By Ben Botkin
Firearms shops are enjoying brisk sales following the narrow approval by voters of Measure 114, which will restrict sales of some magazines and require safety training.
One example: At Ticker Licker Firearms in Salem, customers lined up Friday in front of counters on Friday to inspect firearms and pepper the clerks with questions about the measure and what comes next. Sales are also soaring ahead of the measure’s implementation as people place requests for background checks. They worry that they will not be able to purchase guns in the future due to the requirements of the measure.
“It’s a de facto gun ban,” said Brian Clark, 50, of Salem, a customer who said he’s worried the measure will erode Second Amendment rights.
It’s a scene playing out across the state. The Oregon State Police reported an uptick in requests through the agency’s Firearms Instant Check System unit that processes background checks for firearm purchases. The measure goes into effect on Dec. 8, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.
Measure 114 will end a loophole in federal law that allows firearm dealers to sell guns without a background check if it’s not completed within three business days. It also will require anyone who buys a gun in Oregon to pass firearm safety training and ban the sale of bullet magazines that hold over 10 rounds.
Though the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office said the measure goes into effect on Dec. 8, many questions need to be resolved in order to put the law in place.
State officials – and possibly lawmakers – will need to adopt rules detailing how it will work, such as determining the training curriculum and who conducts it. The Oregon State Police will start drafting regulations, and lawmakers could follow up with legislation in the 2023 session as well.
With Dec. 8 looming, there’s a rush of firearms purchases and uncertainty about what’s ahead.
“This unit has been working through these extreme firearms request volumes and will continue to process them as quickly as possible,” the Oregon State Police said in a statement.
So far in November, about 63% of the requests sent to the Oregon State Police firearms instant check system have been approved. The daily average for background check requests has soared from 849 before the election to 4,092 after the election, state police data shows.
At Ticker Licker Firearms, which has stores in Salem and Corvallis, the general manager said the measure could put the dealer out of business if people cannot get permits when Measure 114 goes into effect.
“Unfortunately, the way that it reads, we won’t be able to essentially transfer a firearm until the systems are going to be in place,” said Austin Cock, general manager of both stores. “We will potentially have to close due to it if we’re not selling guns.”
Cock said storefront sales make up 95% of its business, which means a halt of sales would deeply cut into its bottom line. He said the measure may look “good on paper,” but without regulations in place to allow permits, firearms dealers will be harmed if they cannot sell their products.
For the complete story, see the Oregon Capital Chronicle.