County judge blocks Oregon gun restrictions from taking effect
Hours after a federal judge denied a proposal to block Oregon's new gun control regulations from taking effect, an Oregon county circuit court judge granted a temporary restraining order on all of Measure 114.
Oregon voters OK'd the measure int the November general election.
Federal Judge Karen Immergut made her initial decision not to halt the measure on Tuesday morning after hearing oral arguments Friday and receiving a letter Sunday night from Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
Within hours of Immergut's declaration, Harney County Circuit Judge Robert Raschio ruled that the defendants in a case, Gov. Kate Brown, Rosenblum, and Superintendent of the Oregon State Police Terri Davie, cannot enforce Measure 114 beginning Thursday, Dec. 8.
Raschio said the measure will be restrained temporarily pending the hearing on the motion for the preliminary injunction. He said without the restraining order, the plaintiffs in the case will be deprived of their right to bear arms by being unable to legally purchase a firearm or use a magazine that's capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Raschio made his decision based on a lawsuit filed by Gun Owners of America and the Gun Owners Foundation.
He ordered the defendants to show cause on Tuesday, Dec. 13. This means they'll have an opportunity to make a case to end the temporary restraining order and prevent a preliminary injunction. If the state officials can't make the case, the judge could grant an injunction that would remain in place until the lawsuit is settled.
So far, four lawsuits have been filed against the measure.
Plaintiffs had filed a temporary restraining order request on Nov. 23 and asked the court to block all of Measure 114, including the large-capacity magazine restrictions and the permit requirements the law implemented.
The plaintiffs include the Oregon Firearms Federation, Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey, Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen, Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe and individuals Harold Richard Haden Jr. and Adam Johnson.
In order for the temporary restraining order to receive the court's approval, the plaintiffs needed to demonstrate that they would suffer "immediate and irreparable harm" if the court did not block Measure 114 from taking effect on Dec. 8.
In Immergut's order Tuesday morning, she stated that the "Plaintiffs have not produced sufficient evidence at this stage to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their challenge to Measure 114's restrictions on large-capacity magazines."
She also said the plaintiffs have not shown that large-capacity magazines are weapons "'in common use'… for lawful purposes like self defense" such that they fall within the plain text of the Second Amendment.
Immergut denied the request for an injunction on Measure 114's restrictions on large-capacity magazines and denied the plaintiff's facial challenge to Measure 114's permitting provision. A "facial challenge" is an argument that a law is unconstitutional as it is written.
However, in response to the concerns Attorney General Rosenblum raised about the implementation of the permitting process required by Measure 114, the judge decided to allow an additional 30 days to develop the permitting process.
Rosenblum made a request to postpone the implementation of the permitting process after local law enforcement offices told her they would not be able to process permit applications as soon as Dec. 8, when Measure 114 is scheduled to take effect.
All this comes after Rosenblum sent a letter to Immergut Sunday night that said parts of Measure 114 should take effect as scheduled, including the process for applying for permits, the restrictions on large capacity magazines, and the requirement that background checks must be completed before firearms can be transferred.
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