To call Oregon’s Measure 114 a trainwreck would be an insult to self-respecting trainwrecks throughout the world. It’s an ill-thought-out piece of legislation voted on by people who don’t really understand how legislation is supposed to work.
And there have been numerous problems with it. Oregon law enforcement, for example, has had problems with how it puts an unfunded mandate on them with regard to the licensing procedures.
Oregon police are worried that if Ballot Measure 114 (BM 114) is allowed to take effect it may limit them to ten-round magazines and force them to get a permit in order to carry their firearms off-duty.
Among other things, BM 114 bans magazines holding more than ten rounds and requires residents to get a permit before being allowed to own a gun.
BM 114 contains an exemption for officers on duty, but there is confusion as to what hoops officers might have jump through in order to be armed and to maintain a standard number of rounds in their firearms when they are off-duty.
Eugene, Oregon, Police Chief Chris Skinner explained the lack of clarity to Fox News: “It’s not clear how existing certified public safety professionals are treated under this ballot measure. Both the purchase of weapons and the possession of magazines in excess of 10 rounds, which all of our duty weapons have that.”
Now, I’m of two minds about this.
On the one hand, it’s ridiculous that the law may well inhibit law enforcement officers from being able to use standard capacity magazines for their duty weapons while off duty.
On the other, they shouldn’t be exempt from the laws that inhibit law-abiding citizens, which Measure 114 most certainly does.
But the authors of the measure, however, tend to view guns as something only the police and military should have. They don’t see a problem with armed police officers, and most are even fine with cops carrying off duty. After all, the enemies they make don’t just disappear when they clock out for the day.
It’s likely that they didn’t even think about this while crafting the ballot measure.
This, again, is another reason why I’m not much of a fan of ballot initiatives, particularly with regard to gun control. Too many people can create something that is impossible to implement.
Measure 114 looks more and more to be a prime example.
But what about the police officers? Are they exempt?
It’s a good question. While the measure does seem to say that the restrictions shouldn’t apply to them while on duty, it doesn’t appear to understand that those same weapons and magazines follow the officers home at the end of their shift.
As such, it would seem that off-duty officers who use their issued weapons with department-issued magazines may well run afoul of the law.
That’s a problem, to say the least, for the officers in question.
It makes me wonder just how many of these same officers may have voted for Measure 114. I’d like to think that none of them would, but you never know.
Anyway, this is the pickle law enforcement finds themselves in because of the new law.
Every time we turn around, we find still more problems with the measure. Most of those problems stem from how it basically treats law enforcement. Meanwhile, who is supposed to enforce this law? Law enforcement.
Kind of funny, in a sad, pathetic way.
It seems likely that something will have to be done about Measure 114 and get it stricken from the books soon before it screws even more up throughout the state.
Luckily, the fact that it’s unconstitutional as hell should help with that.