It turns out that bullets are an essential part of a gun, and limiting the number of rounds in a gun violates the Oregon constitution. A county judge in Oregon made that decision on Tuesday overturning Measure 114, a citizen-passed measure that outlawed what gun grabbers call “high capacity magazines” and required that Oregon serfs get a permit to be allowed to purchase a gun.
I wrote in PJ Media shortly after its passage in November 2022 that “The passage of Measure 114 was a giant middle finger to real civil rights and to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which reaffirmed that Americans have the right to bear arms in public and to possess arms that are ‘typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.’”
Judge Robert Raschio returned the insult with a considered legal opinion that tossed the entire measure into the dustbin, calling it unconstitutional and charging that it “does not enhance public safety to a degree necessary to burden the right to bear arms.” He said the law undermines citizens’ right to self-defense and conflicts with the state’s concealed carry permitting process. He’s given the state of Oregon until December 8 to appeal or his decision stands.
The issue is expected to go to the Oregon Appeals Court, where the Oregon Firearms Federation says one of the judges on that august body, “Judge Jim Egan … has stated, in an unhinged rant, that gun owners are racist anti-semites … so there is still a long and expensive fight ahead.” The Gun Owners of America took point on this case for Oregon gun owners. Its local counsel, Anthony Aiello, was the sole counsel on behalf of gun owners and the constitution against a phalanx of approximately 25 state lawyers and experts paid for by taxpayers.
The 44-page decision by Judge Robert Raschio ruled the entire measure unconstitutional under Oregon law, finding the magazine limits, permit requirement to buy a gun, and its built-in 30-day delay an undue burden on Oregon gun owners’ state constitutional rights.
Raschio utterly annihilated testimony by the state’s top expert, an epidemiologist from Tufts University who testified about what he thought was a connection between guns that hold more than ten rounds and mass shootings. The judge determined that Dr. Michael Seigel tailored his testimony to please state gun-grabbers and based it on “not scientifically useful conclusions.”
“His testimony was based upon four academic studies of 179 events he considered mass shootings without any consideration of the many variables that could impact those conclusions,” the judge said.
Raschio continued, “… there was not even an agreed-upon definition in those four studies for a definition of a mass shooting. If the science cannot agree on a definition, how can a court derive any conclusions from the data.”
He said Seigel’s testimony was “not credible” and tossed it from his consideration. He claimed Seigel used a “statistical trick” that was “designed to enflame rather than educate.”
“The doctor, in his initial testimony,” the judge said, “was using statistics to further the agenda of the defendants [the state of Oregon], hyper-charging the impact of firearms in Oregon.”
The judge also highlighted testimony from sheriffs from rural Oregon counties, one of whom said he relied on an armed populace because, when seconds count, rural deputies are 90 minutes away. The law enforcers also said that if Measure 114 was allowed to stand, they couldn’t legally possess their work guns at home, where they usually are when called out to handle an issue because the magazines hold more than ten rounds of ammo.
Oregon State Patrol, which was on the wrong end of this lawsuit, testified that “Oregon State Police Troopers are issued Smith and Wesson 9MM firearms with a magazine capacity of 17 + 1. Additionally, OSP issues two additional 17-round magazines and duty weapons consisting of shotguns and Smith and Wesson AR 15 rifles with multiple 20- and 30-round magazines,” all of which would be outlawed by Measure 114.
“The court finds police officers would not be able to possess their duty weapons when at home because they would not be acting within the scope of their official duties,” the judge wrote.
The Measure 114 scheme also relied upon FBI background checks for the permit to purchase, which Raschio called a “fatal” flaw because the “Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) refuses to conduct criminal background checks. The court finds these agreed-to facts are fatal to the constitutionality of the permit-to-purchase scheme.”
The FBI attempted to mollify the court and give a “grace period” in which the state could have access to its database and run the background checks, but Raschio said that was an obvious temporary ploy to persuade him and affect the court of public opinion.
Raschio didn’t buy it. “The defendants invite the court to assume that the permits will be issued anyhow. The defendants provide no evidence on why that [sic] the assumption would be true … The court finds the fact that background checks cannot be completed is fatal to the permit-to-purchase provisions.”
Ultimately, for those of us who believe in the Second Amendment, the best rationale came from Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen, who testified that he relies on citizens to help back him up. “I depend on an armed citizenry,” he said.
Source: Victoria Taft, pjmedia.com/victoria-taft/2023/11/22/oregon-judge-rules-that-bullets-are-essential-to-guns-n4924131