State Objects to Oregon Judge’s Ruling That Gun Control Measure 114 Violates the Constitution
There is a new development with Ballot Measure 114, the case that has been in legal limbo since November of 2022. Originally blocked by Circuit Judge Robert S. Raschio, and later ruled against after a six-day trial in November, the state has now objected to the judge’s findings and is seeking to make their own case before the matter is settled once and for all.
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In case you aren’t familiar, Measure 114 is a set of parameters that deals with gun control. If finally enacted, it would require anyone with the intent to purchase a firearm to take a safety course and to pass a test over gun safety afterwards. People who pass the test would then receive a gun permit that would be required to buy a firearm. Not only that, it would institute background checks for anyone buying magazines that can hold over ten rounds. This measure was passed fairly recently and voted in by a majority of Oregon voters.
Although the measure had been given the okay in November of 2022, Measure 114 was soon blocked from being fully instated by Raschio back in December of 2022 after a lawsuit from two men were placed directly after its passing. It was unable to take effect, waiting until a full trial could commence. Well, this six-day trial finally played in November, where both sides could argue their cases. After it was finally ruled upon that Measure 114 was unconstitutional, the laws are now unable to go into effect. This is unless the decision is overturned by a higher state court or the judge overseeing the original ruling (Judge Rascio) reverses the decision.
Judge Raschio had his reasons for finding the measure to be unconstitutional. In a statement after the ruling, he claimed that the citizens of Oregon have a right to self defense against an immediate threat. This right is apparently hindered by Measure 114.
There are many who disagree with Judge Raschio’s decision, including the state, experts, and even other judges. In the trial, experts were called to testify on behalf of both sides.
On the side of denying Measure 114, we would hear the same arguments given for cases involving the second amendment. They’ve been repeated many times before, but that doesn’t mean that the arguments are invalid completely. One of the more compelling cases was made in testimonies by Harney County Sheriff Dan Jenkins and Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen. They made it known that their jurisdictions covered large areas, which can lead to lengthy response times. This has sometimes resulted in civilians relying on their firearms to defend themselves, their family, and their livestock.
On the side of the states were experts and curators, who made the argument that the framers of the Constitution wouldn’t have been able to predict future firearm features, such as smokeless gun powder. Although there did exist guns that could hold up to ten rounds, they were extremely rare, and most likely not taken into account by the framers. In other words, the guns of today are not the same guns that were taken into consideration when the framers constructed the Constitution and, more specifically, the second amendment.
The state’s case was evidently not strong enough the first time around, but Judge Raschio is willing to hear the state again in this new appeal.
The hearing to consider the state’s objections to his findings will take place on January 2nd 2024. Judge Raschio says he will be delaying signing his final order until after the hearing in order to consider the challenges of the state.
If this measure is still ruled against by the judge, it’s still not completely final. The decision can still be overturned by a higher state court if the state decides to pursue it.
Until then, Measure 114, a measure voted in by the people, remains in legal limbo until the decision is finally made.