Initiative Petition 43 has not yet been passed by the voters in Oregon, but the National Rifle Association is joining forces with the Oregon Hunters Association to fight the ban on semi-automatic rifles. The petition, the brainchild of Lift Every Voice Oregon, was filed in March and calls for a ban on all manner of “assault weapons,” including semi-auto rifles, pistols with detachable magazines, semi-auto firearms that come with a magazine exceeding ten rounds, semi-auto rifles shorter than 30 inches, semi-auto shotguns, and any conversion kits that turn a standard gun into a semi-automatic weapon.
The ban, if it finds its way onto the ballot and through the voting process, would ban possession of these guns as well as the manufacture, sale, transfer, or import of any guns named in the law.
“Banning the most popular style of semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines is a violation of the Second Amendment,” said the NRA’s Chris Cox. “Misleading voters into believing that these type of bans will have any effect on violent criminals is reckless and dangerous. Proposals like these give criminals the upper hand against law-abiding gun owners.”
Lift Every Voice is determined to gather enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot in November, but the legal challenge will bring that initiative to a halt until it is resolved by a court. The Oregon Supreme Court does not have time to consider the challenge until June 22, bad news for backers of the amendment, who will then have only two weeks to gather the required 88,000 signatures. And, of course, that’s only if they get the green light to go ahead.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Oregon Hunters Association said this was nothing less than a matter of freedom.
“Measure 43 is the most serious assault we’ve ever had on our right to hunt or defend ourselves with the firearm of choice,” said OHA’s Paul Donheffner. “This measure would prohibit the use of most semi-automatic guns on all public lands in Oregon. This is a major impact on hunting, target shooting or carrying a gun for self-defense while being on public lands.”
The measure, unfortunately, would not just affect the residents of Oregon. Once something like this goes unchallenged and undefeated, it spreads like a virus to other states. Anti-gun forces like Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety have made no secret of the fact that this is their exact strategy; to do an end-around Washington by passing local legislation here, there, and everywhere until there comes a tipping point. That’s why it’s so important for the NRA to get in there and fight these initiatives before they get off the ground. You have to nip these things in the bud.