A gun rights group, sheriff and gun store owner filed an emergency motion in federal court late Wednesday seeking to stop enforcement of one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.
The gun control measure narrowly approved by Oregon voters is set go into effect on Dec. 8. U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut on Thursday scheduled a hearing on the motion for Dec. 2. The state has until next Wednesday to file a response to the emergency motion for preliminary injunction.
The Oregon Firearms Foundation, Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey and Adam Johnson, owner of Coat of Arms Firearms, filed a federal lawsuit against the Oregon governor and attorney general on Nov. 18 saying Measure 114 is unconstitutional.
The measure requires residents to obtain a permit to purchase a gun, bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds except in some circumstances and creates a statewide firearms database.
"Banning magazines over 10 rounds is no more likely to reduce criminal abuse of guns then banning high horsepower engines is likely to reduce criminal abuse of automobiles," the lawsuit said. "To the contrary, the only thing the ban contained in 114 ensures is that a criminal unlawfully carrying a firearm with a magazine over 10 rounds will have a potentially devastating advantage over his law-abiding victim."
Measure 114 backers argued that banning large-capacity magazines will save lives because it would force shooters to pause to reload, which would provide an opening for others to stop the shooting. Proponents also say it would reduce suicides — which account for 82% of gun deaths in the state — mass shootings and other gun violence.
The preliminary injunction seeks to stop the state from enforcing the new law while the lawsuit is considered by the court.