By Hillary Borrud, The Oregonian/OregonLive June 28, 2018
Oregon voters won't decide whether to ban the sale of certain semiautomatic guns and large capacity magazines in November after all.
Supporters of an initiative that would have prohibited the sale and manufacture of such weapons in Oregon conceded on Thursday that they had run out of time to gather signatures by the July 6 deadline. Gun rights and hunting groups had appealed the ballot title, and the state Supreme Court ordered changes.
Under Initiative Petition 43, Oregonians who wanted to keep their existing affected firearms would have been required to pass a criminal background check and register with the state.
Portland-area clergy led the effort, and on Thursday morning, Pastor W. J. Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church said the "Lift Every Voice" campaign will instead set its sights on the 2020 ballot.
"Our lightning speed as a team was just too fast for our opponents," Knutson said during a news conference. "They started flopping all over the field with every legal maneuver they could imagine. Oh, they are exhausted by the rightness of our cause. And we are just getting going."
Knutson said members of the campaign hope to qualify at least one gun control initiative for the 2020 election, to put pressure on lawmakers to pass similar legislation when the 2019 legislative session begins in January.
The lone gun-control measure vying for the November ballot has likely run out of time.
The Oregon Supreme Court Wednesday announced it would not certify ballot language for Initiative Petition 43, a proposed ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons in Oregon. Instead, the court referred draft ballot language back to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum for revision, finding substantial flaws in her office’s last attempt.
Without certified ballot language, the campaign can’t begin collecting signatures. And with the matter back before the Attorney General’s office, it’s unclear an adequate title could even be crafted by July 6.
“That’s not what we wanted by any means,” said Rev. Mark Knutson, one of the chief petitioners behind the initiative, when OPB informed him of the ruling Wednesday morning. “We really wanted it now for our children’s sake.”
By Hillary Borrud, The Oregonian/OregonLive June 27, 2018
The Oregon Supreme Court ordered changes Wednesday to the ballot title of an initiative that would ban the sale of many semiautomatic guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines in the state.
It's a setback for the Portland-area clergy behind Initiative Petition 43, who have just over a week to gather the 88,184 signatures necessary to get it on the November ballot. The signature deadline is July 6, and they cannot begin gathering signatures until the ballot title is finalized.
In an opinion issued Wednesday morning, the court said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum must revise the summary of the initiative that would be put before voters in November.
A gun control measure in Oregon that backers were hoping will end up on the November ballot was hit with a pretty big hurdle on Wednesday. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled the title for proposed ballot measure 43 needs to be re-written.
The NRA and Oregon Hunters Association challenged the measure's title arguing terms like assault weapons and high capacity magazines would mean different things to different voters.
"As described above, petitioners argue that, if a commonly understood meaning of “assault weapons” exists, it refers to military-style weapons, not semiautomatic weapons with the types of features described in IP 43 (many of which, they contend, are “standard”). We cannot say whether that is so, but we do agree (as does the Attorney General) that different voters reasonably could draw different meanings from the term “assault weapons” some might think that it refers to only military-style weapons; some might think that it refers to the types of weapons that are described in IP 43; and some might think that it refers to an even more broad group of weapons," the courts brief reads.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has temporarily blocked an initiative that would ban the sale of some semi-automatic guns and high-capacity magazines just over a week before a key deadline, likely stopping it from making the November ballot.
Earlier arguments over Initiative Petition 43 had been fast-tracked. But Wednesday’s ruling triggered a statutory timeline that leaves at most one day for supporters to gather more than 88,000 signatures, and sets it up to become the second prominent gun control proposal to fail after court delays in the state this year.
With the window for submitting signatures closing fast, backers of a ban on semi-automatic, military-style weapons in Oregon might finally win permission to begin petitioning voters this week.
The Oregon Supreme Court has announced plans to issue an opinion Wednesday on final ballot language for Initiative Petition 43. That’s one of the final hurdles faith-based backers of the petition face before they begin a frantic push to collect more than 88,000 signatures by July 6.
“We are ready,” the Rev. Mark Knutson, one of the chief petitioners behind the ban, said Tuesday. “We have well over 1,000 people who’ve trained, there’s another 800 who’ve accessed our training.”
CHICAGO (AP) — With frustration mounting over lawmakers' inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association on Tuesday pressed for a ban on assault weapons and came out against arming teachers as a way to fight what it calls a public health crisis.
At its annual policymaking meeting, the nation's largest physicians group bowed to unprecedented demands from doctor-members to take a stronger stand on gun violence — a problem the organizations says is as menacing as a lethal infectious disease.
An Oregon Supreme Court decision on Friday could fast-track efforts to get a gun-control initiative on the ballot.
The Portland-area clergy backing the effort to ban the sale of many semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines had worried that the state’s ballot title appeals process would leave them with little time to qualify for the November election.
Opponents of the proposal known as Initiative Petition 43 had appealed to the Supreme Court to modify the ballot title, saying the use of such terms as "assault weapons" and "large capacity magazines” is misleading.
But on Friday, the Supreme Court denied their requests for oral arguments – a decision that will likely speed up the court’s review of the ballot title. The court must sign off on the official ballot title before backers can begin gathering signatures.
Sponsors of a controversial initiative to ban the sale of many semi-automatic weapons in Oregon are still hoping to qualify for the ballot even though they will at best have only two weeks to gather signatures.
“If we get the go, we’re prepared to get 120,000 signatures in 10 days or less,” said Mark Knutson, a Lutheran pastor from Portland and a chief sponsor of the initiative.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Supreme Court set tight deadlines Friday in a dispute that has stalled a proposed ballot measure to restrict assault weapons and large-capacity magazines in the state.
The court denied all requests for oral arguments and directed the attorney general to file by June 18 a single response to five petitions to the court from gun-rights activists. And it told the five petitioners to reply by June 21.
Backers of the statewide Initiative Petition 43 have until July 6 to gather 88,000 verified signatures from voters to put their measure on the November ballot. They can’t start gathering the signatures before the court rules on the arguments by opponents who say the ballot language is misleading.
There’s no deadline for the court to issue its decision, but Friday’s order accelerates the process while still giving the parties the opportunity to submit their arguments to the court, said Phil Lemman of the Oregon Judicial Department.