Oregon sheriff says she won't enforce magazine ban

Oregon sheriff says she won't enforce magazine ban
(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

While the outcome of Oregon Measure 114 is still technically up in the air, it looks like the gun control ballot measure will pass by a narrow margin.  With about three-quarters of the estimated vote already counted the magazine ban and permit-to-purchase laws are ahead 50.8-49.2, but most of the remaining ballots are expected to come from Multnomah and Washington counties, where support for Measure 114 is running high.

Once the election results are certified, which will likely be next week, the measure has 30 days before it takes effect. Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan, however, says she has no plans to enforce the ban on magazines that can accept more than ten rounds of ammunition.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing the passage of Ballot Measure 114,” Duncan said in the release on social media, “which creates a required permitting system in order to purchase firearms AND bans gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. This is a terrible law for gunowners, crime victims, and public safety.”

The Sheriff continued, “I want to send a clear message to Linn County residents that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is NOT going to be enforcing magazine capacity limits.”

Duncan stated the measure is “poorly written” and that Linn County Sheriff’s Office will work to find “the best course of action to take on permitting.”

“I want to ensure anything we do or don’t do will not hinder gunowners’ rights to purchase firearms, intentionally or unintentionally.”

Duncan went on to tell residents that she’s hopeful a lawsuit will be filed immediately following the certification of the results; a hope that other sheriffs have expressed as well. Otherwise, as Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kraber warns, gun sales in the state could soon stop completely.

Many questions have arisen as to what will happen to the rights of gun owners in Oregon if it passes. Myself, and other Sheriffs, often rely on the analysis of our legal advisor(s) through our Oregon State Sheriffs Association. Having reviewed the BM 114 and the legal analysis received, the following opinion is my understanding of the likely next steps in the unfortunate event it passes. For the record, I believe BM 114 to be an unconstitutional restriction on the right to possess firearms.

  • If passed it will take effect “30 days after passing.”
  • Firearms dealers will have “180 days” to dispose of large capacity magazines.
  • Firearms dealers will not be able to sell a firearm to anyone without a permit; since the permit system does not exist, all legal firearms sales in the State of Oregon will stop until a permit system is established. Because of this, there is a strong likelihood a federal judge will “stay” the measure until a permit process is established or the constitutionality of the measure is decided in what will likely be a court challenge.
  • Court challenges often take years. One such challenge is underway on a California magazine ban that was sent back to the 9th Circuit Court by the US Supreme Court for reconsideration due to a recent Supreme Court decision in the NY Rifle v. Bruen case.
  • If a court challenge occurs and BM 114 is determined to be unconstitutional it will then likely be reviewed by the 9th Circuit Court.
  • If you currently own magazines capable of holding more than “10” rounds, you should document that you have them in your possession before this measure can take place due proving they weren’t purchased after the ballot measure passed. (i.e. a dated picture)

None of these possible outcomes effects our current Concealed Handgun Licensing program provided by the Sheriff’s office. Many questions will likely come up in the next few weeks and I will keep you apprised of them.

Funny how the group behind Measure 114 never explained to voters exactly what would happen if their gun laws actually passed. Their well-funded campaign promised “safe schools and communities” if Measure 114 was approved, but Lift Every Voice Oregon didn’t say anything about Oregonians being unable to purchase a gun at all while the state writes the particulars of the permit-to-purchase system. Based on the tight election results, Measure 114 isn’t a particularly popular measure, and I suspect that the chaotic rollout to come is going to leave many voters with buyers remorse.

In the meantime, however, LEVO is trying to strike while the iron is hot and ram even more gun control measures through the state legislature. On the group’s website, they’re already touting their plans for a gun ban.

We are preparing to file a bill banning the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons for the Oregon Legislature to pass in the 2023 full session.

  • Connecting with legislators about support and sponsorship (urge your state senators and representatives to contact us and support this measure).

  • Preparing to refile an Initiative Petition for the 2024 ballot, banning the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons, if the Oregon legislature fails to take the action needed in 2023.

  • Continuing to raise funds to support the movement to bring safer firearm use to Oregon.

I’m sure the gun control lobby will keep showering LEVO with cash infusions, but make no mistake, the group’s goal isn’t to “bring safer firearms use” to the state. It’s about making it as difficult as possible to exercise a fundamental civil right. The only impact on public safety will be the increased insecurity for Oregon residents who’ll be unable to protect and defend themselves at a time in which homicides are at record levels in Portland.

The fight over Measure 114 is far from over, but we’re going to be entering a new phase here shortly; one that will hopefully result in the new infringements being put on ice by a judge. In the meantime, don’t be surprised to see other county sheriffs follow the lead of Michelle Duncan and announce that they too have no plans to enforce any magazine ban even if it’s allowed to take effect. Lift Every Voice Oregon may have been able to eke out a win for their anti-gun laws, but the gun control lobby’s campaign cash won’t have an impact on opponents’ willingness to infringe on the rights of their residents.

A note from Cam: Now that the midterms are over, we need to look ahead to the threats gun owners face in Washington, D.C. and statehouses around the country, as well as support pro-Second Amendment officials and legislation to protect and secure our right to keep and bear arms. If you want real in-depth analysis and exclusive content and wish to support our mission, join BearingArms VIP today and use promo code VIPWEEK to receive 45% off your membership!