Judge extends pause on Measure 114 at Tuesday hearing

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — A Harney County judge who blocked Measure 114 from going into effect last week has extended the halt for the time being, citing a need for future hearings about the gun control measure.

Oregon voters narrowly approved the gun control measure last month. It has two main components: a new permitting system for all gun purchases and a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

The measure was scheduled to take effect Dec. 8, but the group Gun Owners of America challenged it under Oregon’s constitution. The case came before Judge Robert S. Raschio on Dec. 6, and he temporarily blocked the measure from going into effect.

A federal judge heard a separate challenge to the measure earlier in the day and declined to block it from going into effect, but he did delay deadline to start the permitting rule because the state said it wouldn’t be able to have the permit system ready to go in time.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said that Raschio’s ruling would prevent the entire measure from going into effect regardless of the federal judge’s ruling. She said the state would immediately petition to the Oregon Supreme Court, but the following day the Court decided not to intervene.

At a new hearing Tuesday morning, Raschio opted to keep the restraining order for the permitting process in place, stating he would maintain it until the state notifies him that it is prepared to roll out the new permitting program, and then schedule a new hearing 10 days after that.

Lifting the restraining order and allowing the measure to go into effect before the new permitting system is ready would cause “irreputable harm to the constitutional right to bare arms,” he said.

The next hearing on the measure is scheduled for Dec. 23. Raschio gave the state until noon Friday to provide the court with information about what it wants to discuss regarding permitting and background checks.

A large portion of Tuesday’s hearing was spent discussing the history of certain firearms and their capacity limits and purpose, and several people testified about the potential impacts of the high-capacity magazine ban.

One local gun store owner said if the limit were to go into effect immediately, he wouldn’t be able to sell at least 90% of his store’s handguns because many of them could easily be modified to hold more than 10 rounds after being sold.

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