Oregon is on the verge of a major tightening of its gun laws.
As of noon Wednesday, Measure 114 had won 50.7% of the vote, with many of the outstanding ballots in blue Willamette Valley strongholds.
Mark Knutson, chair of Lift Every Voice Oregon, the volunteer-led group that brought the proposal to the ballot, called it a “historic victory.”
“There’s more work to be done, but right now, we are going to celebrate with so much joy in our hearts, knowing that brighter and better days are ahead,” he said in a statement released Wednesday morning.
Knutson and fellow faith leaders led a campaign over the past year for a new law designed to reduce gun violence. Public safety has been on the top of voters’ minds as Portland battles a rise in shootings.
The measure will ban the sale of large-capacity magazines and require gun buyers to complete a safety course and obtain a permit. And it appears to be passing despite opposition from gun rights advocates and local law enforcement, who say implementing the law will be overly burdensome.
The measure will require $51 million in initial investment to enforce the law, although the state has said its long-term financial impact is unclear. Public health experts at John Hopkins University say gun violence costs Oregon nearly $6 billion every year.
“I promise that we will do all that we can to make sure that this measure is implemented in a fair and equitable way,” said Miles Pendleton, chapter president of NAACP Eugene-Springfield.
“Now, the hard work really begins,” said Antoinette Edwards, former director of Portland’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention.