Gun group, sheriff seek emergency hearing to block Measure 114

Gun group, sheriff seek emergency hearing to block Measure 114
AP Photo/Haven Daley

Oregon’s Measure 114 barely passed earlier this month in a ballot referendum, but it did pass. It’s set to not just become law, but one of the most restrictive gun control schemes in the entire nation. It’s so bad that it’s likely to at least temporarily halt all gun sales in the state until some things can be worked out.

It’s a trainwreck in the making.

Now, a gun rights group, among others, is seeking to put a halt to the law’s implementation.

A gun rights group, sheriff and gun store owner filed an emergency motion in federal court late Wednesday seeking to stop enforcement of one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.

The gun control measure narrowly approved by Oregon voters is set go into effect on Dec. 8. U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut on Thursday scheduled a hearing on the motion for Dec. 2. The state has until next Wednesday to file a response to the emergency motion for preliminary injunction.

The Oregon Firearms Foundation, Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey and Adam Johnson, owner of Coat of Arms Firearms, filed a federal lawsuit against the Oregon governor and attorney general on Nov. 18 saying Measure 114 is unconstitutional.

And, of course, it is.

See, the issue with ballot initiatives is, in part, that the average person knows what they think is good law, but they don’t necessarily know what is constitutional or not.

Measure 114 has tons of items that fly directly in the face of the Bruen decision, for example. There’s not likely to be any 18th-century analogs for any of the requirements contained within the law, and that alone should get the whole thing bounced.

The question, of course, is whether a judge will issue the injunction. That’s a big question, too, because it’s entirely possible that while the legal challenge will continue, the judge will opt to allow the law to go into effect.

That would be a mistake.

Even outside of the legal issues, the truth is that this law didn’t account for how long it would take for law enforcement to be able to meet these requirements, nor did it fund the additional manpower the law requires from these departments.

Which is why Measure 114’s implementation is likely to be a complete and total trainwreck and why those who say it will effectively halt gun sales, at least for a time, in Oregon are right.

Of course, for those who supported the measure, that’s probably a feature, not a bug, and that’s also part of why it’s my sincere hope that the judge does issue an injunction as the first step in putting an end to this ridiculous, unconstitutional, travesty.

It shouldn’t have passed, but it only did because many had no idea just how unconstitutional it is. “Every right has limits,” proponents claimed and many accepted that, and it’s something the courts have generally agreed with. But those limits aren’t elastic, either. They can’t just keep growing until there’s no right left. There are hard limits to even them and Measure 114 skips right past those limits.

Here’s hoping the judge agrees.