PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The aftermath of the midterm elections is still shaking out. While most eyes are on candidate races, two of the statewide measures on Oregon’s ballot got mixed results from voters.
Measure 111, which is too close to call, would make Oregon the first state in the country with a constitutional obligation to provide access to affordable health care to its residents. As of Monday morning, 90% of the vote was counted and the measure was passing 50.6% to 49.4%.
Measure 114, which is also too close to call, would reform state gun laws by requiring Oregonians to get a permit before obtaining firearms, would require a state police-maintained permit/firearm database and prohibits “large capacity” ammunition magazines. As of Monday morning, 90% of the vote was counted and the measure was passing 50.8% to 49.2%
Chris Stout, an associate professor of political science at Oregon State University, said Measure 111 didn’t have the same support as other measures on the ballot. He said it was a combination of convoluted language and not understanding where the money would come from to pay for the affordable health care for all.
“I think if 111 were to come up again it would have to be a lot more specific about what it would look like in practice,” he told KOIN 6 News.
He also said it’s difficult to know how this would be implemented because Oregon is a trailblazer for this sort of legislation. But he thinks voters were hesitant about this measure because of the cost and how it would be funded.
“What would it cost? What would the state’s role be in enforcing affordable healthcare?” Stout asked rhetorically. “There’s still questions left to be answered in how this would work in practice.”
Measure 114 limits the size of gun magazines for purchase to 10 rounds or fewer.
Dane Bauman, who owns Aloha Surplus, has been working in the arms business for 4 decades. He said he’s disappointed in the measure, especially considering what people in Oregon already have to do to get a gun.
The problem, he said, is the lack of prosecution for criminals. All Measure 114 would do, he said, is cost people their jobs.
“We’ll limit gun sales because people will not be able to take the classes that the measure mandates. Nobody will be giving classes that the measure mandates for at least approximately 6 months to a year, which would be the earliest that it could be,” Bauman said. “And so it’s just going to end gun sales. It’s going to end employment for many people that deal in those items.”
The 10-round limit on magazines won’t impact someone who is proficient in switching out a magazine, he told KOIN 6 News. He wants to see an increase in the prosecution of criminals he said aren’t being pursued by local law enforcement.
“An illegal act is an illegal act. A criminal is a criminal. Murder is a crime. We don’t see the prosecution by their local, state and county people claiming they don’t have the money to prosecute crime. And that’s why we have the crimes and the problems we have. All the feel good laws will never change the lack of prosecution,” Bauman said. “So it’s nice to fantasize that taking guns off the street is going to stop something. But if you don’t prosecute the criminals, they’re never going to go away.”