Oregon voters will decide the nation’s toughest gun control proposals in November election

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Voters in Oregon will decide on one of the toughest gun control proposals in the nation in the November election after the measure received enough signatures this week to qualify for the ballot.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s Electoral Division determined Monday that Initiative 17, also known as the Gun Violence Reduction Act, has garnered enough valid signatures to qualify. for the ballot in the general election scheduled for November 8, 2022. Election officials said 131,671 signatures were validated, more than the minimum of 112,080 needed.

The proposal had less than a third of the required signatures in May, but high-profile mass shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and the violence of the July 4 parade in the suburbs of Chicago from Highland Park, Illinois sent volunteers and donations pouring in, with signatures skyrocketing in late June and this month, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The measure would ban high-capacity magazines of more than 10 rounds – except for current owners, law enforcement and the military – and require a license to purchase any firearm. To be eligible for a license, an applicant would need to complete an approved firearms safety course, pay a fee, provide personal information, submit to fingerprinting and photographing, and pass a background check criminals.


Reverend Mark Knutson, right, chief petitioner of a firearms initiative, speaks at a rally, joined by Rabbi Michael Cahana, center, outside the State Capitol Oregon in Salem before signatures were delivered to Oregon election officials to get the proposal on the ballot. July 8, 2022.
((AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File))

The state police would create a firearms database. Applicants would apply for the permit from the local police chief, county sheriff or their delegates. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action denounced the initiative, stating on its website that “these anti-gun citizens are going after YOU, the law-abiding gun owners of Oregon. , and to YOUR weapons”.

“I was thrilled to hear the news and grateful to the 1,600 volunteers of all ages,” the Reverend Mark Knutson, one of the initiative’s lead petitioners, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Knutson said he was heading to the world track championships in Eugene, Oregon when he heard the news by phone. The pastor of a Lutheran church in Portland, Knutson said he responded with a prayer “for those who have been affected by gun violence in this country, especially Buffalo, Uvalde and Highland Park, recently.”

“I signed it to keep our children safe, because something has to change,” Raevahnna Richardson said after signing it last month. “I have a child who is going to be in first grade this coming season, and I don’t want her to be scared at school.”


Oregon – home to the notorious liberal city of Portland, which has seen massive anti-police protests and riots targeting federal properties following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis – appears to be the only US state to have an initiative to gun safety underway for the 2022 election, the Associated Press reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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