On June 14th, the National Rifle Association along with the Oregon Hunters Association filed a legal challenge with the Oregon Supreme Court to contest the ballot title for Initiative Petition 44, which would force law-abiding gun owners to render their firearms useless in a self-defense situation and would significantly restrict the state’s youth hunting program. The Oregon Attorney General certified this misleading and inadequate ballot title on May 31st after more than 400 comments were submitted on the proposed title.
The initiative must receive 88,184 valid signatures by July 6th in order to appear on the November ballot; however, they cannot begin signature gathering until the legal challenge is resolved.
- 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.
- This initiative would 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 would 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 would have to 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.
Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on this issue and others affecting your Second Amendment rights in Oregon.