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HomenewsOregon Judge Extends Prohibition on Background Checks Under New Gun Laws

Oregon Judge Extends Prohibition on Background Checks Under New Gun Laws

Portland (AP) On Tuesday, an Oregon judge refused to release his order freezing part of a new voter-approved gun safety law requiring a criminal background check before selling or transferring a gun.

Harney County Judge Robert S. Raschio earlier halted all other parts of the stringent new law, including a permit-to-purchase requirement and a ban on high-capacity magazines, hurting gun control activists.

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Oregon presented oral arguments on Dec. 23 on a move to enable the law’s background check component to take effect while the courts decided Measure 114’s constitutionality. Oregon’s new law would prohibit gun dealers from selling guns without a background check if it takes more than three business days.

The “Charleston loophole” permitted a Charleston, South Carolina, man to obtain a gun in 2015 and massacre nine Black churchgoers.
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Raschio halted all Oregon gun restriction measures last month. He ordered a preliminary injunction against its prohibitions on large-capacity magazine sales, manufacture, and use and a temporary restraining order on gun permit requirements. The state will back a permit program in March.

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Raschio stated on Tuesday that he would explore divorcing the background check component from the remainder of the bill only if the permit-to-purchase portion was declared unlawful. He emphasized that he has not decided whether any Measure 114 clauses are constitutional.

Gun Owners of America Inc., the Gun Owners Foundation, and many gun owners sued in Harney County to halt the statute while its constitutionality is decided. The state lawsuit alleges violations of the Oregon Constitution.

The complaint was filed in Burns, a rural town southeast of Portland.

New weapons buyers need a permit, criminal background check, fingerprinting, and hands-on instruction under Measure 114. It also prohibits the sale, transfer, or import of gun magazines over 10 rounds unless they are possessed by law enforcement, or the military, or were acquired when the law was passed.

After the policy takes effect, high-capacity magazines can only be used at a firing range, in shooting competitions, or for hunting.

At least four lawsuits—mostly in federal court—claim the measure violates Americans’ fundamental right to possess arms. Gun rights advocates noted only the Harney County complaint is in state court.
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Proponents of the comprehensive gun-control bill that passed in the Nov. 8 midterms won an initial victory on Dec. 6 when a Portland federal court heard a different constitutional challenge to the law.

U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut upheld the restriction on new high-capacity magazines. She delayed the law’s permit-to-purchase mandate for 30 days but did not overturn it, as gun rights activists had hoped.

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Raschio’s same-day judgment left the law in limbo: According to legal experts, that lawsuit preempted Measure 114 under the Oregon Constitution.

Gun rights and gun control supporters are watching the law’s fate. It would be one of the first to take effect after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York statute limiting gun ownership outside the home in June.

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