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Oregon voters to consider gun control measure

Ballot Measure 114 would ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and require criminal background checks, among other steps aimed at preventing gun violence.

PORTLAND, Oregon — Oregonians will vote in November on a measure that would add additional requirements for someone trying to buy and own a firearm.

If Measure 114 passes, it would ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Before people even try to buy a gun, they would need to acquire a “permit to purchase" issued by law enforcement. Applicants would also need to show photo identification, provide fingerprints, take gun safety training and pass a criminal background check regardless of how long it would take to complete. 

Many supporters feel that last point would play a critical role in closing a loophole in Oregon's background check system.

“Right now, you can get it after three days even if you didn't pass the background check. That's no way to run a background check system,” said Elizabeth McKanna with the Yes on 114 campaign. “It basically will try to reduce gun violence [and] save live. It's critical that we pass this in Oregon.”

The measure would also require state police to create a firearms database.

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Lift Every Voice Oregon is behind the measure, which collected 161,000 signatures to get it on the ballot. 

Many who oppose Measure 114 believe the law would mostly complicate access to guns for those who want to use them legally.

“The people who are behind this have spent decades trying to prevent honest citizens from having the means to protect themselves,” said Kevin Starrett, director of the Oregon Firearms Federation. “This will have no effect whatsoever on mass shootings. There's not a single thing in it that would make any difference in those kind of events. Those kind of events happen because we simply, as a state, do not address mental illness.”

Despite opposition, those who support Measure 114 hope voters will see things differently.

“Everyone knows that there's a problem with gun violence,” said McKanna. “There's too many guns out there. We need to be pushing back, be slowing down.” 

Oregon State Police tells KGW if Measure 114 passes, it would establish a new program called the Firearms Permit to Purchase (FPTP) program, hire additional staff to perform the duties, and establish or complete all of the other requirements of OSP that are outlined in the initiative. The permit to purchase packet would be received from the permit agent. A permit to purchase background check would include a firearms transaction background to be conducted and the results of the two background checks would be provided back to the permit agent.

Earlier this year, Washington passed a similar law banning the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Mail-in ballots for Oregon's November election go out Oct. 19.

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