Oregon Group Files Petition to Ban ‘Assault Weapons’ Statewide

With enough signatures, the petition will appear on ballots as a statewide initiative during the general election in November, 2018.

Posted: Mar. 21, 2018 1:55 PM
Updated: Mar. 21, 2018 2:00 PM

SALEM, Ore. — A group of petitioners based in Portland have filed with the Oregon Secretary of State to produce an initiative aimed at banning ‘assault weapons’ throughout Oregon. Initiative 42 was filed on March 19, 2018.

The initiative was filed with the subject “Promote Public Safety for All Through the Reduction of Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines.” Having successfully filed, the petitioners will have to acquire 88,184 signatures to bring the issue to ballots in November.

Initiative 42 does not target weapons like the AR-15 rifle alone, but takes broad aim at most highly-customizable and “modular” weapons which can be fitted with high-capacity magazines of more than 10 rounds, or forward pistol grips. Certain semi-automatic pistols and shotguns could fall within the scope of the initiative.

The initiative contains language that implies certain gun owners will be able to register with law enforcement to retain their rights to assault weapons with a thorough background check. However, other language in the initiative greatly limits this possibility.

“A person commits the crime of unlawful possession or transfer of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine if the person manufactures, imports, possesses, purchases, sells or transfers any assault weapon or large capacity magazine,” says Section 4 of the initiative.

The only exceptions listed to Section 4 are members of the military or government, such as law enforcement, or licensed firearms dealers—or cases when someone comes into possession of an assault weapon and promptly surrenders it to a qualified dealer or government agency.

Initiative 42 is a statutory initiative, meaning that it would amend state statutes if adopted—not the state constitution.

The text of Initiative 42 is available below.

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