Oregon spends over a million defending Measure 114

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Last year we covered extensively a ballot initiative out of Oregon. Measure 114 was brought to voters through a citizen petition and barely grabbed the majority votes needed to enact the measure into law. There were widespread concerns with what 114 contained, even among progressives, as there were severe discretionary elements being introduced into the process of who will be permitted to purchase firearms. The proponents of the measure got walloped during a televised debate and within a month of being voted into law, it was challenged. Challenges to the law are piling up, as are the legal bills for the Beaver State.


A quick synopsis of Measure 114 and the law:

The measure is being presented as being anti-crime and to aid in suicide prevention, however none of the proposals do anything to meet those alleged goals. What does Ballot Measure 114 support?

Under the guise of the “Reduction of Gun Violence Act,” Ballot Measure 114 is an unconstitutional, anti-gun initiative package that includes a state-run government registry of gun owners’ personal information and firearms, requires a permit to purchase a firearm, imposes an indefinite delay on background checks, and bans any magazine with over a 10-round capacity.

Ballot Measure 114 is an unconstitutional BAN on ammo magazines with more than 10-rounds.

Ballot Measure 114 would require government permission to exercise your Second Amendment constitutional rights.

Ballot Measure 114 would allow your personal information to be added to a government registry.

Ballot Measure 114 will require a permit-to-purchase or transfer any firearm in the future.

Law enforcement agencies are not required to offer the training course, but they are the only ones who may offer the course.

Applicants cannot obtain a permit without first passing a law enforcement firearms training course.

First-time firearm owners may find it impossible to obtain a permit.

Cam recently reported on the law being enjoined temporarily via a challenge in state court, and that a federal suit is going to trial next week. The challenges and hurdles concerning this case have been stacking up and advocates have been scrambling to gather what information they could in supporting the challenges to the unconstitutional measure. 


Derek LeBlanc, an Oregon Second Amendment advocate, acting on his own as an individual, has been hunting down information through Freedom of Information Act requests. LeBlanc has received limited success in what he’s been trying to pin down from the state.

A FOIA dating back to April 24, 2023 sought the following:

I would like to see about getting totals that DOJ has spent to date in defense of Measure 114 in State and Federal courts.

After some back and forth, LeBlanc got a response on May 3, 2023:

After Oregon voters approved Measure 114, the measure faced a total of five lawsuits, four in federal court and one in state court.  The Oregon Department of Justice is defending the state’s voter-enacted law in all five cases.  Given the significant workload created by these lawsuits, the ODOJ has approached this task with a mix of in-house staff and contracted legal counsel, known as a Special Assistant Attorney General (SAAG).  The SAAG for M114 cases is the law firm of Markowitz Herbold PC.

The legal team [as well as expert witnesses] has billed a total of 2,898.52 hours.  The total cost to date, including legal services and costs, along with expert fees, is $1,059,827.65.

The state has been defending the narrowly passed measure from five lawsuits. The law is not even one passed by the legislature, but the state, none-the-less, loves the freedom limiting elements of it, and has poneyed up over one million dollars defending it – so far. As of May 3, 2023, the exact amount was $1,059,827.65, and we can be assured plenty more has been tacked onto that bill since.


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A FOIA dating back to May 4th sought the following:

I would like to know a detailed breakdown of the money and hours billed by the SAAG’s. I would also like to know who was paid or the organizations that they represented in the measure 114 case.

There were several back and forth pieces of correspondence concerning LeBlanc’s follow up request, as well as him being required to pay $48.83 in fees to gather the information. Frankly, LeBlanc would qualify for a fee waiver, however his willingness to pay the requested fees, which he did, removed any position the state could make about eligibility. Regardless, Oregon has slow-rolled out the information and assured LeBlanc that his request should be fulfilled by June 6, 2023.

Oregon Firearms Federation really highlighted the big issues in a June 1st notice:

As we have told you, the Federal trial in our efforts to stop the dangerous and unconstitutional Mz 114 starts on Monday.

We can tell you with certainty that the State Police, in spite of what they may say, are not in any way prepared to implement the absurd rules this measure creates.  Local police and sheriffs likewise do not have the means, the money, or the facilities to implement it.

The magazine ban it includes will ban almost all magazines not just those over ten rounds and it will outlaw most conventional shotguns.

At this point we have no reason to believe the court will recognize the clear unconstitutional dangers of this horribly drafted law and block it. The injunction that was implemented by a state judge in Harney County will be facing its own trial in September and if the injunction holds you can rest assured the state will appeal it to the Oregon Appeals Court.  That does not bode well.

The state has already spent well over a million taxpayer dollars defending this attack on your rights and common sense.  Unlike us, they have an unlimited budget of your money.

While we cannot predict the outcome of either case, we can state right now that it would be wise to prepare for the worst. These battles will be going on for some time.  For many people it will be impossible to purchase a firearm if Measure 114 takes effect.  Take whatever measures you believe would be wise as soon as possible.


A key takeaway here to the taxpayers of Oregon is there’s been a million already spent defending something that wasn’t overwhelmingly popular with the citizens. While the judge presiding over the federal case presumes the magazine ban, etc. is constitutional, there’s no defense the state could take up concerning wasting 49% of the voters’ funds. Considering this was a ballot measure, the legal bills should have to be shouldered by the original petitioners, no?

The residents of the Beaver State have an uphill battle, as do all advocates in progressive strongholds across the Union. Thankfully there are citizen advocates out there like LeBlanc and leaders at the helm of Second Amendment organizations like Kevin Starrett, the Director of Oregon Firearms Federation, in addition to all the other national groups pulling for downtrodden states like Oregon who are fighting the good fight. Oregon is going to find the same trouble other overreaching jurisdictions have been discovering in a post NYSRPA v. Bruen world, the high court basically says most of what’s in 114 would be a “no no.”

We’ll be watching the progress of the litigation happening in the Pacific Northwest, as well as all anti-freedom measures and actions in Oregon. Oregonians, it stinks, but you’ve got to pay to defend this rubbish as well as challenge it. 

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