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Oregon DOJ seeks 2-month delay in Measure 114 permit provisions; police chiefs, Bend PD issue statements

KTVZ file

(Update: Adding statements from Oregon Assn. of Chiefs of Police, Bend Police Dept.)

But state says other parts should be allowed to take effect

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) --The Oregon Department of Justice informed U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut on Sunday that the state will seek a two-month delay in some of the provisions in Oregon Ballot Measure 114 that require a permit to purchase a firearm.

Here's the rest of Sunday night's announcement from Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the letter the Department sent to the judge, who heard arguments Friday and expects to rule early this week on a request by those who filed a recent lawsuit for an injunction to block the measure from taking effect on Thursday:

"Measure 114 passed on a majority vote of the people of Oregon in November’s general election. The decision to make this request was made only after local law enforcement clarified that they would not be able to process permit applications as soon December 8, when Measure 114 takes effect.

"DOJ’s letter explained that other parts of the measure should take effect as scheduled, including the process for applying for permits, the restrictions on large capacity magazines, and the requirement that background checks must be completed – and not just requested – before firearms can be transferred (this fixes the ‘Charleston Loophole,’ a gap in the federal system that allows a gun sale to proceed after 3 days, even if the background check has not been completed.)

“Postponing the permit requirement by approximately two months should give Oregon law enforcement time to have a fully functional permitting system in place. If Judge Immergut agrees to the postponement, then starting in February anyone who purchases a gun in Oregon will be required to have a permit,” said Attorney General Rosenblum.

"In their letter to Judge Immergut, lawyers for the DOJ noted that leaders of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police had submitted sworn statements to the court stating that, on December 8, no one in the state will be able to complete the in-person firearm safety training required by Measure 114. Their statements also discussed other practical difficulties that sheriffs and police, who are responsible for handling permit applications under Measure 114, expect to face."


News release issued Monday by the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police

Chiefs Association, Partners, Working to Create BM 114 Permit Process; Challenges Viability of Implementation Through Court Declaration
Oregon Association Chiefs of Police - 12/05/22 9:19 AM

PRESS RELEASE:

In the time since Oregon voters passed BM 114, the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police (OACP) has received numerous inquiries about how and when the measure will be implemented. We, and our 125 member agencies, are committed to following the rule of law and are doing everything we can to meet the requirements set forth in this measure. It is a challenge. BM 114 is scheduled to take effect on December 8th, yet the infrastructure, processes and resources necessary to make that happen do not exist.

We know legal challenges to BM 114 are underway and we affirm that the authority and responsibility for determining whether a law is constitutional is the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts. In the meantime, law enforcement agencies are responsible for fully implementing the measure unless and until a court issues a stay (suspending the measure while they deliberate) or declares part, or all, of the measure unconstitutional. 

After the passage of BM 114, OACP began working quickly and collaboratively with Oregon State Police and the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association to implement a cohesive permit system as soon as possible. Here is what we know so far:

  • BM 114 makes each police agency in Oregon a “permit agent” for their respective jurisdictions. Currently, OACP is working with OSP and OSSA to create a permit-to-purchase system that meets BM 114’s requirements. But there is currently no system in place, and therefore no permits to purchase can be issued.
  • There will be a financial burden to law enforcement agencies across the state to meet BM 114’s requirements. The revenue generated by the permits (limited to $65 for each permit) will not come close to fully funding the associated expenditures. Most law enforcement agencies don’t have the personnel or money necessary to fund this required program. This will likely result in other public safety resources being reduced to cover the costs of implementing a new permit program.
  • BM 114 also requires permit-to-purchase applicants to provide proof of very specific training requirements. Some of these requirements can be completed online, but one requires a demonstration to be completed in-person before an instructor who is certified by a law enforcement agency. We are not aware of any current training program that meets the requirements of Measure 114.  OACP believes that every person wishing to obtain a permit, including our law enforcement officers, will first have to complete training that does not yet exist.

For these reasons and many others, OACP believes there is no way an operational permit system will be in place by December 8th or in the near future. OACP supports the motion made in federal court for a preliminary enjoin of BM 114, and we have submitted a declaration to the court outlining the obstacles and challenges as we see them with implementing this measure in such a short period of time.

In response to declarations from OACP and our partners at the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, we understand that the state is agreeing to concede to a stay on the M114 permit to purchase process. We ask for patience from those across Oregon as we get further direction from the court and the details of the stay. In the meantime, we will continue to work collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies to honor Oregon voters by working toward effective implementation.


Bend Police Department statement on Ballot Measure 114

Since Ballot Measure 114 was approved by Oregon voters on Nov. 8, Bend Police and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state have received numerous questions regarding our implementation of the new law.

The measure is scheduled to take effect on Thursday, Dec. 8, although on Sunday the Oregon Attorney General recommended a delay to the permitting process until February. We do not know whether that delay will be approved.

Bend Police command staff members have been working closely with the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and other agencies to understand the repercussions and challenges of implementing the law. Lawsuits have already been – and are likely to continue to be – filed challenging the constitutionality of Measure 114. Unless and until a court issues a stay on the measure or determines parts or all of it are unconstitutional, our Department is required to fully implement its requirements. 

Oregon State Police, the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police are working to implement a permit system that would meet the measure’s requirements.

Here is some information we know about Measure 114 as it currently stands. 

The measure prevents anyone from purchasing a firearm without a permit. To obtain a permit, a person must pay a fee and meet requirements, including completing a firearms training course. After obtaining the permit-to-purchase through a local law enforcement agency, a person will still be required to go through an OSP criminal background check at the time of the purchase. OSP is required to create and maintain a database of all firearms sales.

Every local police department and sheriff’s office must set up a system to issue these permits. The fee allowed for these permits, a maximum of $65, is not expected to create the revenue necessary to fund our agency’s required permitting process, or the personnel required to operate the permitting process. 

OACP expects that on the date the measure goes into effect, gun sales by dealers, at gun shows and most private transfers in Oregon will immediately stop. Firearms purchases that are not complete prior to the permitting process going into effect will likely not be completed until the buyer obtains a permit-to-purchase – this is because OSP will stop processing the required background checks if there is no permit. 

The measure also makes manufacturing, selling, possessing, transferring or using a large-capacity magazine (which holds more than 10 rounds) a Class A misdemeanor, unless it was possessed prior to Dec. 8. 

There are some limited exceptions to this rule, including that those charged with possessing a large-capacity magazine can raise an affirmative defense if they can prove they owned it before the measure took effect and that it was used in certain locations – their own property, a licensed gun dealer’s premises, legally at a shooting range, during a firearms competition or exhibition or recreational activities such as hunting, or in transport to one of these locations while locked separately from the gun.

An Oregon concealed handgun license does not exempt a person from the ban on large-capacity magazines or from the requirement to obtain a permit for firearms purchase. 

Bend Police appreciate your patience as we work through these issues to prepare for the implementation of Measure 114. We will not have a permitting process in effect on Dec. 8, but will continue working with agencies around the state to determine the best process for moving forward. 

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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