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Oregon court refuses to overturn order blocking gun measure


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has again refused to overturn a lower court ruling blocking a voter-approved gun measure from taking effect.

In a ruling Thursday, the high court concluded it would be inappropriate to get involved while the matter is still being addressed in a trial court, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. The measure remains blocked pending a hearing on its constitutionality.

Voters in November narrowly approved the measure, which requires a permit to buy a gun and a background check to be completed before a gun can be sold or transferred. It also restricts the sale, manufacture and use of magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

There have been legal challenges in federal and state courts.

Four federal cases have been consolidated. The judge in that matter has ruled that the law could take effect while she hears further arguments but allowed the state to postpone implementing the permit requirement until the systems needed to administer it are in place. Additional testimony is expected later this month.

The case before the state Supreme Court arose from litigation in Harney County. Because the lawsuit challenged the measure under the Oregon Constitution, it held precedence in the state, legal experts have said.

In December, Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio temporarily blocked the measure from taking effect. The Oregon Department of Justice asked the state Supreme Court to overturn that order, but the justices declined to consider the appeal. Raschio later extended his order.

The state Supreme Court said its decision Thursday does not preclude a future challenge.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said her office intends to “continue to defend the law zealously in the Harney County court. My office takes the position the law passed by Oregonians last November is totally proper and legal under the U.S. and Oregon constitutions.”

Article Topic Follows: AP - Oregon-Northwest

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