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Petition requiring safe gun storage will not appear on November ballot


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A petition calling for stricter gun storage restrictions will not be on the ballot this November.

Initiative Petition 44 would require guns to be secured in a container with tamper resistant locks when not being carried. It would also impose similar restrictions when transferring firearms, and would require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within a 24 hour period.

Critics of the petition said the restrictions weren't practical for self-defense. It was challenged in Oregon courts by the National Rifle Association and the Oregon Firearms Federation before being cleared for signature gathering Monday.

But petitioners announced Thursday they didn't have enough time to gather the more than 88,000 signatures required by July 6th, and would refile the initiative for the November 2020 ballot while simultaneously working with the Oregon Legislature to pass the measure in the 2019 session.

"We are disappointed the gun lobby’s efforts prevented signature gathering for a critical period of more than six weeks. We have concluded it is not possible to collect the required signatures before the July 6 deadline,” said Henry Wessinger, Chief Petitioner of the measure in a press release. “We are not discouraged and look forward to working with legislators to pass this important measure in the 2019 session.”

Though IP 44 will not be on the November ballot, a local group called Jackson County Right to Bear Arms is continuing to battle proposed legislation that wold limit second amendment rights.

They say they aren't surprised the petition was suspended.

"Most of the people that I keep in touch with on this didn't think it would pass," said Ryan Mallory, the effort's campaign manager. "It was kind of an unenforceable thing. It removes your ability to use your firearm to protect yourself . So we weren't as concerned about that one, but we're happy it's gone."

Mallory said Initiative Petition 43 is a bigger concern for JACO Right to Bears Arms. That petition would impose separate restrictions, including a ban on certain firearms and magazines within the state.

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IP 43 is currently tied up in the state's court system. It also requires more than 88,000 signatures by July 6th to appear on the November ballot.

Petitioners are unable to start collecting signatures until the the measure passes the courts.

Ceasefire Oregon, a group aiming to reduce gun violence, is hosting a signature gathering training in Ashland on Saturday. The training session is being held at 5 p.m. at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at 87 4th Street in Ashland.

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