With Oregon’s Legislature out of session and the first step in our Federal lawsuit to stop Ballot Measure 114 behind us, things may seem a bit “quiet” on the gun rights front.
But like so much in life, things are boiling beneath the surface.
As has been heavily, if badly, reported, Judge Karin Immergut ruled that Measure 114 is, in fact, constitutional and the state of Oregon can ban virtually all firearms magazines and prosecute anyone who bought or sold one since December of last year.
During the trial, Immergut seemed both surprised and confused to learn that the ban was not limited to standard capacity magazines, but in fact any magazine with a removable floor plate.
She nonetheless concluded that the act of removing a floor plate and replacing it with an extension was sufficiently complicated that it did not meet the definition of “readily convertible.”
Given the Biden and ATF’s contention that a block of metal or polymer was so easily convertible into a working firearm that it was in fact a working firearm, Immergut’s conclusion borders on the delusional.
But Immergut did not stop there. She also concluded that Measure 114’s “permit to purchase” scheme was constitutional. In her decision she compared it to laws about permits to carry firearms concealed and concluded that the requirements under 114 were similar and therefor constitutional.
What made this conclusion almost surreal was the fact that Immergut was informed by witnesses at the trial that the permit scheme was impossible to comply with. This was not in dispute.
Sheriffs testified that they had neither the manpower nor the facilities to provide the required “live fire” training. No one from any police agency testified that they could. In fact, many police agencies, especially in rural areas, have no facilities for their own personnel to train. Some sheriffs have so little manpower that they are months behind in issuing concealed handgun licenses that require nothing more than a certificate from an approved class to issue. Those classes do not require live fire.
The measure’s requirements that students be taught about state and federal law and suicide prevention also dramatically limit who is qualified to teach the classes, which can only be taught by police.
But beyond all those obstacles, Immergut was reminded that the measure requires FBI fingerprint checks. It’s not an option. It’s the law. Period, full stop. However, as you know, the FBI has flat out said they will not do it.
Sheriff Brad Lohrey made this point in the trial. It was not confusing, it was not ambiguous. It was something even a far left Judge from Brooklyn could understand.
As attorney Matt Rowen pointed out, the government cannot require you to jump through hoops and then refuse to provide any hoops.
But in spite of this, Immergut decided that, in fact, the Founders of our country, who created the most well crafted constitution in the history of the world, would have approved of a restriction on a basic human right that was impossible to comply with.
To make matters even more obviously partisan, Immergut declared that the whole permit issue was not really one she needed to deal with in any depth because no one had been denied a permit and therefore it was not “ripe” for her court.
The absurdity of this “reasoning” is obvious. Should Measure 114 go into effect, it will become impossible to lawfully purchase a firearm in this state. Countless businesses will be forced to close down and no one will have the means to acquire the very tools that are undeniably protected by the Second Amendment.
The right to “keep and bear” something by its very nature requires the ability to acquire that thing. Once that ability is outlawed, the right no longer exists. The only people who refuse to understand this are state lawyers and Federal Judges.
For an excellent and in-depth dissection of what was so obviously wrong with Immergut’s decision, see this article by Stephen Halbrook.
While Oregonians have been given some breathing room as a result of the injunction from a state court in Harney County, that battle is confined to Measure 114’s conflicts with the Oregon Constitution. If, as we expect, the judge rules in favor of gun rights after that trial in September, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum will use your tax dollars to appeal it immediately to the Oregon Appeals Court.
A review of the bio’s of the Oregon Appeals Court will not give you much reason to expect a favorable outcome there. As you know, one of the Judges, Jim Egan, has declared gun owners to be racist, white supremacist, anti-semites.
Of course, the show trial in Immergut’s court was only the first stop in this fight. The next step will be the coming appeals.
It is both immoral and offensive that the people of this state (and country) are forced to pay enormous legal fees to protect rights that the US Supreme Court has already declared to be unconditionally protected under our Constitution. It is even more offensive when we are also forced to pay for the endless supply of state lawyers who are working overtime to eradicate those rights at the whim of a far left, partisan, Attorney General. But those are the cards we have been dealt. The outcome of these appeals will impact the entire country as other courts will, no doubt, use Immergut’s clearly wrong decision as they too, attempt to eliminate the Second Amendment.
We are grateful for the generous support we have received by patriots across the state and country but the fight is far from over.
The other looming battle will be the fight over the indisputably unconstitutional HB 2005.
2005 bans privately made firearms in Oregon. It also bans things that might one day become parts of firearms. While heavily modified from its original version, 2005 still contains a confusing collection of definitions and terms that will no doubt be used to entrap as many Oregon gun owners as possible, and that was always the point.
But what is really important are the recent decisions by courts that will profoundly affect this law’s implementation.
The bill uses a recent Federal definition to determine what a “frame or receiver” is:
“Frame” has the meaning given that term in 27 C.F.R. 478.12.
“Receiver” has the meaning given that term in 27 C.F.R. 478.12.
But a Federal Court just threw out those definitions ruling that the ATF exceeded its authority to just invent new meanings for things without congressional input. We have seen the ATF do this before, most recently with Trump’s ban on “bump stocks” and Biden’s ban on pistol braces.
A politician wants to score points and the ATF lapdogs redefine words so they can arrest people for doing things ATF specifically said were legal.
But not this time. Not only did the court in Texas tell the ATF they went too far, they also denied the ATF’s attempt to stay the court’s ruling.
This makes 2005’s future murky at best. After using the federal definition for “firearm,” 2005 goes on to create its own definition for “unfinished frame or receiver.”
(18)(a) “Unfinished frame or receiver” means a forging, casting, printing, extrusion, machined body or similar item that: (A) Is designed to or may readily be completed, assembled or otherwise converted to function as a frame or receiver; or (B) Is marketed or sold to the public to be completed, assembled or otherwise converted to function as a frame or receiver
But given that the definition for “frame” or “receiver” has to be considered when deciding what an “unfinished” frame or receiver is, and given that the state did not define what they mean by “ may readily be completed, assembled or otherwise converted to function as a frame or receiver;” the actual meaning of 2005 becomes anyone’s guess. Which means if you get prosecuted under the law, the courts are going to decide. And the courts in Oregon are no place for gun owners.
Courts have already ruled that it is unconstitutional to require serial numbers on firearms. The legislature knew this when they passed HB 2005.
As noted, the courts have also thrown out the ATF’s new definitions of firearms and frames and receivers. So HB 2005 has got to go.
We want to remind you that the only reason 2005 is law is because the Oregon Republicans allowed it become law. Enough Republicans in the Senate showed up to allow it to pass and then the House Republicans, who risked NOTHING by walking out, showed up in sufficient numbers to allow this atrocious bill to pass. It was, in the end, the House Republicans who are responsible for this bill.
So let us not forget that the House Republicans, under the “leadership” of Vikki Iverson promised to sue to block HB 2005 in court.
With all we have asked from you to support the very expensive battle against Measure 114, and all it will cost going forward, we cannot expect you to shoulder the burden of paying to challenge HB 2005. The House Republicans are the reason the bill passed. The House Republicans promised to challenge it in court. The recent judicial decisions have given Iverson and the House Republicans a clear path forward.
Don’t let them dump this one on you.
Contact Iverson and tell her you expect her to keep her promise.
Representative Vikki Breese Iverson
Republican – District 59 – Prineville
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1459
Support the fight.