September 25, 2023
The Oregon Firearms Federation published a statement supporting a measure in Columbia County establishing what is generically called a "Second Amendment Sanctuary." The measure passed but will it stand? iStock-884203732
At least one gun rights group challenging Oregon’s Measure 114 has indicated an appeal is certain after a federal judge upheld the gun control scheme as constitutional last Friday. (iStock-884203732)

U.S.A. — A federal district judge’s ruling upholding the constitutionality of Oregon’s restrictive gun control Measure 114 will definitely be appealed, the head of the Second Amendment Foundation assured via email with a terse one-word statement.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, responding to an email inquiry asking, “Certainly, there will be an appeal, right?” responded bluntly: “Right.”

U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut, in a 122-page decision, wrote, “Plaintiffs have not shown that the Second Amendment protects large-capacity magazines, defined as magazines capable of firing eleven or more rounds without reloading. And even if the Second Amendment were to protect large-capacity magazines, this Court finds that Defendants and Intervenor-Defendant have established that Oregon’s restrictions on the use and possession of large-capacity magazines are consistent with the Nation’s history and tradition of firearm regulation.”

The ruling was immediately blasted by the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF), one of several plaintiffs challenging the law in a consolidation of four federal lawsuits, two of which involve SAF and several partners. In a scathing reaction, OFF declared Judge Immergut’s ruling “absurd” and further said her decision was “against gun owners, the Second Amendment and a basic understanding of the English language.”

Immergut’s ruling does appear oblivious to facts involving firearms and self-defense when, on Page 120, she states, “The Supreme Court has held that Second Amendment protects an individual right to self-defense inside and outside of the home. LCMs are not commonly used for self-defense, and are therefore not protected by the Second Amendment.”

This seems to ignore the prevalence of modern semi-automatic pistols, which are commonly used for personal protection, and which come from the factory with magazines holding more than 10 cartridges.

According to The Hill, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum praised the ruling while acknowledging the law still cannot be enforced because it is still being challenged in state court. A judge in Harney County has scheduled a trial in September. By that time, Judge Immergut’s decision will likely have been appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Rosenblum, a Democrat, was quoted by The Hill, stating, “Our team looks forward to ultimately prevailing in the state courts as well.”

The four federal lawsuits, which were consolidated for this case, involved virtually every gun rights organization in the country. In addition to SAF and OFF, plaintiffs included the Firearms Policy Coalition, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Oregon State Shooting Association (an affiliate of the National Rifle Association), several private citizens, and at least three Oregon sporting goods retailers.

The state lawsuit involves Gun Owners of America, the Gun Owners Foundation and various private citizens, as noted by the Central Oregon Daily. That lawsuit challenges the measure under the Oregon State Constitution.

Measure 114 is described by the media as one of the strictest gun control laws in the country. It requires proof of safety training to purchase a firearm, requires a permit to purchase from a law enforcement agency, and bans magazines holding more than 10 cartridges—which would include not only magazines for popular semiautomatic sporting rifles but also many, if not a majority, of popular semi-auto handguns, as noted above.

Throughout her ruling, Judge Immergut—a Donald Trump appointee—sides consistently with the defendants and Measure 114.

In its statement, OFF asserted, “We are sure there will be plenty of parsing of this absurd decision in the coming days, but it was clear from the very first day that Immergut was both painfully ignorant and in the pocket of Oregon’s far left “Department of Justice…No doubt it took this long for her to come up with a reason to reach this conclusion when none of the facts were on her side.”

In the aftermath of Measure 114’s narrow passage in November 2022 (50.6% in favor, 49.4% opposed), neighboring Washington state passed legislation earlier this year extending a 10-day waiting period to the purchase of all firearms, not just so-called “assault weapons,” which was part of Initiative 1639, passed by voters in 2018.

It is unclear when SAF or any of the other plaintiffs in the four federal challenges will file appeals. Because the ruling was issued Friday, attorneys for those plaintiffs—and there are lots of them—are no doubt studying Judge Immergut’s ruling. SAF is the only organization involved in two separate challenges of Measure 114. A week-long trial was held early last month in Portland.

Federal Court Ruling Upholding Oregon Gun Law Will be Appealed by AmmoLand Shooting Sports News on Scribd

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.Dave Workman

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