Federal Judge Rules Oregon's Tough New Gun Law Is Constitutional

PORTLAND (AP) – A federal judge ruled that the voter-approved gun-control measure in Oregon - which is one of the strictest in the country - was constitutional.

U.S. district judge Karin Immergut has ruled that requiring a permit for the purchase of a gun and banning large-capacity magazines is in line with "the history and tradition" of regulating firearms and weapons to protect the public's safety.

This decision follows a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment, which has caused confusion and divided judges over the permissible firearm restrictions. The decision changed the test lower courts used to evaluate challenges to firearm regulations. It told judges that gun restrictions must be in line with the "historical tradition" of firearm regulation.

Oregon voters narrowly approved Measure 114 in November, which requires residents undergo safety training and a criminal background check before obtaining a permit to purchase a firearm.

The law also prohibits the transfer, sale or import of magazines that hold more than 10 cartridges unless the magazine is owned by a member of the military or law enforcement. It can't be imported if the magazine was owned prior to the passage. After the law takes effect, those who own high-capacity magazine can only use them on a shooting range or in competitions. They cannot be used for hunting.

Immergut wrote that large capacity magazines "are not commonly used for personal defense, and therefore are not protected by Second Amendment". The Second Amendment allows governments to make sure that only law abiding, responsible citizens can keep and bear weapons.

It is possible that the latest U.S. District Court ruling will be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As one of the first gun restrictions to be passed since the Supreme Court's ruling in June, the fate of the Oregon measure has been closely watched.