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Federal judge rules Oregon gun law doesn’t violate Second Amendment

<i>John Rudoff/Sipa USA/AP/File</i><br/>A 30-round magazine for AR-15/MR rifles is seen here for sale at The Gun Room in Portland
John Rudoff/Sipa USA/AP/File
A 30-round magazine for AR-15/MR rifles is seen here for sale at The Gun Room in Portland

By Michelle Watson, CNN

(CNN) — A federal judge in Oregon ruled on Friday that a new state gun law does not violate the US Constitution, keeping one of the toughest gun laws in the country in place.

US District Court Judge Karin Immergut ruled that Ballot Measure 114’s restrictions on large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are constitutional because these magazines are “not commonly used for self-defense, and are therefore not protected by the Second Amendment.”

“Even if LCMs are protected by the Second Amendment, BM 114’s restrictions are consistent with this Nation’s history and tradition of regulating uniquely dangerous features of weapons and firearms to protect public safety,” the ruling said.

The law strengthens background checks and prohibits the sale and transfer of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. It also closes the “Charleston Loophole,” which allows gun purchases to move forward by default after three days even if a background check has not been completed. The law also requires state police to complete background checks on individuals before a gun sale or transfer is made.

Since passing in November, the measure has faced a number of legal challenges, with the NRA’s legislative action arm lamenting it as “the nation’s most extreme gun control Initiative.”

But Immergut’s ruling maintains that while the Second Amendment does protect against “bearable arms” as listed in the US Constitution, large-capacity magazines are a “subset of magazines” – and therefore, not considered a bearable arm.

“Magazines are an accessory to firearms, rather than a specific type of firearm,” Immergut said. “At the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification through to the late nineteenth century, firearm accessories like cartridge boxes – which held ammunition but, unlike modern magazines, did not feed the ammunition into firearms – were not considered ‘arms’ but instead were considered ‘accouterments,’” the ruling said.

The measure is one of several gun control laws that passed in 2022, the second-highest year for mass shootings in the United States on record.

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