On May 31st , the Oregon Attorney General certified the ballot title for Initiative Petition 44. This comes after more than 400 comments were submitted on the proposed title. As previously reported, NRA submitted comments objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title on behalf of our Oregon members. IP 44 proponents will begin signature gathering on June 15th or following the completion of legal challenges brought to the Oregon Supreme Court.
To view the certified ballot title for IP 44, which seeks to restrict the self-defense rights of Oregon’s law-abiding citizens, please click here.
Initiative Petition 44 would require all firearms to be locked with a trigger-locking device or kept in a locked container, unless carried by the possessor of a firearm, or face a Class C violation per firearm. It would be a Class A violation to store a firearm in a non-compliant manner if the firearm possessor knew or should have known that a minor could gain access, with each firearm constituting a separate violation. Anyone who has their firearms lost or stolen would be strictly liable for any injury to persons or property committed using the firearm within five years if the firearms were not stored in compliance. Firearm owners would also be held liable for any injury occurring within five years that results from a firearm transfer to another individual if the firearm was not transferred in a locked container or with a locking device.
Gun safety and storage is a matter of personal responsibility and every person’s situation is different. It is unreasonable for the law to impose a one-size-fits-all solution. This poorly thought out initiative is without any consideration for personal circumstances. This intrusive initiative invades people’s homes and forces them to render their firearms useless in a self-defense situation by locking them up. It would also create strict liability for individuals that do not lock up their firearm if it is obtained and used to cause injury to a person or property.
This initiative will also require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours or face Class B violation charges, with each firearm constituting a separate offense. In addition, firearm owners who do not report their firearms lost or stolen will be held liable for any injury that occurs within 5 years involving those firearms. A firearm owner should not be held liable for the crimes committed by a person who has illegally obtained their firearm. Individuals should not be further victimized after experiencing a burglary or other loss.
Additionally, a person who transfers a firearm to a minor that the minor does not own must directly supervise the minor’s use of the firearm. This would virtually eliminate youth hunting in Oregon for minors that rely on using a family-owned or borrowed firearm. Current Oregon law allows minors age 14 and over to hunt alone with the completion of a Hunter Safety course. This initiative would eliminate that option by requiring direct supervision at all times while in the field for individuals using a family-owned or borrowed firearm. Furthermore, this initiative would have a substantial impact on youth shooting sports and training and education programs by requiring direct supervision by the individual who has transferred the firearm.
Proponents of Initiative Petition 44 have until July 6th to get 88,184 valid signatures to place this on the November ballot. Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated on the status of this Initiative, so please stay tuned to your email inbox and www.nraila.org for further updates on this issue.