By Bronson Winslow
A judge on Tuesday placed a hold on a portion of Oregon’s recently passed gun law that enhances background check requirements for firearm purchases, leaving the legislation completely blocked.
The ruling is another setback for the law, Ballot Measure 114, which is now entirely paused as legal challenges to various portions of the law make their way through Oregon’s court system. The judge determined that the law’s heightened background check requirement could not be implemented while the court continues to debate the other portions of the law, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, as plaintiffs argue the law violates the state’s constitution.
Oregon had hoped to implement the background check requirement based on language in the measure that says if any “articles, sections, subsections, sentences or clauses” are blocked or found to be unconstitutional, the remaining portions could still be implemented. Harney County Circuit Judge Robert Raschio ruled that the background check could not be implemented because the language in the measure ties background checks to the “permit-to-purchase” requirement, according to OPB.
“The court declines to remove the background check provisions from the [temporary restraining order] as the provisions are intertwined with the permit-to-purchase program and the court has made no final determination on constitutionality of the program,” Raschio wrote in his order.
Following the law’s passing, gun restrictions led to a massive uptick in attempted firearms purchases in Oregon. Background checks skyrocketed from 850 per day, prior to the midterms, to 4,000 per day after the law’s passing, and the Oregon state police reported more than 18,000 transactions during election week.
“Two things are happening. There’s fear they won’t be able to get a gun, but there’s the actual logistics that they won’t be able to do the background check. It’s going to take a year before an Oregonian has a permit,” Durkheimer said.