Think Out Loud

Measure 114 proposes stricter gun laws for Oregon

By Rolando Hernandez (OPB)
Oct. 18, 2022 4:25 p.m. Updated: Oct. 27, 2022 3:41 p.m.

Broadcast: Wednesday, Oct. 19

The Ruger Mini-14 (top) is identical in function to the AR-15 (bottom) but isn’t as popular as the AR-15 and is largely ignored by gun control advocates and policymakers.

The Ruger Mini-14 (top) is identical in function to the AR-15 (bottom) but isn’t as popular as the AR-15 and is largely ignored by gun control advocates and policymakers. If passed, Measure 114 would tighten gun laws in the state, affecting ownership of such firearms.

Jonathan Levinson / OPB


Measure 114 will be on the ballot for voters this November. If passed, it would require Oregonians to purchase a permit to own a firearm and attend a mandatory safety firearm training. The measure would also ban the sale or transfer of gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Overall, Measure 114 would slow down the timeline for buying and obtaining a gun. Paul Donheffner is the legislative committee chairman for the Oregon Hunters Association. Anthony Broadman is the Bend mayor pro tem. They join us to make their case for why voters should or should not pass Measure 114.

The following transcript was created by a computer and edited by a volunteer:

Dave Miller: This is Think Out Loud on OPB, I’m Dave Miller. We start today with Oregon’s Ballot Measure 114, which would overhaul the state’s gun laws; the Measure would require that Oregonians get a permit and take a safety course before they could purchase a firearm. It would also ban the sale or transfer of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Anthony Broadman is the Bend Mayor pro-tem and a City Councilor, he supports this measure; Paul Donheffner is a Legislative Committee Chairman for the Oregon Hunters’ Association, which opposes the Measure.  They both join me now. Welcome to Think Out Loud.

Anthony Broadman / Paul Donheffner: Afternoon. Hi,

Miller: Good afternoon to both of you. Anthony Broadman, I want to start with you. There are two big pieces to this Measure and I think we should take them one by one. Can you first explain the basics of the ‘permit to purchase program’ embedded in this Measure?

Broadman: I think the idea is just making sure that we don’t have people who aren’t equipped or trained on how to properly use the tool that is a firearm. It’s common sense. I tell people it’s the kind of training I require my kids to go through before they handle my firearms. It’s the kind of training, I’d hope, that my neighbors have their kids go through when they have their kids handle firearms. I think common sense…

[Voices overlap]

Miller: What’s the argument, that what you see as this ‘common sense training,’ that it should be required as opposed to something that ideally, parents or whoever would provide to their kids, or to anybody?

Broadman: I think like you just put it, Dave, I think that in an ideal situation, we don’t need these types of regulation, but clearly the public health crisis that we see across the country, and certainly in Central Oregon and throughout Oregon, where we’re losing two people every day to gun homicide, gun suicide, we’re not doing enough. So I think the argument is that we need to do more. We’ve seen that these types of tools have worked elsewhere. They’ve reduced gun suicides and gun accidents and gun homicides significantly. And when communities have done away with these types of rules, the gun deaths have gone up almost immediately, like we saw in Missouri. So I think the argument is that these common sense, narrowly tailored measures to make sure that guns are handled safely, work.

Miller: Paul, Donheffner, what’s wrong with requiring that people in Oregon, if they want to buy a gun, that they have to be able to demonstrate that they know basic aspects of gun safety or handling, like how to lock or load or unload or fire or store them?

Paul Donheffner: What’s wrong with it is it’s really a redundant background check that we already have. We currently have to have a background check to purchase a firearm. And in terms of training, certainly training is a good idea and a lot of people go through hunter safety classes, but that won’t qualify under this measure, a lot of people have concealed handgun permits and concealed handgun permits require a class and training and vetting and a background check, but that won’t qualify you for this permit. A lot of people have military training and have been using firearms their whole life, like myself. You still have to go take a class and demonstrate live fire, which is really kind of an insult to a lot of people that are honest, law abiding citizens that know about guns, know about gun safety, have taken hunter safety classes. You all have to go right to the back of the line and start all over again with this new ‘permit to purchase’ thing, which is really redundant and it’s really intended to prohibit firearm sales.

Miller: Anthony Broadman if a class for getting a concealed handgun license or hunting class, if those aren’t enough to qualify under the new system, what would it take?

Broadman: Well, I think the specifics of what the training will entail are going to be set, if this measure passes, by Oregon State Police through rulemaking with legislative oversight. I think the point is exactly, you know, what Paul just pointed out – that you are not required to simply, if you, you know…if you’re an 18 year old and you want to buy an AR-15 this afternoon, you don’t need to know how to use it. And I think that has nothing to do with background checks. Why do I have to take a three day class to get a motorcycle endorsement? But an 18 year old who posts online that he wants to shoot up a school can go to a store this afternoon and buy, you know, a weapon that can kill people very rapidly.

Miller: Well, instead of having that be just a question for the air, for the ether, Paul Donheffner, I’d like you to respond to it. Why shouldn’t an 18 year old…and let’s set aside threats to shooting up a school. But why shouldn’t an 18 year old have to show that they know how to safely be an owner of an AR-15 before they can buy one?

Donheffner: Well, that might be a conversation to carry out about people that have never purchased or owned a firearm before, having to take some kind of a safety class. That might be a conversation that’s worth having. But this measure doesn’t have that conversation because it’s, you know, it’s a ‘yes or no proposition’ with it, there’s no legislative oversight, There’s no chance to amend this thing. There’s no opportunity to debate it, where, other than we’re debating it now. But it’s a yes or no vote on this thing. And I think that that’s the

problem, one of the big problems with the Measure is that it’s not vetted to say, ‘okay, maybe a first time gun buyers should have some kind of training course,’ but you’ve got all these people that have taken Hunter Ed concealed handgun licenses, been in the military, been hunting all their lives, the measure is kind of a one size fits all – everyone has to get this permit to purchase.

Miller:  Anthony Broadman, I’d like to turn to another aspect cause we’ve so far only been talking about the training. But there’s another aspect of this which, if I understand correctly, it means that the bar for preventing somebody from buying a firearm would be lower under measure 114 than it currently is. A permit could be denied if the applicant has been or is reasonably likely to be a danger to themselves or others, as decided on by either chief of police or a sheriff, as a result of their mental or psychological state or past behavior of unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence. This language is almost identical to the requirements for getting a concealed handgun license, but they are, it’s a lower bar, as I noted, than than currently stands in terms of background checks. What’s the reason for making it easier for a denial of a permit?

Broadman: Well, in my mind, this is just the kind of common sense regulation that we sort of all agree on through the social contract that we want in our community. And that’s when, whether it’s through red flag laws or a rejected concealed carry permit or through 114 if it passes, I think all of us, including those of us who are responsible gun owners and hunters, want to make sure that guns aren’t in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. I think this is just a small part of that. It won’t be perfect, but it’s another layer of the framework that we already have here in Oregon. If you look at, for instance, our red flag laws that allow family members or people living in a household of somebody who really shouldn’t have access to a gun to petition a court to remove their access. I just see this as a continuum of that. We want to make sure that people who are a danger to themselves or others don’t have access to guns.

Miller: Paul Donheffner, as I noted that the language that would allow a sheriff, say, to deny a permit for a firearm in this Ballot Measure, is nearly identical to that, which would let that same sheriff currently, deny somebody a concealed handgun license. Do you disagree with the current framework for concealed handgun licenses?

Donheffner: I don’t disagree with that framework, but this measure puts an awful lot of discretion in the hands of the sheriff, to deny access. Concealed handgun license is one thing, it’s a handgun, and it’s going to be carried undercover; but I mean if you want to buy a shotgun or hunting rifle, something like that, I’m not sure that it’s, you know, it’s the same, necessarily the same bar. But the big problem with 114,...

Miller: Let me make sure I understand that first. So you’re saying that it shouldn’t be the same bar that you would be okay with somebody being able to buy a rifle or a shotgun if a sheriff thought that they were reasonably likely to be a danger to themselves or others.

Donheffner: Quite honestly, I don’t know that the sheriffs want to be put in that position of trying to determine everyone that potentially wants to buy something…

[Voices overlap]


Miller: But they already, they already are in that position, if someone comes asking for a concealed handgun license, right?

Donheffner: Or…

Miller: Like they are already in that position?

Donheffner: …For a concealed handgun license. Yes,...

Miller: Right…

Donheffner: …a concealed handgun license is a much more vetted thing than… than simply purchasing a firearm.

Miller: Right. And that’s why… I just wanted to understand your take on this distinction. So you are okay, then, with a sheriff or chief of police, saying, ‘Yes, you can, you can buy this rifle or shotgun,’ even if I think you are a danger to your to yourself or others because it’s just a rifle or shotgun, it’s not a handgun that you want to carry concealed?

Donheffner: I’m not sure how the sheriff gets inside your head to know what, whether you’re a danger to yourself or other people.

Miller: Well, in the text of this statute, the current statute for concealed handguns and the nearly identical language for Measure 114, it’s that that kind of decision could be made based on their mental or psychological state or past behavior of unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence. So those are some of the ways that a sheriff, as you say, could get in somebody’s head based on previous behavior or threats?

Donheffner: Yeah. The point I’d like to make with 114 is that it doesn’t keep guns out of the hands of gang members and criminals, because they don’t get background checks. They’re not going to go to the sheriff to get the permit to purchase. So the people that are causing the mayhem on the streets of Portland and other places, they don’t buy their guns at a gun store, and 114 isn’t gonna keep guns out of the hands of people with evil in their hearts and evil, evil intent.

Miller: Anthony Broadman, I’d like to give you a chance to respond to that. In other words if people are gonna break the law anyway, strengthening the laws is not going to change the situation – that’s sort of the shorter version of what Paul Donheffner  just said.

Broadman: There’s so many things wrong with that. I don’t think my generation of hunters and gun owners is moved by that argument anymore. I mean, we have a lot, we have a lot of gun suicides, gun homicides and gun accidents that are being caused by, or the result of, legally purchased firearms. Our city is still mourning a mass shooting here in Bend through what appears to have been a legally purchased firearm. And just because something isn’t going to solve every gun homicide or gun suicide doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. Seatbelts don’t prevent every death in a car accident, but we certainly all agree that we’re going to wear them, and I think that the argument that criminals aren’t going to follow the laws is it can be true at the same time as the fact that we know that Measure 114 and laws like it reduce the numbers of people killed by guns, period. There’s a common sense, narrowly tailored measure that will save lives. Two of the people who woke up in Oregon this morning, who will die today as a result of gun violence, that’s two too many every single day, 14 a week. And it’s not a status quo that I’m willing as an elected leader to let continue.

Miller: If you’re just tuning in, we’re talking right now about Measure 114, which would tighten gun laws in Oregon. Let’s turn to one of the other big changes that Measure 114 would bring to gun purchases in Oregon; it would prevent the sale or transfer of magazines that

hold more than 10 rounds. Paul Donheffner, what do you think of this provision?

Donheffner: First off it’s unconstitutional because the 9th Circuit Court has already ruled on this matter and said that limits on the capacity of magazines is unconstitutional, and the Ninth Circuit covers Oregon, so this is probably one of the first things that’s gonna fall, if this measure passes. But the problem with the magazine ban is that it bans many, many commonly owned firearms today. Most handguns have many, many handguns have a capacity in excess of 10 and that’s a factory standard magazine. The Glock 17 is a very popular handgun and the 17 stands for the capacity and these are gonna be outlawed if 114 passes; you’ll be able to keep it in your home but you won’t be able to carry it for self defense outside your home.

Miller: Anthony Broadman, what Paul Donheffner just explained, it does more or less mesh with my reading of the ways in which existing firearms that have magazines with more than 10 rounds, how they would be grandfathered in or not grandfathered, and if I read it right, people could have these higher capacity magazines in their homes or take them to shooting ranges or hunt with them, but not have them, say, on their person when they go to to get groceries. What’s your thinking in terms of  what would happen to all the guns that are already out there if Measure 114 were to pass?

Broadman: So just one correction – you would not be able to hunt with a high capacity magazine. There’s no, you know,

Miller: That’s not a card. Okay, thanks for that clarification.

Broadman: But you know, we wouldn’t even be the fifth state with a magazine limitation, I think we would be the ninth or 10th. So these are not unconstitutional. I agree that there will be, most likely, litigation surrounding this and other magazine limitations, but we have multiple states in this country with magazine limitations and I’m confident that gun manufacturers will be able to comply with this regulation, selling guns into Oregon. They always have, with every other state where they’ve continued to sell guns into, and I think the gun industry is gonna be just fine. I have a high capacity magazine that I will maintain after the passage of 114, if it passes, I will follow the very clear regulations about the use of that magazine and it doesn’t worry me at all. You know, the unspoken reality here is you can have two 10 round magazines or three or four, and I just, I don’t think this is a, this is not a good faith argument or a real impediment to shooting or self defense and certainly for hunting. So this, this one doesn’t worry me at all as a hunter and a shooter.

Miller: I want to give you each 40 seconds or so in the time we have left to bring up any other issues that you would like people to keep in mind when they have their ballots in front of them and they are making their choices. Paul Donheffner, you can go first. What else do you think is important in this debate?

Donheffner: Well, I think something that’s really been overlooked in this discussion is the funding, or the lack thereof, this measure does not provide the funding necessary to create this permit to purchase system. Although the voters’ pamphlet is silent on it, it’s kind of misleading. It’s a deceptive lie. This measure is going to require at least 31 State Police positions, 275 Sheriffs positions. The cost for 2325 is going to be over 114 million. But the Measure only raises the fee on the $65 fee on this only generates 19.5 million a year. So there’s a $75 million gap for 2325 which is gonna fall on city police and sheriff’s, which is why they’re opposed to this measure. And when the sheriffs that are charged with carrying out this law say it’s a bad idea, maybe we should listen to them.

Miller: Anthony Broadman, you can either respond to that fiscal argument or anything else you’d like in the next 40 seconds.

Broadman: I’ll just say, the average cost per biennium per county, if you even look at the ‘Against Argument,’ is about 1.35 million per county. And you hear in Deschutes County we’re spending 1.3 on the Courthouse remodel and just allocated $18 million too, into public safety building. So I think this would be money well spent. I think in our city, we’re tired of this being and us versus them issue and the vast majority of us own guns or have guns in our homes and we want our kids to be safe. We want our elders to be safe. We want to be safe when we’re shopping and worshiping. And this is just simple effective gun safety regulation that I support.

Miller: Anthony Broadman and Paul Donheffner, thanks very much to both of you.

Broadman / Donheffner: Thank you. Thank you.

Miller: Anthony Broadman is Bend’s Mayor, Pro Tem and a City Councilor in Bend; Paul. Donheffner is the Legislative Committee Chairman for the Oregon Hunters’ Association.

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