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Judge to rule on Oregon’s voter-approved gun control law

by The Associated Press | September 19, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2015 file photo, Michael Johnson wears a firearm as he waits outside of Roseburg Municipal Airport for President Barack Obama's arrival in Roseburg, Ore. An Oregon judge will decide during a trial starting Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 whether a gun control law approved by voters last year is lawful under the state constitution. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon judge is set to decide whether a gun control law approved by voters in November violates the state's constitution in a trial that started Monday.

The law, one of the toughest in the nation, was among the first gun restrictions to be passed after a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year changed the guidance judges are expected to follow when considering Second Amendment cases.

Measure 114 has been tied up in federal and state court, casting confusion over its fate ever since voters narrowly passed it in November 2022.

The law requires people to undergo a criminal background check and complete a gun safety training course to obtain a permit to buy a gun. It also bans high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

Circuit Court Judge Robert S. Raschio is presiding over the trial in Harney County, in rural southeast Oregon. Raschio temporarily blocked the law from taking effect in December after gun owners filed a lawsuit arguing it infringed upon the right to bear arms under the Oregon Constitution.

In opening statements, an attorney representing the gun owners who filed the suit reiterated that claim Monday.

"This case is not about public health, public safety or public concern," said Tony Aiello, Jr. "This is about the individual right to self-defense and the right to bear arms."

The defense said said the law doesn't "unduly frustrate" individual rights and represents a "reasonable legislative response to public safety concerns" such as mass shootings.

"When they passed Measure 114, Oregon voters made a legislative judgment about the serious and immediate threat that large capacity magazines pose to public safety, and that judgment is entitled to this court's deference," said Anit Jindal, one of the lawyers representing Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Oregon State Police Superintendent Casey Codding.

Print Headline: Judge to rule on Oregon’s voter-approved gun control law


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