In Short

Gun safety measure will appear on Oregon ballots in November

By: - July 19, 2022 3:47 pm

Oregonians will get the chance to vote on requiring licenses for gun sales in November. (Getty Images)

Oregonians will have the chance to decide in November whether the state should ban large ammunition magazines and require licenses for all gun owners, the Secretary of State’s Office confirmed.

Backers of Initiative Petition 17 submitted more than 160,000 signatures from Oregon voters who supported the proposed law earlier this month. State election officials on Monday confirmed that the proposal will appear on ballots in November. 

The news follows a June survey from the nonpartisan Oregon Values and Beliefs Center that found that almost 60% of Oregonians would favor stronger federal gun regulations and 56% supported stronger state gun laws. 

Backers of the initiative told the Capital Chronicle earlier this month that they saw a surge in support after mass shootings at a New York grocery store and a Texas elementary school in May. 

If the measure passes, everyone who buys a gun would have to complete a background check, no matter how long it takes. State and federal gun laws require criminal background checks, but a loophole in federal law allows gun dealers to sell firearms without a completed background check if it takes longer than three days to complete.

It would also require anyone trying to buy a gun to pass a firearm safety training course and obtain a permit. Current gun owners would have to obtain permits if they tried to buy guns after the law took effect. 

And it would prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines that contain more than 10 rounds. People who already own those magazines could use them on their property, while hunting or at shooting ranges, and that restriction wouldn’t apply to police or military. 

The gun measure will join three proposed constitutional amendments. One, pushed by voters, aims to stop Republican legislators from blocking legislative action by making absentee lawmakers ineligible for re-election if they have 10 or more unexcused absences. 

Legislators referred the other two, which would declare health care a right under the state Constitution and remove language allowing slavery as punishment for a crime. Legislative committees meeting later this summer will draft statements for voters explaining all four measures.

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Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.