Voters in Oregon pass gun control, health care measures
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon voters have narrowly passed measures that would strengthen gun laws and mandate health care as a human right.
Measure 114 requires residents to obtain a permit to purchase a gun, bans large-capacity magazines over 10 rounds except in some circumstances and creates a statewide firearms database.
To qualify for a permit, an applicant would need to complete an approved, in-person firearm safety course, pay a fee, provide personal information, submit to fingerprinting and photographing and pass a federal criminal background check. The permits would be processed by local police chiefs, county sheriffs or their designees.
The ban on large-capacity magazines would not apply to current owners, law enforcement or the military.
Proponents of the measure say it would reduce suicides — which account for 82% of gun deaths in the state — mass shootings and other gun violence.
Opponents, including the left-wing Socialist Rifle Association, say it would infringe on constitutionally protected rights and could reduce gun access among marginalized communities and people of color if law enforcement agencies are the arbiters of the permitting process. They also say permitting fees and the cost of the firearms course could also be barriers to access.
The health care proposal, Measure 111, makes Oregon the first state in the nation to change its constitution to explicitly declare affordable health care a fundamental human right.
The amendment reads: “It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.”
It does not define “cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable,” nor does it say who would foot the bill.
The Oregon Health Authority says 94% of Oregonians currently have insurance coverage and more are eligible for the Oregon Medicaid plan or a subsidy to reduce the cost of commercial insurance.
Opponents have said the amendment could trigger legal and political challenges if it passes.