Oregon circuit judge grants TRO against Measure 114

Oregon circuit judge grants TRO against Measure 114
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Oregon gun owners woke up this morning to the news that a federal judge had denied an attempt to stop Measure 114’s permit-to-purchase scheme and magazine ban from taking effect on December 8th, though she did grant the state a four-week grace period to actually set up the permit-to-purchase system.

This afternoon, however, a circuit court judge responding to a state-level lawsuit filed by two individual plaintiffs and Gun Owners of America (along with its associated foundation), issued an opinion granting a temporary restraining order against the pending ban on the sale (and possession in many cases) of commonly owned ammunition magazines. Harney County Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio declared that absent the TRO the plaintiffs would be deprived of their right to keep and bear arms by being “unable to lawfully purchase a firearm or bear a magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds.”

While there has been “relentless news about mass shootings and slaughter of innocents,” Raschio said the Gun Owners of America had shown that putting Measure 114 on hold will maintain the “status quo” until the court can determine in a hearing for a preliminary injunction whether the measure meets constitutional muster under Article 1, Sec. 27 of the Oregon Constitution.

That article says, “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence [sic] of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power[.]”

The county judge found that the public interest weighs against the measure’s implementation at this time, and set a hearing for Dec. 13 on a preliminary injunction.

“With implementation, there are serious harms to the public interest as well, which could include individuals being arrested and prosecuted for Class A misdemeanors under what could be found to be an unconstitutional statutory scheme,” Raschio ruled from the bench. “And that potential could happen if Ballot Measure 114 is allowed to go into effect without significant judicial scrutiny. And, certainly no one would argue that individual liberty is not a cornerstone of our country. First the people, then the state.”

GOA has also requested an injunction in their case, and Raschio ordered the state to produce its case as to why Measure 114 shouldn’t be enjoined from enforcement throughout the entirety of the court proceedings by December 13th at 9:00 a.m.

Erich Pratt, senior vice president of GOA, called the decision “an exciting victory for our members” and said the group looks forward to continuing the fight, which will now move to a state appeals court. The state Attorney General’s office announced Tuesday afternoon that it will be appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court seeking an immediate review of Raschio’s opinion, but with the law slated to take effect on Thursday the court will have to quickly. One way or the other we shouldn’t have too long to wait for news, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on any announcements from the court tomorrow, as well as taking a look at the pace of gun sales in Oregon in light of the current chaos in the courts.