Oregon Judge Freezes Gun Control Law Over Questions About ‘Fundamental Constitutional Rights’

A state judge has stopped a new Oregon law from taking effect that would create new barriers to purchasing firearms and ban the sale of any magazine larger than a 10-bullet clip.

Harney County Judge Robert Raschio issued a temporary restraining order over Measure 114, a ballot measure passed last month that places new restrictions on purchasing firearms and magazines. Raschio blocked the new law for violating the Oregon state constitution.

“Absent entry of this Temporary Restraining Order, Plaintiffs will be deprived of their right to bear arms pursuant to Or. Const. Art. l, Sec. 27 by being made unable to lawfully purchase a firearm or bear a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition in the State of Oregon. Deprivation of fundamental constitutional rights for any period constitutes irreparable harm,” the judge wrote in his Tuesday order.

Raschio’s ruling came as part of a legal challenge against the new law filed by Gun Owners of America (GOA). GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt celebrated the ruling.

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“This is an exciting victory for our members in Oregon as the clock was winding down on securing relief from the onerous and unconstitutional requirements this law would have placed on current and future gun owners. We look forward to continuing the fight,” Pratt said in a statement.

Measure 114 passed last month in a slim majority vote with 50.6% in favor and 49.4% against. The difference amounted to roughly 25,000 votes.

The new law places a number of new restrictions on buying, selling, and owning firearms. The law bans the sale of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets. It includes a permit-to-purchase requirement that requires all firearms customers to get a background check and attend gun safety training before purchase.

The state attorney general’s office said it would appeal the ruling, according to The Oregonian.

“We are still sorting through everything, but I can tell you we will be shortly filing a mandamus petition asking the Oregon Supreme Court to review it immediately,” said Kristina Edmunson, spokeswoman for Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Raschio’s ruling came several hours after a federal judge rejected a request to instate a temporary restraining order and approved the ballot measure to go into effect on December 8 as scheduled, with one exception. The federal judge, U.S. District Judge Karin J. Immergut, postponed the permit-to-purchase requirement at the state’s request for 30 days.

Despite the federal court’s ruling, Raschio’s decision is still in effect because he ruled on a challenge based on the state constitution. Immergut’s decision is based on a challenge brought on federal constitutional grounds, according to The Oregonian.

Immergut said that no parts of the new law would improperly infringe upon Oregonians’ Second Amendment rights.

“The burden imposed by Measure 114 on the core Second Amendment right of self-defense is minimal,” Immergut wrote.

“In light of the evidence of the rise in mass-shooting incidents and the connection between mass-shooting incidents and large-capacity magazines — and absent evidence to the contrary regarding the role of large-capacity magazines for self-defense — Defendants are comparably justified in regulating large-capacity magazines to protect the public,” the judge said.

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