Pistols on display at a gun store
Pistols on display at a gun store / Stephen Gutowski

Federal Judge Delays Oregon’s New Permit-to-Purchase Guns Requirement

Gun sales in Oregon will be allowed to continue as usual for at least another month.

U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut, a Trump appointee, offered the state additional time to set up a permitting system for gun sales required under Measure 114. Oregon asked for the temporary delay after concluding it couldn’t set up the system by Thursday’s deadline.

“[I]n light of the difficulty the State has conceded in terms of implementation of the permitting provisions at this stage, implementation of those permitting provisions is stayed for thirty days,” Judge Immergut wrote in her order.

The move delays a potential shutdown of all gun sales in the state after a ballot initiative passed last month requiring anyone seeking to buy a gun first obtain a permit. However, no such system exists in Oregon and state officials have been unsure how long it would take to implement beyond being sure it wouldn’t happen by the December 8th deadline set by the initiative.

Judge Immergut also denied a request by gun rights advocates for an emergency restraining order against Oregon’s new gun control law on Tuesday. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to “demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits” in their challenge to the magazine ban and permitting requirements.

“Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that they will suffer immediate and irreparable harm if this Court does not block Measure 114 from taking effect on December 8, 2022,” she wrote.

Measure 114 was passed by Oregon voters last month with 50.7 percent of the vote. The measure requires Oregonians to apply for a permit, pass a specialized state background check, pass the standard FBI background check, submit fingerprints, photo ID, proof of state-approved firearms training, and pay a $65 fee before being able to purchase guns from a dealer or through private sales. It also bans the sale and use of commonly-owned ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, with exceptions for use on private property or at shooting ranges.

The initiative drew immediate legal fire following its passage, as virtually every major national gun rights organization filed a lawsuit against it. While the groups argue that Measure 114’s permit-to-purchase requirement and magazine ban violate the Second Amendment, Judge Immergut’s early analysis using the Bruen test suggests she may think otherwise.

“Plaintiffs have not shown that the magazines restricted by Measure 114 are necessary to the use of firearms for lawful purposes such as self-defense,” she wrote. “Therefore, Plaintiffs have failed to show that magazines capable of accepting more than ten rounds of ammunition are covered by the plain text of the Second Amendment.”

“Measure 114’s permit-to-purchase scheme is a ‘shall-issue’ permit scheme based on objective standards and is therefore presumptively constitutional under the holding of Bruen,” she added.

The Oregon Firearms Federation, the state-based gun rights group that requested the TRO, did not respond to a request for comment. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D.) did not respond to a request for comment either.

The court will next hold additional hearings on the law to consider whether a preliminary injunction should be issued.

UPDATE 12-2-2022 1:37 PM EASTERN: This piece has been updated with more details on the ruling. 

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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