters will decide on stricter gun control. (

The Ballot Question

The ballots will read as follows:

A “yes” vote supports this 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.

A “no” vote opposes this ballot initiative thereby maintaining no limit on the capacity of ammunition magazines, except for hunting, and the existing law, which requires a seller/transferor to request a background check before firearm purchase.


The act itself states the dubious notion that, if enacted, “The People of the State of Oregon find and declare that regulation of sale, purchase, and otherwise transferring of all firearms and restriction of the manufacture, import, sale, purchase, transfer, use and possession of ammunition magazines to those that hold no more than 10 rounds will promote the public health and safety of the residents of this state and this ACT shall be known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act.”

The act’s text also recounts questionable suicide, homicide, and magazine capacity statistics, without citations, to influence voters toward voting “yes.” It also claims the 1994-2004 federal ban on so-called “high capacity” magazines reduced fatalities. This despite academic studies, which former President Bill Clinton himself acknowledged, that showed the restrictions had no measurable effect on crime statistics.

Michael Bloomberg
Rabid gun controller Michael Bloomberg funded the study Measure 114’s supporters cite. He also funds the organization conducting it. You decide whether it was biased. (

Measure 114’s supporters cite a study conducted by John Hopkins University’s Center for Gun Violence Solutions. The problem with that study is that it was commissioned and funded by arch gun controller Michael Bloomberg, who also funds the university organization itself. Bloomberg is also the money man for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. He regularly pours millions of dollars into campaigns for anti-gun candidates. You decide whether that study was biased or not.

Now, if you’ve been paying attention, this is a rehash of various gun control schemes from all over the country. None of which have reduced crimes committed with firearms. But, as we know, this isn’t about reducing crime. It’s about control. When the measure fails to accomplish its stated purpose, more restrictions will be on the way. It’s the gun control playbook.

Changes in Oregon Law: Firearm Purchase Permit

If Measure 114 passes, anyone wishing to purchase a firearm in Oregon will need a permit issued by local law enforcement agencies. The application will require a fee of up to $65.00, a photo ID, and fingerprints. The permitting process requires the applicant to pass a criminal background check, not be a prohibited person, and complete state-mandated safety training at his or her own expense. Licenses would be issued within 30 days and be good for five years. Renewal would cost up to $50.00.

New Jersey Firearms Purchaser ID Card
Oregon’s voters could approve a firearms licensing scheme similar to New Jersey’s. (

Even so, after all that, the licensing officer may deny a permit to any person believed to be a danger to himself or others. So, you could go through the whole process, pass the background check, not be prohibited, pay for the training, and still be denied your rights by a licensing officer’s subjective judgment. That is exactly what the Supreme Court’s Bruen Decision struck down last summer.

Changes in Oregon Law: Magazine Restrictions

Basically, magazines whose capacity exceeds 10 rounds, with a few exceptions, will be outlawed. Those exceptions are:

  • Tube magazines for .22 caliber rimfire firearms
  • Tube magazines on lever action rifles
  • Magazines for law enforcement, the military, and government agencies
30 round magazines
Oregon Measure 114 would outlaw magazines over 10 rounds if approved by voters. (

Magazines possessed when the law is enacted will be grandfathered in, so long as they are not transferred, except to the possessor’s legal beneficiaries upon his or her death. Licensed gun dealers will have 180 days from enactment to convert their magazine inventory to the required 10 rounds, destroy those which do not comply, or transfer them out of state.

As always, law enforcement and military magazines are exempt. Such magazines must be marked for law enforcement or government use only. No double standard there.

Supporters and Opponents

The supporter and opponent lists are fairly predictable. Gun control organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords organization are behind the measure, as are several politicians, the Oregon Progressive Party, League of Women Voters, the Oregon Medical Association, and Oregon Nurses Association. But the faith-based group Lift Every Voice has been Measure 114’s driving force, led by Lutheran Minister Reverend Mark Knutson.

Lift Every Voice Oregon Measure 114
Lift Every Voice Oregon is Measure 114’s primary driver. (

There are many flawed anecdotes about Measure 114’s effectiveness. Space prohibits covering them all, but one supporter claimed Measure 114 would have stopped her husband from committing suicide. She no doubt believes that, but her logic is flawed, at best.

Another supporter, an Oregon Mayor, is the stereotypical “I own guns, but” guy. “If you need more than 10 rounds to protect your home or for sport shooting, I don’t know what to tell you.” What indeed?

Organizations opposing the measure are more interesting. The NRA, Oregon Firearms PAC, Oregon State Shooting Association, and Oregon Hunters Association are predictably against it.

But also opposed are the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and the Portland Socialist Rifle Association. The sheriffs clearly understand the measure’s unconstitutional nature and negligible impact on crime. They also cite increased bureaucratic red tape.

At least one sheriff also noted the cost of hiring at least one more person to implement the permitting procedures. The permit costs alone will not cover those salary and benefits packages, meaning that the measure will necessarily increase local taxes. Another noted that Measure 114 would make exercising a Constitutional right cost prohibitive for poorer residents.

The Portland Socialist Rifle Association’s opposition shows that Second Amendment issues truly transcend political views because everyone enjoys the right to self-protection. That’s a good sign in our view. Constitutionally protected rights should not be a partisan issue.

Second Amendment
The Second Amendment should not be a partisan issue. (Shutterstock)

All Eyes on Oregon

Gun control activists are watching this one closely. If Measure 114 passes, look for efforts to place similar ballot measures in other states going forward. Measure 114’s supporters have raised significantly more money than its opponents. Much of that money is coming from national gun control groups. A win means they will see it as money well spent.

Ballot initiatives can be challenged in court. Measure 114 is no different and we expect immediate challenges if it passes. At first glance, the entire thing seems clearly unconstitutional under Bruen.

But the easiest and least costly way is to vote it down on November 8. If you live in Oregon, here’s your chance to nip it in the bud, as Barny Fife would say. Show up and vote. And keep others from voting your rights away.

Barney Fife Nip it in the Bud