By Lee Williams
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The hypocrisy of Oregon Measure 114 proponents is on full display.
Among the components of the new voter-approved ballot initiative that many view as unconstitutional is a permit-to-purchase, which requires an “in-person demonstration before an instructor certified by a law enforcement agency,” in addition to a background check, fingerprints, a photograph and any “additional information determined necessary by state police rules.” It also bans the importation and possession of standard-capacity magazines.
But law enforcement won’t be ready by Dec. 8 when the law takes effect, and they likely won’t be ready anytime soon.
Oregon Assistant Attorney General Brian Marshall claimed earlier this month that if Measure 114 is delayed, people will most certainly die.
“Delaying implementation of this constitutional policy while the merits are litigated would likely result in unnecessary deaths,” Marshall argued in a court brief, adding it would prevent the state from trying to “reduce the risk of a massacre within its borders.”
But in a court filing Friday, Marshall had changed his mind. Evidently, unnecessary deaths and massacres were no longer a concern, because he is asking the judge to delay the law.
In his response to one of four lawsuits asserting Measure 114 is unconstitutional, Marshall wrote that “the State Defendants will agree that implementation challenges require postponing implementation of one aspect of Measure 114. Specifically, the State agrees that the Court should enter an order providing a limited window in which Oregonians will be able to purchase firearms even if they do not have a permit, while also allowing Oregonians to apply for and be issued permits.”
In other words, rather than slamming the door shut Thursday on all permitless purchases, the state will allow gun sales to continue unabated.
Several Oregon sheriffs have said they will not enforce the new law, and Marshall clearly blames law enforcement for the delay.
“Succinctly, local law enforcement partners have made it clear that necessary pieces of the permit to purchase system will not be in place by December 8,” he wrote in the brief.
The Second Amendment Foundation has filed two of the four lawsuits against Measure 114, which SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said, “constitutes an egregious affront to the Second Amendment.”
“There is no permit system in place, no guidance on who might qualify as a certified instructor and no forms on which applications may be made or permits may be granted, and no rules to carry Measure 114 into effect,” Gottlieb said in a press release earlier this month.
Since the election, Oregon gun shops have seen an unprecedented surge in firearm and standard-capacity magazine sales. Some shops now require buyers to make appointments.
Yesterday Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sent a letter to Judge Karin Immergun who’s hearing the challenges to the law, conceding that local law enforcement won’t be able to issue purchase permits by December 8 and asking for a delay until February. The judge will likely decide this week whether to grant a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the law.
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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.