A federal judge in Oregon ruled Friday that a new state gun law does not violate the U.S. Constitution, upholding one of the nation’s strictest gun laws.
U.S. District Court Judge Karin Immergut ruled that Ballot Measure 114’s restrictions on large-capacity magazines with more than 10 rounds were constitutional because these magazines “are not commonly used for self-defense itself, and therefore not protected by the Second Amendment.”
“Although LCMs are protected by the Second Amendment, the restrictions in BM 114 are consistent with the Nation’s history and tradition of regulating exceptionally dangerous parts of weapons and firearms to protect public safety,” as the decision.
The law strengthens background checks and prohibits the sale and transfer of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. It also closed the “Charleston Loophole,” which allowed gun purchases to proceed by default after three days even if a background check hadn’t been completed. The law also requires state police to complete background checks on individuals before a gun sale or transfer is made.
Since its passage in November, the measure has faced several legal challenges, with the legislative action arm of the NRA lamenting it as “the worst gun control initiative in the country.”
But Immergut’s ruling maintains that while the Second Amendment protects against “portable firearms” as enumerated in the US Constitution, large-capacity magazines are a “subset of magazines” — and therefore, do not count as a portable arm.
“Magazines are an accessory to firearms, rather than a specific type of firearm,” Immergut said. “At the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment until the late nineteenth century, firearms accessories were like cardboard boxes – which contained ammunition but, unlike modern magazines, did not feed the ammunition of firearms – are not considered ‘arms’ but are considered ‘ accouterments,’” the decision said.
The measure is one of several gun control laws passed in 2022, the second-highest year for mass shootings in the United States on record.