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Oregon voters approve permit-to-purchase for guns and ban high-capacity magazines

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregonians have voted to significantly tighten the state's gun laws, according to a call by The Associated Press. Measure 114 will create a permit-to-purchase system and ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

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Until now, only seven states and Washington, D.C., have had permit-to-purchase laws that apply to all firearms, according to the Giffords Law Center, a national gun safety advocacy organization. Eight states and Washington, D.C., have high-capacity magazine bans as strict as the one Oregon has just passed, Giffords says.

Gun deaths have been rising nationally and Oregon is no exception. Nearly 600 people were killed by firearms in the state in 2020 – 77% of them by suicide. Oregon is among the states with the highest rates of suicide. Research shows that tighter gun laws are closely correlated with lower suicide rates.

Reaction to the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde this spring drove the surge in voters willing to sign petitions to get the measure on the ballot in Oregon. Created by a small group of faith-based activists, Measure 114 gained national attention – and funding – when it became the only ballot initiative in the country with the potential to tighten state gun laws this fall.

About a third to half of Oregonians own guns, which tracks with national trends. And while many gun owners opposed the measure on principle, others said they were willing to deal with the new hassle of obtaining a permit if it meant saving lives.

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  • Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting

    Lillian Mongeau Hughes