Tuesday was a whiplash of judicial rulings on Measure 114, the new Oregon gun control measure that voters narrowly passed last month. One Central Oregon gun manufacturer is urging people to have patience because this is just going to be the start of the court battle.
It started Tuesday morning when a federal judge in Portland said that Measure 114 could go into effect Thursday, including the ban on high-capacity magazines. But she said a Permit-to-Purchase would be put on hold for 30 days.
It was after that ruling that we went to Redmond to talk to Scott Springer, owner of gun parts manufacturing company Springer Precision in Redmond.
“Nobody knows what to do,” Springer said. “Citizens don’t know what to do. We don’t know what to do. Nobody knows what’s going on.”
The measure requires a permit, criminal background check, fingerprinting, and a hands-on training course in order to purchase a weapon. It also bans any magazine able to hold more than ten rounds — a ban that Springer says effectively makes most firearms useless.
“Most of the guns that are sold today come standard with anywhere from 6 to 21-round magazines,” Springer said. “As far as we know, we can sell the guns but not the magazines that go with them.”
But just hours after that decision and shortly after we spoke to Springer, a Harney County judge enjoined the measure, blocking it altogether.
Judge Robert S. Raschio says Measure 114 could target those who have already purchased these kinds of magazines legally.
“With implementation, there are serious harms to the public interest as well, which could include individuals being arrested and prosecuted for Class A misdemeanors under what could be found to be an unconstitutional statutory scheme,” Judge Raschio said in his ruling.
Springer says he’s confident that Measure 114 wont be enforced. And he says what we saw on Tuesday is just the start.
“This is a process,” Springer said. “This isn’t the end of the process. There are a lot more legal challenges coming. We have the precedence of the Supreme Court behind all of these lawsuits. Pease be patient. Please don’t go out and panic buy stuff. Just wait, let the process happen. We’ll get through this.”
The Oregon Department of Justice says it will appeal to the state supreme court, but said it means the measure won’t take effect Thursday. If the State Supreme Court deems this case warrants its intervention, it will order Judge Raschio to either throw out his restraining order or explain why he shouldn’t.
We spoke to a constitutional law professor at Willamette University last week who echoed the sentiment that the legal battles around Measure 114 will be a marathon, not a sprint. You can watch that interview below.