Federal judge rules Oregon’s tough new gun law is constitutional
Jul 15, 2023, 6:17 PM | Updated: 6:52 pm
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled Oregon’s voter-approved gun control measure – one of the toughest in the nation – is constitutional.
U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut ruled that banning large capacity magazines and requiring a permit to purchase a gun falls in line with “the nation’s history and tradition of regulating uniquely dangerous features of weapons and firearms to protect public safety,” Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
The decision comes after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment that has upended gun laws across the country, dividing judges and sowing confusion over what firearm restrictions can remain on the books. It changed the test that lower courts had long used for evaluating challenges to firearm restrictions, telling judges that gun laws must be consistent with the “historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
Oregon voters in November narrowly passed Measure 114, which requires residents to undergo safety training and a background check to obtain a permit to buy a gun.
The legislation also bans the sale, transfer or import of gun magazines with more than 10 rounds unless they are owned by law enforcement or a military member or were owned before the measure’s passage. Those who already own high-capacity magazines can only possess them at home or use them at a firing range, in shooting competitions or for hunting as allowed by state law after the measure takes effect.
Large capacity magazines “are not commonly used for self-defense, and are therefore not protected by the Second Amendment,” Immergut wrote. “The Second Amendment also allows governments to ensure that only law-abiding, responsible citizens keep and bear arms.”
The latest ruling in U.S. District Court is likely to be appealed, potentially moving all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Oregon measure’s fate has been carefully watched as one of the first new gun restrictions passed since the Supreme Court ruling last June.