As people for and against Oregon’s new gun law, Measure 114, wait for a judge’s ruling on its future, there is a question that has popped up since a pair of rulings last week.
On Dec. 6, two days before the voter-approved law was to take effect, a federal judge in Portland ruled that Measure 114 could be enacted as scheduled. She did, however, put a 30-day hold on the permit-to-purchase requirement.
But hours later, Judge Robert Raschio in Harney County — an Oregon Circuit Court judge — put a hold on the entire measure.
That had people asking how the decision of a state judge can have more weight than a federal one.
The answer is that the cases are based on two different lawsuits — and two different constitutions.
“The 2nd Amendment and the Oregon Constitution, though they’re phrased very similarly, don’t mean the same thing,” said Norman Williams, a constitutional law professor at Willamette University. “The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the 2nd Amendment differently than the Oregon Supreme Court has interpreted the Oregon State Constitution’s right to bear arms.”
As Willams first told Central Oregon Daily News two weeks ago, this is going to take time — maybe years — before we know if any or all of Measure 114 is implemented.
“It’s going to take some time for both the federal and the state court to figure out the constitutionality of the ban on high capacity magazines,” Williams said “I don’t think any part of Measure 114 will be going into effect anytime soon.”
Zandra Brant, a volunteer with Lift Up Your Voice Oregon and a Measure 114 supporter says she doesn’t know the fate of the law, but is happy to learn the concerns of those who oppose it.
“I don’t know how it will end. I don’t know the judge will rule on it. It’s inappropriate for me to say anything about that. But it’s moving on and I’m happy to see that we’re allowing the information to come out about what the concerns are on the other side,” said Brant.
Judge Raschio on Tuesday upheld the temporary restraining order on most of Measure 114. He’s expected to issue a ruling on high capacity magazines by Friday.