Gun-control advocates should let Salem do its job: Editorial

Gun-control advocates should let Salem do its job: Editorial

(AP Photo/Andrew Selsky) As contradictory as it may seem, gun-control advocates should breathe a sigh of relief that a proposed ballot measure to outlaw assault weapons in Oregon won’t go before voters in November. Initiative Petition 43, hastily filed in the weeks following a mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school, was overly broad and clumsily written, seeking to ban a wide range of military-style rifles and semi-automatic pistols. A provision to criminalize ownership of such weapons was needlessly inflammatory, igniting a firestorm among gun owners who could face felony charges if they failed to meet timelines for registering, surrendering or destroying any of the listed weapons. While legislating complicated policy via initiative is rarely a good idea, IP 43 organizers ratcheted up the degree of difficulty with a rushed timeline that left no room for error. This was not the gun-control proposal on which to bet the house. And of course, there was error. The Oregon Supreme Court last month rejected proposed ballot language drafted by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as misleading and inaccurate . The delay killed backers’ chances for collecting the necessary signatures by July 6 to qualify the proposal for the ballot. They are now eyeing the 2020 election . But the clergy members and others leading the campaign should rethink that plan. Their best chance for lasting change comes not through threatening a divisive battle at the ballot box but by working with lawmakers, gun-owners, gun-control activists and others to pass reasonable […]

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