Hunters, 2A advocacy groups fear new law will “end firearms sales” with no system to administer it in place
OREGON- Once again, feel-good measures by anti-gun leftists have led to a spate of firearms purchases, the latest case being in Oregon, where people are rushing to buy guns after state voters narrowly approved gun control Measure 114, which will place significant restrictions on Oregonians 2nd Amendment rights, Tri-Cities NBC reports.
The outlet reports that since the measure was approved by voters earlier this month, background check requests through the Oregon State Police have exploded. In just the past week, requests from prospective gun buyers have grown by five times the normal amount.
After the election, the Firearms Instant Check System has been averaging some 4,092 daily requests, up from an average of 849 requests daily prior to the vote, the agency reports.
The passing of Measure 114 has also struck fear into gun rights advocates and hunters in Oregon, believing that all firearms sales will come to a screeching halt in three weeks when the measure, one of the strictest in the nation, goes into effect.
The law only passed by 1.5% places significant restrictions on state residents, including banning ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 rounds, the creation of a permit-to-purchase system that includes hands-on firearms training and submit to fingerprinting and photographing and pass a federal criminal background check.
“We’re looking at the end of firearms sales in Oregon until this system is put into place,” Amy Patrick, policy director for the Oregon Hunters Association told Fox News.
The measure is slated to take effect on Dec. 8, which gives little time to put the infrastructure in place to support such a system. That is quite possibly by design.
Fox News reached out to the Oregon State Police (OSP) to find whether firearms purchases will be able to continue as of that date, since there is no permit processing system currently in place.
A spokesperson for the OSP would only say that “OSP is working diligently to ensure that the new Permit to Purchase program will be operational by December 8, 2022.”
Only six out of Oregon’s 36 counties voted in favor of the new law, which means once again that much as in other states, such as New York, voters in only a few far-left communities pass laws which affect the entire state.
Oregon is by far an overwhelmingly rural state, however the west coast of the state and a small pocket adjacent to Washington State swung the vote in favor of the bill.
Thus far, five county sheriffs have said they will not enforce all or part of the law when it takes effect, however it is unknown how that will mesh with a permitting system being implemented at the state level. Law Enforcement Today recently reported on that situation.
Aside from the five sheriffs, a plethora of sportsmen and outdoor groups have come out in opposition to the measure, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“It’s a feel-good measure that only adds new unfunded burdens on local police, eliminates opportunities for recreational activities, and hurts conservation funding while not making any tangible impact on the real problem,” Keely Hopkins, manager of Pacific states & firearm policy for Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation wrote in a statement.
Meanwhile Patrick said gun stores are telling customers that under a worst case scenario, they may have to stop selling firearms when the law goes into effect.
“That also means that Oregonians cannot go out of state to purchase firearms either,” Patrick said. “We’re basically being held hostage by 114 because firearms dealers have to respect the laws of a person’s home state.”
There is also the issue of federal law, which prohibits out of state gun sales under most conditions.
A Facebook post from the Oregon State Police spelled out the explosion in background checks since the midterms. This current spike is even more pronounced than one during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Oregon and other states saw record-breaking gun sales.
The ignorant among us who believe criminals obey gun laws hope the new measure will lead to a decrease in violent crime, suicides and accidental shootings in the Beaver State.
In Portland, home of Antifa, residents overwhelmingly approved the measure. Shooting incidents in that city have exploded over the past several years, attributable to the tolerance by the mayor and city council in that city of violence that has plagued the city over the past 2-1/2 years in the aftermath of the Floyd death.
For example, in 2019 there were 413 shootings in the city; over the first ten months of 2022, that number has gone up to over double that number, 1,100, according to data from the Portland Police Bureau.
“The most charitable spin I can put on this is that they really thought they needed to do something to solve that,” Patrick said of gun control zealots. “It’s a criminal violent act that’s happening. Regulating legal firearm owners is not going to have the effect that they are desiring on that.”
Patrick is concerned that “inherently cumbersome” permit-to-purchase requirements will make it more difficult to recruit more hunters in the state.
Under current state law, residents of the state only need pass a background check in order to purchase a firearm. However the new measure is extremely cumbersome, forcing prospective firearms buyers to complete “an in-person demonstration of the applicant’s ability to lock, load, fire, and store a firearm before an instructor certified by a law enforcement agency”—which is a much stricter standard than currently required to obtain a concealed firearm permit.
Others are concerned that the limit on magazine capacity will impact bird hunters, as well as those who shoot skeet and trap for sport.
That has lead to stark opposition from the Oregon National Rifle Association, the Democratic party of Oregon Gun Owners Caucus, and the Oregon Firearms Federation, all of whom argue that several shotgun models are capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
“That’s going to make a big impact on our shot gunners and whether or not they can utilize the firearms that they have or potentially purchase a firearm that would be appropriate for bird hunting,” Patrick said.
Patrick noted that OHA is aware of several state and national groups planning to sue over the legislation.
“We are hopeful that there will be an injunction put in place with some of these lawsuits,” she said. “that’s the best case scenario right now.”
Meanwhile, the Oregon State Police are doing their best to keep up with the onslaught of permit requests.
“This unit has been working through these extreme firearms request volumes and will continue to process them as quickly as possible,” the agency said in a Wednesday statement.
When the measure was proposed and placed on the ballot, state police estimated they would need an additional 38 new positions to handle the increased workload.
Currently the firearms processing unit consists of 30 staff members—one manager, three supervisors and 26 full-time examiners.
There is funding for an additional 13 part-time examiners and four part-time specialists, however only two of the examiner positions and two of the specialists jobs have been filled.
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