Gun control measure will be on Oregon’s fall ballot

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FILE – Rev. Mark Knutson, right, chief petitioner of a firearms initiative, speaks at a rally, joined by Rabbi Michael Cahana, center, outside the Oregon State Capitol in Salem before signatures are delivered to Oregon election officials to get the proposal on the ballot on July 8, 2022. Oregonians will decide in November whether people wanting to buy a gun will have to first qualify for a license, after approving one of the toughest gun control measures in the country. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

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Oregonians will decide in November whether people wanting to buy a firearm will first need to qualify for a license, after one of the nation’s toughest gun control measures was passed.

“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, said on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s Electoral Division determined Monday that the Gun Safety Campaign provided enough verified signatures of registered voters to put Initiative 17 on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election.

Election officials said 131,671 signatures were validated, more than the minimum of 112,080 needed.

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.”

The mass shooting phenomenon has created “a wave of volunteers” to collect signatures, Knutson said.

“We didn’t look for more volunteers because they came to us,” he said.

And it inspired more voters to sign the petition.

“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 season, and I don’t want her to be scared at school.

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.

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 the nation.” ‘Oregon, and to YOUR arms’.

Oregon appears to be the only US state with a gun safety initiative underway for the 2022 election, according to Sean Holihan, state legislative director for Giffords, an organization dedicated to saving lives from violence. army.


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Sandy A. Greer