PORTLAND, Ore. — Civil rights leaders and supporters of Measure 114 took their voices to Dawson Park Thursday morning as Election Day is less than a week away.
A recent poll put out by Nelson Research — a public opinion research firm based in Salem — asked 577 likely Oregon voters their thoughts on Measure 114.
About 46.1% of them said they support the measure with 49.4% opposing it. Meanwhile 4.5% of people were still undecided — with a margin of error of 4.1%.
Antoinette Edwards, the retired director of Portland's Office of Youth Violence Intervention, tells KGW she has been fighting for a measure like this her entire life.
“I have watched too many young people lose their lives and cross the yellow tape lines,” said Edwards. “In fact, I always bring young people with me every time I speak to be reminded of why we must do something different. We have to.”
To purchase a gun in Oregon, Measure 114 would require a permit issued by police, require a photo I.D., fingerprints, firearm training, a background check, and a fee. It also would ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Mollay Ramos strongly supports the measure as she lost her brother Deshawn Mayes last year to gun violence in downtown Portland.
“I was just 19 and I was there the whole time holding him, the whole time while he was bleeding out the whole time when no one came for help,” said Ramos. “I lived the reality."
Oregon State Sheriffs' Association along with various hunting and shooting groups are opposing the measure, saying it will not prevent violent crime or mass shootings because criminals won't comply with it, only law-abiding gun owners would be restricted.
“We recognize that we must address firearm violence,” said Shane Nelson, president of Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association. “But measure 114 is just not the answer."
Measure 114 supporters say that isn’t the case.
"Nowhere in 114 is anyone said that we're coming after your Second Amendment right,” said Reverend Dr. Matt Hennessee of the Interfaith Peace and Action Collaborative. “It has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with people being responsible about the guns that they have, and not using them against each other."