As many of you are aware we are based in the State of Oregon. Recently Measure 114 was questionably passed by a margin of about 25,000 votes and only 50.7%. Many across the nation were aware of the measure for its magazine capacity limitation. I wasn't as worried about that as I was the rest of the measure which includes more heinous consequences.
As you read this please keep organizations like the Firearms Policy Coalition in mind as they will help fight not only measure 114, but similar attempts around the nation. The Oregon Firearms Federation has already filed a suit against the magazine capacity section and could use your support as well.
There are many things wrong and unconstitutional about this measure, most of which can be weaponized by the state. Rather then spout off opinions and emotion, let's first take a look at the relevant civil right, then the text of the measure itself. Original text will be in bold with analysis following in regular script.
The 2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Despite all words of this Amendment still being common vernacular today, it seems many Americans do not understand this multi-clause sentence. The founding fathers referred to militia instead of "army" or "military" because it is the people (ie. militia) that ensure the state remains free. A well-regulated military is what England was using to impose tyranny on the colonies. Therefore it is the people who need to have access to arms to resist an abusive government.
The next part that I think most Americans (including those who have sworn oaths of office) don't seem to understand is the word, "infringe". The dictionary of Oxford Languages defines infringe as "act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.".
To put the 2nd Amendment into modern-day English would read something like:
(Citizens must remain armed to preserve and ensure human rights therefore there shall be no laws or restrictions on their ability to do so)The people need to be armed to preserve and ensure freedom so there shall be no laws or restrictions of their ability to be armed.
Simplifying that even further: All gun laws which impede, restrict, or slow the individual's access to arms are unconstitutional.
Let us also not forget that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are not things granted to the people by the State, rather they are restrictions the State must operate within the confines of.
With that clarified, let's take a look at Measure 114. You can get your own copy here.
(1)(a) A person may apply for a permit-to-purchase a firearm or firearms under this section to the police chief or county sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the person making the application, or their designees, hereinafter referred to as “permit agent”.
US Citizenship is our right to possess a firearm. No application shall be needed as that would infringe on our right to keep and bear arms.
Any criminal history preventing the lawful purchase of a firearm has already been reported by local law enforcement and would show up in the standard background check.
Where is the funding for this additional burden on local law enforcement?
(b) A person is qualified to be issued a permit-to-purchase under this section if the person:
(A) Is not prohibited from purchasing or acquiring a firearm under state or federal law, including but not limited to successfully completing a criminal background check as described under paragraph (e) of this subsection;
(B) Is not the subject of an order described in ORS 166.525 to 166.543;
(C) Does not present reasonable grounds for a permit agent to conclude that the applicant has been or is reasonably likely to be a danger to self or others, or to the community at large, as a result of the applicant’s mental or psychological state or as demonstrated by the applicant’s past pattern of behavior involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence;
(D) Provides proof of completion of a firearm safety course as defined in subsection (8) of this section; and
(E) Pays the fee described in paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section.
Section A and B are already covered by the standard transfer process
Section C is, to me, the most dangerous part of this measure. Local law enforcement is now required to determine mental health. How is this to be done? Are they qualified? What's to stop this from becoming an interview which the agency, short on funding, only offers once per month when the trained employee is available? If they have a demonstrated history of violence shouldn't their record already prohibit them from purchasing or owning a firearm?
Section D: Name another civil right that requires state-approved training to exercise. What defines a "safety" course, who is to create it, how often and where is it available, and who pays for it? Some of this is answered later in the text.
Section E: Name another civil right that requires payment to exercise. This sets the stage for those most-impoverished, and typically most in need of a defensive tool to be deprived their right and become further dependent on the state. Are we going to start charging for voting too? Ensure only those who can financially afford their rights can exercise them?
These clauses set the stage for a slippery slope of state abuse and deprivation of basic civil rights. A similar system was enacted in California and has recently been crushed in courts for this very reason.
(c) An application for a permit under this section must state the applicant’s legal name, current address and telephone number, date and place of birth, physical description, and any additional information determined necessary by department rules. The application must be signed by the applicant in front of the permit agent.
This is already provided on the ATF Form 4473 and abused as a way of creating a registry because it also includes the make, model, serial number, type, and caliber of the firearm the individual named is receiving.
(d) The permit agent shall verify the applicant’s identity with a government-issued form of identification bearing a photograph of the applicant.
This is already completed during a transfer with the ATF Form 4473, yet it isn't for voting.
(e) The applicant must submit to fingerprinting and photographing by the permit agent. The permit agent shall fingerprint and photograph the applicant and shall conduct any investigation necessary to determine whether the applicant meets the qualifications described in paragraph (b) of this section. The permit agent shall request the department to conduct a criminal background check, including but not limited to a fingerprint identification, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation shall return the fingerprint cards used to conduct the criminal background check and may not keep any record of the fingerprints. Upon completion of the criminal background check and determination of whether the permit applicant is qualified or disqualified from purchasing or otherwise acquiring a firearm the department shall report the results, including the outcome of the fingerprint-based criminal background check, to the permit agent.
Once again, criminal history is already checked during a normal transfer. Where will the funding come from for local law enforcement to double the efforts already completed federally? Local law enforcement with low funding/staffing issues might be forced to only conduct such research and face time with applicants once per month, or on an appointment basis.
(2)(a) If during the background check, the department determines that:
(A) A purchaser is prohibited from possessing a firearm under ORS 166.250 (1)(c), the department shall report the attempted application for a permit, the purchaser’s name and any other personally identifiable information to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and district attorneys that have jurisdiction over the location or locations where the attempted application for a permit was made and where the permit applicant resides;
(B) Based on the judgment of conviction, the permit applicant is prohibited from possessing a firearm as a condition of probation or that the permit applicant is currently on post-prison supervision or parole, the department shall report the attempted application for a permit to the permit applicant’s supervising officer and the district attorney of the county in which the conviction occurred.
(C) The permit applicant is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a court order described in ORS 166.255 (1)(a), the department shall report the attempted application for a permit to the court that issued the order.
(D) The permit applicant is under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, the department shall report the attempted application for a permit to the board.
(b) Reports required by paragraphs (A) to (D) of subsection (2)(a) shall be made within 24 hours after the determination is made, unless a report would compromise an ongoing investigation, in which case the report may be delayed as long as necessary to avoid compromising the investigation.
Again, most of this is already covered during a standard transfer provided local law enforcement has done their job and reported crimes. The worrisome part is part (D). Who determines what is psychiatrically unsound for firearms ownership? With both Republican and Democrat administration labeling political subgroups as "extremists" does that mean political affiliation can be used to deny a civil right?
(c) On or before January 31 of each year, beginning in 2024, the department shall annually publish a report indicating for each county the number of applications made to any permit agent, the number of permits-to-purchase issued and the number of permits-to-purchase denied and the reasons for denial. The department may, by rule, include any additional information that it determines would be helpful to ensuring the permit-to-purchase process is being administered in a consistent and equitable manner.
Why does the state need to know how many people acquire firearms in each county?
(3)(a) Within 30 days of receiving an application for a permit under this section, if the permit agent has verified the applicant’s identity and determined that the applicant has met each of the qualifications described in paragraph (1)(b) of this section, the permit agent shall issue the permit-to-purchase.
(b) The permit agent may charge a reasonable fee reflecting the actual cost of the process but shall not exceed $65, including the cost of fingerprinting, photographing and obtaining a criminal background check.
(3)(a)This gives agencies permission to delay the exercising of a civil right by up to 29 days without cause.
(b) Charging up to $65 to exercise a right = Poll tax.
(4)(a) The department shall develop:
(A) A standardized application form for a permit under this section; and
(B) A form in quadruplicate for use by permit agents in issuing permits under this section.
(b) The issuing permit agent shall maintain a copy of each permit issued under this section.
(c) The person named in a permit shall:
(A) Maintain a copy of the permit as long as the permit is valid.
(B) Present a copy of the permit to the gun dealer or transferor of a firearm when required under ORS 166.412, 166.435, 166.436 or 166.438.
In the "Definitions" segment of this measure "department" is defined as state police. Where is the funding for them to do this? How long do they have to create such a form? Why must a citizen keep copies of their "papers" to show?
(5)(a) The permit agent shall report the issuance of a permit under this section to the department, and shall provide to the department a copy of the permit and any information necessary for the department to maintain an electronic searchable database of all permits issued under this section. A permit agent revoking a permit shall report the revocation to the department at the time that notice of the revocation has been sent to the permit holder.
(b) The department shall maintain the electronic database described in paragraph (a) of this subsection by ensuring that new permits are added to the database, renewed permits are assigned a new expiration date, and expired or revoked permits are marked expired or revoked but retained in the database.
This effectively creates an electronic searchable database of citizens who wish to exercise their rights.
(6)(a) A permit-to-purchase issued under this section does not create any right of the permit holder to receive a firearm.
(b) A permit-to-purchase issued under this section is not a limit on the number of firearms the permit holder may purchase or acquire during the time period when the permit is valid.
(7)(a) A permit-to-purchase issued under this section is valid for five years from the date of issuance, unless revoked.
How does a civil right expire? Why is it ok for a civil right to expire?
(b) A person may renew an unexpired permit issued under this section by repeating the procedures set forth in subsection (1) of this section, except:
(A) A full finger print set does not need to be taken again if the original set has been retained by the permit agent or is otherwise available; and
(B) The training course does not need to be completed, provided the course previously taken fully complies with each of the requirements set forth in subsection 8 of this section.
(c)The permit agent may charge a reasonable fee for renewal of the permit, reflecting the actual cost of the process but shall not exceed $50, including the cost of obtaining a criminal background check and photographing.
(8) As used in this section, “proof of completion of a firearm safety course” means the following:
(a) Proof of completion of any firearms training course or class available to the general public that is offered by law enforcement, a community college, or a private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by a law enforcement agency, and that includes the components set forth in paragraph (c) of this subsection; or
(b) Proof of completion of any law enforcement firearms training course or class that is offered for security guards, investigators, reserve law enforcement officers, or any other law enforcement officers, and that includes the components set forth in paragraph (c) of this subsection;
(c) A firearms training course or class required for issuance of a permit-to-purchase must include:
(A) Review of federal and state laws in place at the time of the class and other safe practices related to ownership, purchase, transfer, use and transportation of firearms;
(B) Review of federal and state safe storage laws in place at the time of the class and other safe practices related to safe storage, including reporting lost and stolen guns;
(C) Prevention of abuse or misuse of firearms, including the impact of homicide and suicide on families, communities and the country as a whole; and
(D) In-person demonstration of the applicant’s ability to lock, load, unload, fire and store a firearm before an instructor certified by a law enforcement agency. This requirement may be met separately from the other course requirements in subparagraphs (A), (B) and (C) of paragraph (c), which may be completed in an on-line course, provided the on-line course has been conducted by a trainer certified by law enforcement.
The state police will be responsible and in control of what determines adequate firearms knowledge.
(d) Proof of successful completion of a training course in order to meet the requirements for a concealed handgun license issued under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 may be submitted for a permit as a substitute for the requirements in paragraph (c) of this subsection, provided the completed course included each of the components set forth in paragraph (c) of this subsection.
This will require reformatting and reissuance of some Oregon Concealed Carry Permits as many have been granted based upon completion of military or civilian training which does not include the above requirements. Does the State of Oregon know which permit was previously approved with which training?
(9) The department may adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this section.
I think that's deep enough for now. You've been given several examples of how this measure, disgustingly put forth by Oregonians and then approved by 50.7%, is a product of ignorance and sets the stage for tyranny. It's my belief that education is to blame. Were Oregonians to more completely understand the foundation the United States was born on, such a measure wouldn't have made it past the first person to suggest such a thing.
Please pay attention to education standards in your state and help us correct this blatantly stupidity by donating to organizations like the Firearms Policy Coalition who's fight can set a precedence against future laws like this in your state and in our nation. You can help fight this specific measure here.
To learn more about your basic rights as an American, see here.