Update 5/12/22: The Lift Every Voice Oregon (LEVO) leadership team has made the strategic decision to continue moving forward with gathering signatures for IP 17 (permit to purchase, limited ammunition magazines to ten rounds) and to immediately stop signature gathering on IP 18 (assault weapons ban).
There's a lot in our lives over which we have minimal control, e.g. inflation, the pandemic, war in Ukraine, climate crisis, polarized politics, immigration policy and racial injustice. While it is easy to feel discouraged, one antidote is to take action where we are able to make a difference. Such an opportunity is to reduce gun violence and make Oregon schools and community spaces safer.
Lift Every Voice Oregon has drafted two Initiative Petitions that present common sense gun safety measures. There is a very simple way to sign these petitions: go to the website of Lift Every Voice Oregon (LEVO) and sign the petitions from home! All you have to do is print the two signature pages, sign each of them twice, print your name and address once, and send them to LEVO.
Initiative Petition (IP) 17: Safe Owners and Less Lethal Ammunition
- Requires a permit to purchase all firearms
- Requires a purchaser to pass a background check, and no sale of a gun can be completed before the background check is completed.
- Requires a purchaser to complete a safety training program, including hands-on training.
- Requires improvement in the database to track guns that are lost, stolen or used to commit crimes.
- Prohibits manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of magazines over 10 rounds, just like Washington State passed in February, 2022.
- Previously owned magazines may be retained with limited use.
- Exception for duty-only use by military and law enforcement.
As you can see from the above components of IP 17, passing this initiative will increase responsible gun ownership. Requiring permits to purchase firearms reduces homicides, suicides, gun trafficking and shootings of police. Requiring passing a background check is well supported by a majority of Oregonians. In mass shooting situations, it is well known that large-capacity magazines result in higher death tolls. Reducing the number of rounds that a shooter can fire before pausing to reload allows more children and adults to escape and survive an attack. It also allows more opportunity for intervention by law enforcement.
IP 17 is worthy of our support!
Initiative Petition (IP) 18: Stops Proliferation of Assault Weapons
- Prohibits future manufacture, import, purchase, transfer, possession or use of semiautomatic assault firearms with limited exceptions.
- The exceptions are for those weapons that are owned at the time of passage of this measure, IF the weapons are then registered with the State, and IF the use of the weapons is limited to owner's property, shooting ranges and hunting (if allowed by OR regulations).
- This IP covers undetectable, homemade, and 3-D printed semiautomatic "ghost guns."
- Exception to this IP: duty-only use by military and law enforcement.
States without laws limiting assault weapons have significantly more high-fatality mass shootings and significantly higher death rates from such incidents. Gun policy experts have rated a ban on assault weapons (and large capacity magazines) as one of the most effective measures to reduce deaths.
IP 18 is also well worthy of our support!
I hope everyone can agree that the above two initiatives are well worth signing and having on the November 2022 Ballot. In order for IP 17 and IP 18 to be on Oregon's November Ballot, there needs to be 140,000 active registered voters signing the petitions.
While you are thinking about it, go to Lift Every Voice Oregon and find the petitions to sign from your home!
Lastly, if you support these initiatives, please consider sending this email on to at least ten of your Oregon registered voter friends! Let's get these initiatives onto the November 2022 ballot and passed into law!
Our children deserve nothing less.
(This article was written by Andy Harris, MD, Oregon PSR Advisory Board Member)