The past year has been a roller coaster of emotions, ever since Oregon voters narrowly passed Measure 114. I have written a few other blog posts telling my “truth” about this bad piece of legislation. I have chronicled my journey to get the information I needed to paint a picture for the public. My goal was to tell the story of Measure 114 so that the average gun owner could understand and feel like they had a voice in the process. I met so many people in my travels, and they all helped contribute to this blog post. I want to start by saying that we were victorious! The Judge from Harney ruled yesterday in our favor! I was in close contact with the attorney yesterday, we were anxiously waiting for his decision. As soon as he received word, he forwarded the information to me and I collected my thoughts and did a video to tell my fellow gun owners. As I waited for the word I reflected on the time that I spent following this case.

This journey originally started for me back in 2018. This is when LEVO (Lift Every Voice Oregon) came on the scene with a ballot initiative that would further restrict our rights. Back then it was labeled IP 13. This radical piece of legislation pushed by a radical group of clergymen would have banned all semi-automatic rifles in the State of Oregon. Fortunately for us, the legislation never gained traction and ended up running out of steam. LEVO ended up coming back in late 2019 with an updated piece of legislation. There was IP17, which would later become Measure 114, and IP 18, which was the follow-up to IP 13. I started to pay attention to tracking their progress. They gathered enough signatures for their ill-faded concept to become official with the Oregon Secretary of State. They were hoping to gather 120,000 signatures to get their ballot initiatives on the 2022 ballot. As they started to gather signatures, they quickly abandoned IP 18, to solely focus on IP 17. Fundamentally, this bill was flawed because it was written by those who have no working knowledge of firearms and choose not to learn more about them due to their biases. This is a bad combination for law-abiding citizens because it makes almost every firearm potentially illegal due to an unconstitutional edict. This IP never should have been on the ballot because of how it was written. It is the poorest written piece of gun legislation in this state’s history. Fast forward to July 2022, after receiving around 2.2 million in funding, that came from mostly from out of state donors. They magically received 160,000 of the 120,000 required signatures to place IP 17 on the ballot in November. A small group of us tried to help shape the messaging that was designed for the voter’s pamphlet. It was so misleading and there was a limit of 500 words for them to describe this monstrosity. We tried to make it so it was accurate and truthful to the voters. No dice, though. LEVO dug in their heels and wouldn’t budge on the verbiage. If you tell a lie enough, it will become the truth eventually. Then it will be printed in the voter’s pamphlet and then it will be used to mislead the public.

The most misleading part is how it states that a FFL “may” request a background check at the point of sale. This is completely false! EVERY firearm that is sold in the State of Oregon is REQUIRED to go through a background check. This was a lie and this convinced many who are unaware of how the process works to quickly check the “yes” box. I heard after the election that many gun owners who felt confused by the language associated with Measure 114 were compelled to vote in favor. What that tells me is that the language was false. Measure 114 was passed on 11/8/22 by less than 1%. We were all in shock, what just happened? It was like a slow-moving train wreck. It was stated to go into effect on 12/8/22 because of an interpretation of the Oregon SOS Shemia Fagan. After being influenced by AG Ellen Rosenbaum, the date was set for 30 days after the passage of MZ 114. Shemia Fagan later resigned in disgrace after being caught moonlighting with La Mota, a marijuana company that had ties to many democrat politicians, that would pay for favorable regulations for their industry. One thing that is important to realize and often not reported, is the level of corruption that is every level of politics in this state. Money rules and we pay the ultimate price. This was literally a life-and-death ruling for some of the most vulnerable citizens in our state. People have a God- given right to lawful self-defense, period full stop.

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It was a few days before 114 was set to go into effect, this is when the lawsuits started to fly. There were 4-5 filed in federal court and there was one that was filed in State Court. It was the case that was filed in Harney County that gave us a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order), that went into effect only days before that fateful December date. We were saved by the voters of Harney County, they elected a Judge who was reasonable, fair, and understood his oath to the Constitution. It was refreshing. He gave us the reprieve that we needed. The TRO prevented MZ 114 from going into effect while this could be argued in court. It was after that point that a court date was eventually set in Federal court and eventually back in the state court. I ended up traveling to Harney County 2 times in the month of December 2022 to gather information to present to the gun owners of Oregon. This is where I found my lane. Even though I have been writing a blog for the past few years, for both of my websites. This is the first time that I really felt empowered by my fellow gun owners to start reporting on the gun debate here in Oregon. I built a following and the trust of my neighbors. They were desperate for knowledge and a gun-biased opinion from someone who presented the information in a way that they could relate to. I met so many great people that I now consider friends. It was a lot of work but, I was honored to become a trusted resource for the public. It is an experience that I will not soon forget.

As the summer approached we all had a date in federal court. It was here that the fate of Measure 114 will be reviewed on the constitutionality of the language. The way that it was intended to work is that the Federal court Judge was supposed to weigh 114 against the Second Amendment and how it is applied under the Bruen decision. Unfortunately, this Judge had a really bad interpretation of the law of the land, which is the Bruen decision, and ruled that MZ 114 was constitutional as written. We lost and we were lucky enough to still have a TRO in place that protected all of us from this infringement. The loss was a hard pill for all of us to swallow, especially when we all knew that the judge totally made a bad ruling. I did file a FOIA request with DOJ to see the total money that the state spent on litigating MZ 114. At the time it was about $1.9 million and that was without a single life being saved. Our side did file an appeal that will take this ruling to the 9th circuit. It is now that we wait.

In September there was a trial set back in Harney County. During the summer I spent a lot of my time educating the public, helping our attorney, and also preparing my part of the trial. I was honored enough to be selected as an expert witness for the plaintiffs. I spent so much time throughout this process that I had a good understanding of how MZ 114 would impact me, my business, and my neighbors. At trial, I was the first witness called. It was probably the scariest position that I have ever been put in as a gun rights advocate, but I was glad to be able to give my people a voice. The trial wrapped up after 6 days. The next 60 or so days seemed like an eternity. It was hard to remain patient because of all that was at stake.

Yesterday, we finally received word about the ruling out of Harney County. Judge Raschio, was a fair judge who understood the oath that he took to support and defend the Constitution. He ruled that Measure 114, as a whole was unconstitutional on all counts because it unduly infringed on the rights of Oregonians. This was a huge victory for us. It just proves what we had been saying all along about this poorly worded and thought-out piece of legislation. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders and I was so thankful that I was able to celebrate with all of my fellow gun owners. However, the victory is short-lived because the Governor has already stated publicly that they will appeal the ruling. This is sad that the Governor will further squander the state’s resources on something that will never save a single life. I will leave with this. Banning my guns, making it harder for me or you to defend yourself will never save lives, because we do NOT commit random acts of violence. It is simply about control. These people fear what they don’t understand and refuse to learn about. It is shameful really, but for now, we are safe. Thank you Tony Aiello for all that you did to pull this off. Thank you to all who supported me and believed in what I was trying to do for my state. You gave me a platform, and a voice, and empowered me to do something that I enjoy doing. Working to protect MY rights. Your rights are a byproduct of the work. It is my hope that I can inspire you all to join me on this journey. The fight will never end. Until next time. Be Safe!