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The courtroom’s public gallery immediately erupted with laughter at Marshall’s pledge…


“The courtroom’s public gallery immediately erupted with laughter at Marshall’s pledge”


The Oregonian, which regularly gets everything wrong, got one thing right in their article about yesterday’s hearing on our efforts to stop Measure 114.

The courtroom’s gallery did erupt with laughter.

Towards the end of the hearing, the State’s lawyer, Brian Marshall, told the judge that Oregonians would be able to apply for a permit to purchase by December 8th, when this deranged measure is due to take effect.

This is so patently absurd that it’s hard to respond seriously. 

More on that in a moment. But first, the “outcome”  of yesterday’s hearing.

Judge Karin Immuergut explained that this is a “very complex” case and promised a ruling by next Monday “Tuesday at the latest”.

So at the moment, we still have no resolution. But we hope that her intention to take some time with the facts will lead to a positive conclusion.

Meanwhile an update.

One of the first things the judge decided was that we would not be allowed to call any of the witnesses that were experienced with firearms both technically and in terms of their use in self defense. This removed the opportunity to allow the judge to learn about the real life and practical elements of firearm’s ownership.

It also eliminated testimony from people in the business of selling firearms who could have elaborated on the chaos that is the current system. That left us with only far more esoteric legal discussions that did not fully paint a picture of the damage this measure is doing even now.

Furthermore, OFF’s lawsuit is now one of 5 similar cases.  

A suit by the Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition  was heard along with ours yesterday. While ours included an objection to the “permitting” system SAF/FPCs focused exclusively on the magazine ban.  And that element was the one that got the most attention at the trial.

Another suit has been filed by National Shooting Sports Federation. While their lawyer was at the hearing, their case was not part of yesterday’s proceedings and it’s unclear when they will get a chance to present  their very well crafted arguments.

Then, late yesterday, a fourth suit was filed on behalf of Sportsman’s Warehouse.  Finally a fifth lawsuit was filed in State Court by Gun Owners of America. Gun Owner’s had previously filed an amicus brief in support of OFF’s lawsuit.

How the introduction of these other suits this late in the game will effect the trajectory of this issue is not clear. We anticipate that at least some will be consolidated. Those details are being worked out.

While all have taken slightly different approaches, they all make the point that BM 114 is clearly and inarguably unconstitutional.

As noted, in spite of the dangers and importance of the proposed “permit-to-purchase,” the hearing focused largely on the magazine ban and, as you would expect, the state once again displayed migraine inducing ignorance.

They insisted that no one’s rights were being violated when they were forbidden from having a magazine that came, from the factory, with their firearm, because they were still allowed to have it in their home. This would be like telling someone who just bought a 100 acre plot that while they were forbidden from farming, logging, or living on it, they were still allowed to own it so their rights were not impacted.

Beyond that, they relied on fabricated statistics about the number of rounds fired in self defense situations claiming that the “average” was only 2.2, and therefore standard magazines were almost never used in self defense situations.

The absurdity of this is self evident. Putting aside the fact that this statistic is meaningless , (for example) the notion that because someone did not fire 11 or 12 rounds somehow means their magazine did not contain that many rounds is moronic.

Their further suggestion that standard capacity magazines are “dangerous  and unusual” begs several questions. What makes 11 rounds more dangerous and unusual than 10?  If the purported purpose is to stop mass shootings ( a ridiculous suggestion in the first place) what possible sense does it make to deny a good person the ability to respond to a criminal who can get all the standard magazines he wants on the black market or with a quick trip across state lines?

They also claim that magazines are not “arms” at all, only “components” of arms and are therefore not protected by the Second Amendment. But that makes as much sense as saying a trigger group or a rifle barrel is only a “component” of a firearm and therefore you have no protected right to own one.

Of course, they simultaneously claim that magazines are not “arms” at all while saying they are “dangerous and unusual arms”.

While the Oregon State Police have made the preposterous assertion that the permit system will be ready to go on December 8th, the people who have to actually administer it, the County Sheriffs, have said no such thing. In fact, the Sheriffs have said unequivocally that this is flat out false. While the State Police, under the direction of Kate Brown (no doubt with input from the new and even worse governor) are claiming they will have some kind of “application” ready on Dec 8th, there has not been a word about where people are supposed to take the non-existent and imaginary “classes” required before one can even apply.

Nothing was said about the fact that even now, before this garbage goes into effect, 40 thousand people are stuck in limbo, and perhaps an endless loop, trying to legally acquire a firearm. (Well nothing except that those people waiting in line are screwed come Dec 8th.) 

And while some gun stores are releasing guns without an approval after 3 days, as allowed by law, even that safeguard disappears at midnight Dec 7th.

Meanwhile the frauds who brought you this atrocity, “Lift Every Voice Oregon”, were in court in support of their efforts to make sure that countless businesses and their employees will be ruined and out of work just in time for Christmas. We expect them to be celebrating this in their “churches” for whatever holiday they actually have.

The landscape is changing rapidly. The introduction of these late lawsuits creates new challenges and new opportunities. But, as always, our first and most important goal has been to put this dangerous and mean spirited measure on ice until we can crush it completely.

We’ll share more as it becomes available. Thank you and thank you to the sheriffs who came from across the state to support our efforts yesterday.

Stay tuned.