Oregon A.G. asks state Supreme Court to end the block on Measure 114

SALEM, Ore. (KGW) — The Oregon Attorney General is asking the Oregon Supreme Court to step in and allow at least part of Measure 114 to go into effect. A Harney County judge issued an injunction last month blocking the gun control measure, which Oregon voters narrowly approved in November.

Measure 114 includes a ban on high-capacity magazines and creates a new permitting system for all gun purchases. It also closes the so-called “Charleston loophole” by requiring background checks to be completed, not just started, before firearms are transferred.

It was scheduled to take effect Dec. 8, but gun rights groups challenged it in court, arguing that it violates the Oregon Constitution. The plaintiffs requested an injunction while the lawsuit plays out, and Harney County Circuit Court Judge Robert S. Raschio ultimately blocked all parts of the measure in a series of rulings over the course of December.

In a legal filing Friday, Oregon Assistant Attorney General Robert Koch argued that the circuit court “disregarded the will of the people (and) arrogated to itself policy-making authority on a public-safety matter of great importance.”

Koch’s filing asks the Oregon Supreme Court to direct the circuit court to either vacate its injunction or “show cause for not doing so.”

The motion seeks to end Raschio’s injunction in its entirety, but Koch also states that the magazine ban and Charleston loophole closure are the more pressing issues at the moment because a federal court has separately halted enforcement of the permitting portion of Measure 114 until March.

The federal ruling stems from a separate legal challenge that argues Measure 114 violates the U.S. Constitution. Judge Karin J. Immergut temporarily halted enforcement of the permit requirement shortly before Raschio issued his own injunction, but Immergut’s delay came at the request of the state, not the plaintiffs; the Oregon Department of Justice asked for more time to implement the new permitting system.

The Oregon Attorney General’s office previously petitioned the state Supreme Court for a stay immediately after Judge Raschio’s initial halt on the measure. The high court declined to intervene but issued the order “without prejudice,” leaving an opening for the state to ask again under different circumstances.

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