Oregon group files gun ban initiative

An Oregon group has filed an initiative to ban so-called “assault weapons.” (Dave Workman)

UPDATED 3/22 — A Portland-based “interfaith religious group” filed an initiative that seeks to ban the sale or possession of so-called “assault weapons” in Oregon and require Beaver State gun owners to register their currently owned modern sporting rifles or face criminal prosecution.

But Initiative Petition 43 was filed only after a first draft, Initiative Petition 42 was filed earlier in the week, then withdrawn Thursday to be replaced by the new measure. I-43 contains language that alternately would require Oregon gun owners to surrender their semi-auto rifles or get them out of the state.

Even before the initiative was announced, the Oregon Firearms Federation released a statement that included this: “It is essential that you inform every gun owner, and every potential gun owner that this dangerous initiative is in the works. Make sure every person you know who believes in freedom is registered to vote and is paying attention. Voter turnout is essential. We cannot allow Multnomah County to, once again, rob us of our rights.”

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“Being told to register, get rid of your guns or face felony charges is not ‘gun safety’ or ‘gun reform,’ it’s blatant demagoguery in the guise of public safety.”—Alan Gottlieb, CCRKBA

On Wednesday, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, headquartered in neighboring Washington State, issued a statement.

“The language in this initiative absolutely puts the lie to any and all claims by the gun control crowd that ‘nobody wants to take your guns’,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve known the true intent of the anti-gun movement for decades, and we’ve been criticized as cranks and paranoids by condescending newspaper editorials and liberal pundits for being honest about it. The registration provision is deceptive, because history has demonstrated that registration will eventually allow the government to take those firearms or order their removal, like they did in New York City a few years ago.”

The five-page measure also includes a storage requirement, and there is language that would require new residents – people moving into Oregon after the measure becomes law – to surrender their “assault weapons” to police after the registration period has elapsed, transfer ownership to a licensed firearms dealer or render the gun inoperable.

The Statesman-Journal quoted Oregon state Rep. Bill Post (R-Keizer), who observed, “I’ve been told so many times by people in favor of gun control: ‘no one is coming to take your guns.’ This explicitly comes for your guns.”

CCRKBA’s Gottlieb was even more critical.

“Gun owners across the country need to wake up to the insidious nature of the anti-gun movement,” he said. “The gun control effort is no longer hiding its true intent, which is to ban guns, disarm law-abiding citizens and turn the Second Amendment into eraser dust.”

The measure needs 88,000 signatures to get a spot on the November ballot.

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