(ConcernedPatriot.com) – The “most extreme” gun control law in the U.S., an Oregon law, will come on trial next week in a case that has attracted the attention of both proponents and opponents of firearms.
“I have never seen this many people so interested in a legal proceeding,” said attorney Tony Aiello Jr. on Fox News.
Aiello, defending a couple of gun owners from Harney County contesting initiative 114 under the Oregon Constitution, continued, “This case is about a bare majority of voters adopting a poorly-written ballot initiative that erodes, and I would argue erases a constitutional right.”
Measure 114 was approved by Oregonians in November with 50.65% of the vote, despite only six of the state’s 36 counties having voted in favor of it.
The legislation, which organizations like the legislative branch of the NRA called “the nation’s most extreme gun control Initiative,” makes it necessary to obtain a firearm permit and outlaws the sale of magazines that can store more than 10 rounds.
However, the law has not yet come into force due to recent federal and state-level legal challenges.
According to a ruling made in July by federal judge Karin Immergut, Oregon’s law adheres to a tradition in the United States of “regulating uniquely dangerous features of weapons and firearms to protect public safety.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing the plaintiffs’ appeal of Immergut’s decision.
For gun owners Joseph Arnold and Cliff Asmussen from Harney County, Aiello will appear in court on Monday and make the case that Measure 114 is unconstitutional under the Oregon Constitution because it would serve as an outright ban.
The initiative was created by the interfaith organization Lift Every Voice Oregon. It gathered over 130,000 signatures to get it on the ballot last autumn.
According to the group, a permit-to-purchase system will lessen shootings, suicides, and other violent crimes.
“When our neighbors are bleeding, we cannot stand idly by,” Rev. Mark Knutson, one of the chief petitioners for the measure, previously told The Oregonian. “We had an imperative to act.”
Emails asking for interviews with Lift Every Voice Oregon representatives went unanswered.
After the law was implemented late last year, there was an increase in gun sales, and Oregon State Police received hundreds of new requests for background checks every day.
Bryan Fitzgerald, owner of a pawn store in Salem, told Fox News that he had difficulty keeping guns on the shelves for an extended period.
He thinks firearms sales, which once comprised around 30% of his business at Elite Buyers N.W., now comprise between 50% and 60% of total sales.
“Ballot Measure 114 really just made everything just absolutely crazy,” he added.
Fitzgerald is keeping a careful eye on the legal battles around the measure. Still, he acknowledges that he is in a better position than many gun dealers because his pawn store includes various items, including tools, jewelry, and electronics.
“If we were just a gun shop, I would be really, really scared,” he said. “I wish the people that were making laws about firearms weren’t anti-firearm.”
The permit system is the focal point of much of the criticism of the measure.
Measure 114 imposes much stricter requirements than what is currently needed to even obtain a concealed handgun license in Oregon, requiring prospective gun buyers to complete an “in-person demonstration of the applicant’s ability to lock, load, unload, fire and store a firearm before an instructor certified by a law enforcement agency.”
“No training programs in the state satisfy all permission requirements,” according to police and sheriffs’ statements from December.
Fitzgerald said he has regular communication with law enforcement, who have assured him that nothing has changed.
However, Oregon State Police did not answer whether similar programs had been introduced since then.
However, Aiello won’t be allowed to bring up that fact in court.
Circuit Judge Robert S. Raschio granted the state’s request to exclude claims that if Measure 114 is approved, police could not process permits swiftly because they would be based solely on conjecture.
The state added that the measure “provides a clear, speedy remedy” if Oregonians have delayed or denied permits.
The vote item language states that individuals who have their permit applications rejected or not processed within 30 days may file a petition with their local circuit court.
“I’m just not going to guess what the program is going to look like,” Raschio said, according to The Oregonian.
“I find it persuasive that the case law says that you can’t speculate how a law is going to be applied,” he added, “and this law has never been applied to anyone.”
Raschio, however, also won the gun owners by accepting their requests to bar testimony about the destructiveness of high-capacity magazines, the success of other states’ permit-to-purchase schemes in lowering shootings, or affidavits from victims about the death of loved ones in shootings.
The trial is anticipated to go until the following Friday. Regardless of the result, Aiello asserted that both sides in the controversy expected the matter to eventually go before the Oregon Supreme Court.
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