An Oregon judge has put on hold a gun control law Oregon voters barely approved in a 2022 referendum.
The law, known as Measure 114, passed with 50.65 percent of the vote and only won majorities in six of Oregon’s 36 counties. The law mandates a permit to buy any kind of gun, bans any magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and was labeled “the nation’s most extreme gun control Initiative” by the National Rifle Association, according to Fox News.
“This Thanksgiving, we can be thankful for Article I, section 27 and its continued protection of our right to bear arms,” attorney Tony Aiello Jr., who represented two gun owners, said.
A central point in dispute was whether the concept of semi-automatic and automatic weapons was such a break with the past that Oregon’s state constitution did not apply.
“The idea that Oregon’s pioneers intended to freeze the firearm technology accessible by Oregonians to antiques is ridiculous on its face,” Aiello said.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said the state will appeal.
“The Harney County judge’s ruling is wrong. Worse, it needlessly puts Oregonians’ lives at risk,” she said.
The law was met with legal challenges after passage and has never been enforced, according to the Associated Press. Although a federal trial ended up with a ruling that the law passed federal Constitutional muster, to take effect it must be shown to comply with the state and federal constitutions.
In his ruling, Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio said a citizen’s right to self-defense would be unduly burdened by the law, noting that when Oregon passed its constitution, it wanted to give settlers as much technological protection through weapons as possible.
“The court finds the (voters) of 1857 did not seek to restrain access to the best firearms with the highest functionality possible they could procure,” he wrote.
He said that limiting magazine capacity “does not enhance public safety.”
“The court finds that the large capacity magazine ban effectively bans all firearm magazines fixed or attached which is unconstitutional under any application of said law,” he wrote.
Raschio rejected claims that a magazine limit promoted safety.
“The court finds that 10-round magazine bans are no panacea to prevent a mass shooter,” he wrote.
“People tend to believe these events are prolific and happening all the time with massive levels of death and injury. The court finds this belief, though sensationalized by the media, is not validated by the evidence,” he wrote.
The decision is likely “the first opening salvo of multiple rounds of litigation,” said Norman Williams, a constitutional law professor at Willamette University, told the AP.
“The U.S. Constitution sets a floor, not a ceiling, for rights, so state constitutions can be more rights-protective than the federal constitution,” Williams noted.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.