Supporters of Oregon’s gun safety measure hope for fall ballot

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Supporters of a proposed initiative in Oregon that would require people to obtain permits to purchase firearms say concerns about recent mass shootings have bolstered their efforts and they have enough signatures to place him on the November ballot.

The Reverend Mark Knutson, one of the initiative’s lead petitioners, delivered signatures Friday afternoon to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office in Salem, along with students and other volunteers. Election officials, who work under Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, will verify that signatures are from registered voters.

Proponents of the measure say they have seen renewed interest in the possible November ballot issue following recent mass shootings, and they hope the decision to put the gun issue before voters flare up in other states.

“Let’s go across the country, and let’s get out of grief, despair and bereavement,” Knutson said. “We just have to act. If people are scared, if neighbors are being shot, if our children are scared, if we don’t act, what do we do?

Supporters of the initiative had to provide at least 112,080 signatures from registered voters by Friday’s deadline to be on the ballot, Knutson said. Supporters say they delivered 161,545 signatures.

It would ban high-capacity magazines of more than 10 rounds – except for current owners, law enforcement and the military – and require a license to buy any weapon. The state police would create a firearms database.

To be eligible for a license, an applicant must complete an approved firearms safety course, pay a fee, provide personal information, submit to fingerprinting and photographing, and pass a background check criminals. The person must apply for the permit from the local police chief, county sheriff or their delegates.

Oregon appears to be the only US state with a gun safety initiative underway for the 2022 election, according to Sean Holihan, state legislative director for Giffords, an organization dedicated to saving lives from violence. army.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action denounced the initiative, saying on its website that “these anti-gun citizens are going after YOU, Oregon’s law-abiding gun owners.” , and to YOUR weapons. They don’t care about the Constitution, your right to own and bear arms, or your divine right to self-defense.

Voters in two neighboring predominantly Democratic states have already passed gun safety ballot measures.

In 2018, Washington state voters approved restrictions on buying and owning firearms, including raising the minimum purchase age to 21, adding background checks and increased waiting times. In 2016, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure allowing courts to issue extreme risk protection orders to remove an individual’s access to firearms.

In 2016, California voters passed a measure banning the possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring some people to pass a background check to purchase ammunition.

That same year, Maine voters narrowly rejected a proposal to require background checks before a gun sale.

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