Measure 114, the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, makes several changes to Oregon law. First, it closes the “Charleston loophole”: under current law, guns can be bought and sold without a completed background check, should the check take more than three business days. Measure 114 requires anyone wanting to purchase a gun to have a purchasing permit; obtaining that permit will require a fully completed background check, as well as classroom and live-fire gun training.
Measure 114 also limits the sale and manufacture of magazines to 10 or fewer rounds. The only exceptions to this law are for military and law enforcement, as well as magazines exceeding the 10-round limit that are already owned on the date the act goes into effect. Further, previously purchased magazines cannot be resold or transferred to another owner, and their use is restricted.
Supporters contend that closing the “Charleston loophole” and reducing magazine capacity are common sense steps that will help reduce gun violence in Oregon. Lift Every Voice Oregon, the chief sponsor of Measure 114, argues that passage of this measure will make Oregon safer by ensuring responsible gun ownership. They argue that guns, just like cars or boats, should be required to be registered with the state. Similarly, obtaining a permit and completing safety training is no different to obtaining a driver’s license before being able to drive a car.
- View list of faith communities in Oregon supporting Measure 114
View list of public organizations in Oregon supporting Measure 114
The National Rifle Association has opposed this measure, calling it an attack on Oregonians’ gun rights. They argue that data shows the rise in crime rates in Portland stems from illegal gun purchases, not the legal avenues that this measure would impact. Additionally, they express concerns about forcing citizens to pay for gun permits, as well as the wait time between applying for and being issued a permit.
EMO Recommendation: Vote “YES” on Measure 114
Far too many lives in the United States are lost to gun violence. Recent shootings, such as the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, serve as examples of the prevalence of firearm-related injuries and deaths in our country.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s social principles call us to stand in opposition to “any inhumane treatment that erodes human dignity,” as well as to support a “social order founded on principles of human dignity” that “furthers … the common good.” Every act of gun violence is an affront to these principles, tearing at the fabric of social order and corroding human flourishing and dignity.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon affirms the right of all Oregonians to reside in a state free from gun violence. Ensuring responsible and well-trained gun ownership and eliminating high-capacity magazines is vital to decreasing gun violence in Oregon. High-capacity magazines are used to commit the majority of mass shootings in the United States.
The concrete, common sense steps laid out in Measure 114 are much needed and long overdue. Contrary to what the opposition says, this measure does not attack gun ownership. Rather, it implements reasonable restrictions that promote safety and training.
EMO Social Principles
This recommendation is based on the EMO social principles of Human Rights and Religious Freedom and Public Witness and the Common Good. See EMO's Statement of Social Principles for more details.