Many of you have been asking about the Multnomah County Democrats’ stance on Measure 114, which makes changes to firearm ownership and purchase requirements. Officially, our stance on Measure is NO POSITION.
As per our bylaws, two-thirds of our PCP’s must vote YEA in order to endorse a measure. We’ve had a lot of dialogue about this specific measure, and have actually voted twice. Our first vote in August was 46 YEA, 26 NAY (64% YEA). Our second vote in October was 48 YEA, 27 NAY and 17 NO POSITION (52% YEA).
It is worth noting that the MultDems official 2022 platform calls for the strengthening of Oregon gun laws:
Article VII Criminal Justice / Legislative Action Item #6
“We call for gun safety legislation in Oregon to require universal background checks, gun owner licensing, classes on gun safety and handling, and liability insurance for gun owners.”
Article VII Criminal Justice / Plank #8:
“We support the strengthening of Oregon gun laws, one goal being to reduce suicide, homicide, and accidental shootings. We support universal background checks, gun owner licensing, mandatory classes on gun safety and handling, enforcement of existing safe storage laws, and liability insurance.”
Those in favor of Measure 114 cited the success of other “permit to purchase” laws and high-capacity bans in other states. For instance, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence found that the homicide rate in Connecticut dropped 28% over 22 years after a permit to purchase requirement became law. Background checks to buy a gun are also supported by a majority of Americans. In the wake of so many shootings in the United States, proponents believe this measure will save many lives.
The NAY voters were generally in favor of a 5-year “permit to purchase” but did not like the idea of the permit being obtained through the police or sheriff. This was a specific concern when it comes to people of color, who do not have a trusting relationship with law enforcement. Instead, the NAY voters believe a special permitting office should be established, similar to the DMV. Finally, NAY voters felt like the measure would place undue burden on low-income individuals and those in rural communities, where funding and staffing for training programs may not be readily available.
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