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Secretary of State Dennis Richardson Says Gun Control Measures Might Have Made Oregon Ballot With His Reforms

Measure proposing to regulate semiautomatic weapons fails will not move forward. Richardson wants to make it easier to gather signatures.

As a state representative six legislative sessions, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) was a strong supporter of gun rights.

That adds some interest to Richardson's response today to the announcement by gun control supporters that backers of a gun control measure—initiative petition 43—are suspending efforts to make the November ballot.

"Whether I agree or not with a particular cause, I strongly believe Oregonians should have the right to petition their government without the deck stacked against them," Richardson said in a statement. "I urge the Legislature to adopt the grassroots petition protections that I have consistently advocated."

Richardson, a Republican, earlier proposed making it more difficult to tie up proposed initiatives with litigation and allowing single-signature petition sheets rather than multi-signature sheets. He backed off those proposals after a torrent of criticism and a lawsuit from Democratic groups.