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Ballot Measure 114 Ruling Highlights Wisdom of 1857 Oregonians

Last month’s ruling on Ballot Measure 114 was a wonderful reminder of the importance of having written Constitutions (state and federal) that are understood and applied.

This historic ruling gets right to the point and hits a bull’s eye:

“The Harney County Circuit Court is issuing a Permanent Injunction under Oregon Revised Statute 28.020 declaring 2022 Ballot Measure 114 unconstitutional thereby permanently enjoining its implementation.

“The court finds the plaintiffs have shown their rights to bear arms under Article 1, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution would be unconstitutionally impaired if Ballot Measure 114 is allowed to be implemented. Doyle v. City of Medford, 356 Or. 336 (2014). Based upon a facial constitutional evaluation of Ballot Measure 114, the measure unduly burdens the plaintiffs’ right to bear arms. State v. Christian, 354 Or. 22 (2013).”

There you have it. The Oregon Constitution is so clear on this, “The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence [sic] of themselves. …”

This case should be taught in law schools in Oregon to avoid so much costly litigation. Better yet, the Oregon Department of Justice should prevent blatantly unconstitutional ballot measures from going to the voters in the first place.

Let’s be thankful that Oregonians put such clear language in our constitution when it was approved by voters in 1857.

How many voters? The ruling says, the “voters of Oregon, in a special election on November 9, 1857, adopted the constitution by a vote of 7,195 for and 3,217 against.”

The court ruling said, in part, “The question for the court to answer is what did the voters of 1857 understand Article 1, Section 27 to mean?

“The court finds the voters of 1857 did not seek to restrain access to the best firearms with the highest functionality possible they could procure.”

The ruling also protects Oregon police officers and sheriff deputies who are issued handguns with high-capacity magazines:

“Most of the deputies and troopers have their weapons with them when they are off-duty and have their vehicles and weapons with them at their home to improve response time to emergencies. Those weapon possessions are illegal under Ballot Measure 114.”

In a statement, the Oregon Firearms Federation expressed its thanks for the legal defense funded by the Gun Owners of America. “Our congratulations and gratitude go to Tyler Smith and Associates and attorney Tony Aiello who, virtually single handily, took on a scrum of Oregon state lawyers and defeated this odious attack on liberty.”

The statement added, “Our thanks also go to Judge Raschio who took a brave stand in the face of a full frontal assault on gun rights by Oregon’s establishment leftists.”

The judge’s 44-page ruling can be read here: