Good news for gun owners out of Salem, Oregon, where the state Supreme Court on Thursday turned away a request from Attorney General Ellen Rosenbaum to throw out a county judge’s injunction keeping Measure 114’s ban on “large capacity” magazines from being enforced.
In its opinion denying the request, the court declared that the decision “has no bearing on the parties’ respective positions as to any aspect of the underlying proceedings, including the merits of the plaintiff’s complaint.” But the court noted that the lower courts, including the judge in Harney County who issued the injunction against Measure 114’s enforcement, are “proceeding as expeditiously as possible,” and “now is not an appropriate time” for the Supreme Court to weigh in.
While the judges were careful not to couch their opinion as an endorsement of the plaintiffs’ position that Measure 114 is unconstitutional, anti-gun groups backing Measure 114 and Oregon’s AG understand that this is not a good sign for their defense of the magazine ban and “permit-to-purchase” regime mandated by the ballot initiative.
My office takes the position the law passed by Oregonians last November is totally proper and legal under the U.S. and Oregon constitutions.
— Ellen Rosenblum (@ORDOJ) February 9, 2023
Of course that the position that her office takes. So far, however, Rosenblum hasn’t had a lot of luck with the courts with that argument. A federal judge did decline to issue an injunction, but had to stretch the bounds of credulity in seeking historical analogues that would justify the prohibition on “large capacity” magazines. Every other judge who’s had a chance to take a look at the law has either found that it likely violates the state constitution or refused to intervene with the injunction keeping enforcement on hold.
We’ll explore all options to ensure Oregon’s live-saving gun safety measure goes into effect as soon as possible. This work is full of twists & turns. We’re staying the course because we know Measure 114 will make our schools and communities safer (2/2)
— Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety (@OregonAlliance) February 9, 2023
No, they believe Measure 114 will make schools and communities safer. It’s a matter of faith, not facts, for the anti-gunners behind Measure 114. But so far, the only thing that Measure 114 has accomplished is putting more guns in the hands of Oregonians; something that groups like the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety believe makes the state a more dangerous place.
In January 2022 Oregon had 23,939 NICS checks for firearm transfers. In January of 2023, as Measure 114 was being implemented and challenged in court, the number shot up to 48,206; an incredible increase of 101%. Gun sales doubled in Oregon last month compared year-to-year, and the only reason to explain it is the number of Oregonians rushing to buy a firearm ahead of the idiotic permit-to-purchase aspect of the gun control initiative taking effect; something that hasn’t happened both because of the courts and the fact that the state wasn’t ready to implement the half-cocked regime despite assurances to the contrary.
The NICS figure could also undercount the true demand for firearms in Oregon. So many people have been trying to purchase guns in the state over the past few months that the Oregon State Police have reported backlogs in submitting NICS requests, so the 44,225 checks that were reported may not represent those who are currently waiting for their check to be submitted or approved.
What we do know is that demand spiked as soon as it became apparent that Measure 114 had been approved by voters (it ultimately received 50.7% support). There were more than 86,000 checks in November, and another 68,000 or so in December; both far higher than historic averages.
To put it even further into perspective, between January and October of last year, there were 267,725 NICS checks on gun transfers across the state. Over the past three months, since Measure 114’s passage, there’ve been 203,274.
More gun control, more guns sold. And something tells me that many gun-owning Oregonians are going to celebrate today’s state Supreme Court decision with a trip to their local gun store to purchase a “large capacity” magazine or two; in defiance of the Attorney General and gun control groups… but in full compliance with current state law.