Fox 12: Oregon Supreme Court says title of proposed gun control ballot must be re-written

Reporter Johnathan Hendricks     June 27, 2018

SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

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.

The NRA released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying:

“The National Rifle Association applauds the Oregon Supreme Court decision not to certify the ballot language for Initiative Petition 43. It is encouraging to see a court finally recognize that the term ‘assault weapon’ is an ambiguous term made up out of whole cloth. Until we start dealing with facts rather than preying upon fears the ability to address violent crime will forever be out of reach.”

The inter-faith group backing the measure said those involved in getting the measure on the ballot met Wednesday for several hours trying to figure out what to do next. They are expected to announce their next steps Thursday morning.

The Secretary of State's office said once they receive the new text they have three business days to distribute it. After that signatures could begin to be gathered. The earliest that could happen is Monday.

The group hoping to get the ballot measure on the ballot has to collect 88,000 signatures by July 6.