An Oregon initiative introduced as a petition for the November ballot would ban assault weapons sales and require background checks for those who already have them, and also would ban high capacity magazines.
An interfaith religious group in Portland filed the petition, which would require current owners of assault weapons to register them or surrender them, The Statesman Journal reported. Violation would result in a felony charge.
The petition needs 88,000 signatures by July 6 to get on the ballot in Oregon, the Secretary of State website said. The measure also could face legal challenges.
“We recognize that there are perfectly legitimate uses of guns for self-protection and hunting that make a lot of sense,” petitioner Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel said, the Statesman Journal reported. “But assault weapons are not used for either of those purposes. Many of these weapons only exist for killing and do not belong in civilian hands.”
The measure defines assault weapons as semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and folding or telescoping stocks that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition, the Statesman Journal reported.
Republican Rep. Bill Post is opposed to the measure, he told the Statesman Journal.
“I’ve been told so many times by people in favor of gun control: ‘No one is coming to take your guns.’ This explicitly comes for your guns,” he said, calling the measure “completely out of hand.”
The petition is a response to recent school shootings, and petitioners say they plan to get youth who recently marched to protest school violence to help collect signatures, the Statesman Journal reported.
“They may not be able to vote, but they can collect signatures, and it’s right for them to do that,” Cahana said.
No Democratic leaders have yet supported the proposal, the Statesman Journal said.
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