Measure 114; Harney County 6-day trial has begun to determine if the gun laws are constitutional

By on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon News More Top Stories

Harney County-Harney County Judge Robert Raschio presided yesterday over a 6-day trial to determine if the Oregon Constitution allows the state to ban high-capacity magazines and requires a completed background check and permit to purchase a firearm.

The Harney County lawsuit was brought by 2-gun owners claiming the law infringes on their right to bear arms. In their complaint, they allege the new voter-approved permitting system will infringe on their rights because certain required training is not yet in place and there are questions about whether the mandated background checks can be completed in a reasonable time. They also argue that magazines should be considered arms and therefore protected under the state constitution.

In Oregon, the state constitution allows the state more leeway in regulating firearms compared to how the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the federal Constitution, particularly in recent rulings that dramatically expanded gun rights.

To determine if Measure 114 is reasonable or not, a judge might want to understand how dangerous high-capacity magazines are.

The evidence won’t be presented in state court this week. Judge Raschio said he would now allow testimony from physicians who have treated gun violence victims or from victims of gun violence. He also won’t allow testimony on the effectiveness of permit-to-purchase programs in other states.