Oregon citizens are rushing to buy firearms after the passage of Ballot Measure 114 in the midterm elections. The new law takes effect Dec. 8 and bans ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, along with creating new hurdles to gun ownership.
The measure, which requires a $65 gun permit on top of what is already required by both the state and federal governments, also requires Oregon law enforcement agencies to create and maintain a database of gun permit applicants.
Applicants for a gun permit under BM 114 must submit to fingerprinting and pass a hands-on gun safety course. The response has been eye-opening.
Oregon State Police report receiving 8,609 gun permit requests for the week ending Oct. 30. That figure more than doubled the following week to a whopping 18,065.
The agency reports that before Election Day they were averaging roughly 850 background checks per day. Since the measure passed, that number has soared to over 4,000 per day and is overwhelming their ability to process the requests.
Permit requests were so backed up that state police last week were only able to approve 63% of those pending.
Oregon gun sales skyrocket after voters approve Measure 114: "In 2018 and 2019, daily background checks averaged between 750 and 800. 'Pre-election' numbers this year were around 850. And after the midterms, the system has recorded about 4,000 every day." https://t.co/OElwl2dCSH pic.twitter.com/697uHFgpZQ
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) November 17, 2022
Along with the new restrictions on magazine capacity, the mandatory background check applies even for those who already possess a concealed carry permit.
BM 114 was hardly a statewide initiative. Of Oregon’s 36 counties, only six voted in support of the measure. This means the urban areas by a narrow margin dictated constitutional rights to the rest of the state.
The state sheriff’s association said local governments are expected to foot a $49 million annual bill to enforce the measure. Permit fees are expected to bring in under $20 million per year on an estimated 300,000 annual applications.
Portland gun shop owner Warren Lacasse said flatly that he “can’t believe people are so stupid that they would give away their 2nd Amendment rights.” His sales have doubled, and he reported that “people are responding like you cannot believe.”
Lawsuits are very likely to hold up BM 114’s implementation, and the gun shop owner said that “this thing ain’t over.”
Lacasse added simply, “if you don’t have a firearm, now is the time to buy one.” Apparently Oregon residents agree.