OHA prepares for November election, 2023 legislative session

Looking ahead to the November election, as well as the 2023 legislative session, OHA sees a mixed bag of potential outcomes for sportsmen and women.  In several areas, such as the attempt to secure a 2024 referendum from the legislature to constitutionally protect our right to hunt, fish, and harvest, there are huge opportunities to gain ground. However in the near term, the November election brings potential issues such as Measure 114’s egregious gun control proposals. Here are a few items to highlight as we move through the election and into the legislative session:

Ballot Measure 114, billed as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, would negatively impact law abiding firearms owners. The measure would create a permit-to-purchase system for all Oregonians who want to purchase a firearm, including in it’s qualifications a live-fire course that does not currently exist. If passed, it would effectively stop firearms purchases for an undetermined amount of time while the framework for the permitting system was decided upon and implemented. It would also create a searchable database to house all personal information of permit-holders, to include a record of all firearms purchased, for an indefinite length of time. In an attempt to ban ‘large capacity’ magazines, defined as anything over 10 rounds, the measure would ban several firearms such as shotguns and rifles that can hold more than 10 rounds in an internal tube or chamber. Additionally, the effects of this measure on fundraising events for sportsmen’s organizations, such as OHA, would be devastating. 

The battle for the governor’s seat is the most talked about race on the ballot, repeatedly making national news. However, the down-ticket races for state representatives and senators should not be ignored. The potential for the state legislature to move away from a one-party super majority would be incredibly helpful in moving forward several natural resources-specific concepts such as the right to hunt, fish, and harvest, mentioned previously. In addition to that concept, OHA is taking the lead in moving forward additional funding for ODFW specific to Chronic Wasting Disease sampling, research, and establishment of in-state testing. 

The ODFW Commission structure will be the topic of another piece of legislation OHA will be moving forward. The Commission, which is appointed by the governor, is populated by one representative from each of the five congressional districts plus one at-large representative each from east of the Cascades and west of the Cascades. Since Oregon now has six congressional districts, the statute must be adjusted to reflect new representation. OHA will be forwarding a concept that keeps the Commission as a seven-member body with equal representation from all areas of the state. 

OHA encourages our membership to register to vote and make our presence known in both the upcoming election and the 2023 legislative session. To register to vote, simply go to the Secretary of State’s webpage by October 18: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/registration.aspx?lang=en. 

Gun control bill on the November ballot

 

OHA Board Member Paul Donheffner speaks with Gary Lewis, himself an OHA Board Member, about the detrimental effects of Measure 114 (previously called IP17). Find out more at garylewisoutdoors.com.

 

IP17, which will now be Measure 114, has qualified for the November ballot. The measure is being billed as ‘common sense’ gun control to curb gun violence however it goes far beyond that statement and will do nothing to address criminal gun violence.

The measure contains several changes to firearms ownership and purchasing ability including a new permit-to-purchase procedure administered by a police chief or county sheriff that would include a background check including fingerprinting and photographing of purchaser. Additionally, the purchaser must show proof of an approved firearms training course that includes a live fire component. The permit-to-purchase, if approved, is valid for 5 years. 

As part of the permit-to-purchase procedure, a searchable database will be created and maintained of all permits issued, including expired permits. All firearms purchased by a permit-holder will be recorded in the database and the information is allowed to be stored for an indefinite period of time. The initiative also states that a valid permit-to-purchase must be verified before any firearm transfer at a gun show. “Large capacity” magazines, defined as holding more than 10 rounds, would also be banned from sale, possession, or use. 

While OHA understands the need for action against gun violence, we believe these purchase restrictions will only affect legal firearms owners who already conform to the current laws in place and will have no substantial affect to the criminal aspect of gun violence. Additionally, the searchable database containing purchaser information and an itemized list of purchased  firearms takes this measure far beyond ‘common sense’ gun control. OHA will continue to stand with our partners against this measure. 

 

To find out more about the legislative process, bills, and legislators go to the Oregon State Legislature page.

Initiative Petition 3 (formerly IP13):

IP3 information and updates are located HERE

 

Looking for bills?  Try these links:

This one takes you to the main Bills page, where you can search by bill number:

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws

This page allows you to subscribe for bill updates and alerts:

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/citizen_engagement/Pages/e-Subscribe.aspx

You’ll see a “sign up” box towards bottom of page, which allows you to sign up and customize the bills you want to get updates on.

Sign up for OHA updates and alerts at:

https://oregonhunters.org/sign-up/