Why It Matters: Oregon’s law-abiding hunters and shooters have long played a vital role in funding conservation and wildlife management efforts throughout the state. Under the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF), a unique “user pays – public benefits” structure, Oregon’s sportsmen and women generate tens of millions of dollars each year for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. These funds are generated through license sales and a 10-11% federal excise tax on sporting-related goods, including firearm purchases. If implemented, Measure 114, now being considered as the -1 amendment to Senate Bill 348, will impact conservation funding in the state by decreasing the tax revenue available for wildlife management and conservation.
- On March 27, the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the -1 amendment to Senate Bill 348, which seeks to implement Measure 114. Measure 114 was narrowly passed on the November ballot by a margin of less than 1.5%, and if implemented, would ban all standard capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and would require an exhaustive permitting process to purchase a firearm.
- Legal challenges have since been filed against the initiative in both federal and state court, with an injunction currently in place that has resulted in Measure 114 remaining on hold while the lawsuits are underway. SB 348 with the -1 amendment would circumvent these proceedings and instead implement the measure’s provisions through legislative action.
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), Oregon Hunters Association, and numerous partner organizations sent a letter to the Senate Law & Justice Committee warning about the devastating impacts this legislation would have on hunting, recreational shooting, and conservation funding in the state, and will be opposing this bill should it move forward through the legislature.
With less than one business days’ notice since the time the amendment was publicly posted, on March 27, the Oregon Senate Law and Justice Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 348. Senate Bill 348, as originally introduced, directed the Department of Justice to study ways to address the unlawful possession of firearms. The hearing, however, was on the 64-page “-1” amendment which is a rewrite of Ballot Measure 114.
Oregon Measure 114 was passed on the November ballot by a narrow margin of less than 1.5% and has since remained on hold while legal challenges are underway in both federal and state court. Both before and since its passage, over 20 national and state organizations have organized as the Sportsmen’s Opposed to Gun Violence Coalition, which led an opposition campaign to the ballot measure and has since been working on legal and legislative strategy, including submitting an amicus brief on the NSSF-backed federal lawsuit challenging the initiative.
Now being considered as the -1 amendment to Senate Bill 348, this legislation, if passed, would require an expensive and exhaustive permitting process for the lawful transfer of firearms, impose a 3-day waiting period on firearm purchases, impose training requirements on Oregon’s law-abiding hunters and recreational shooters, restrict firearm purchases for Oregon’s youth hunters under 21 years of age, and restrict standard capacity magazines that are commonly found in the hands of hunters and recreational shooters.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, along with the Oregon Hunters Association and numerous national and state partners, submitted a letter to the Oregon Senate Law and Justice Committee members that highlights the egregious impacts the -1 amendment to SB 348, would have on Oregon’s outdoor traditions and conservation funding. CSF and other members of the Sportsmen’s Opposed to Gun Violence Coalition will be actively working in opposition to SB 348 and the -1 amendment should it move forward through the legislature.