Saturday, January 21, 2023

Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols Press Release: AC Brief Filed vs. Oregon Measure 114


January 17, 2023

Historically Discriminated Coalition Supports Lawsuit to Protect Marginalized Peoples’ Right to Own Firearms

The Historically Discriminated Coalition has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon opposing the implementation of Measure 114. The coalition is comprised of four groups: National African American Gun Association, Inc. (NAAGA), Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association (APAGOA), DC Project Foundation, Inc. (DCPF), and Operation Blazing Sword, Inc. (operating as Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols) (OBSPP).

The brief was filed by attorneys and former state representatives Michael McLane and Matthew Wand on January 13, 2023.

The brief contends that Measure 114 delays and arbitrarily denies marginalized groups the Second Amendment right to own firearms as a means of self-defense. It seeks the protection of the federal court because of the historical precedence of discrimination in Oregon against African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, women, and LGBTQ people.

“Much like North Carolina’s Pistol Purchase Permit, a Jim Crow-era law which uses subjective criteria to deny black people the ability to own a handgun for protection, Measure 114 fails to clearly define what does and does not disqualify applicants,” said Erin Palette, Founder of Operation Blazing Sword and National Coordinator of Pink Pistols. “Moreover, Measure 114 applies to all firearms, not just handguns, and so in this manner it drinks deeper from the tainted well of discrimination and gives local police the unprecedented ability to deny the right to keep and bear arms to anyone they choose for any reason.”

“Measure 114 does not make me or any other woman safer. It makes us less safe,” said Candy Yow, Oregon coordinator for DC Project Foundation. “When you make it more difficult for women to protect themselves, criminals are emboldened. Women have the constitutional right to protect themselves.”

“Measure 114 degrades the rights of gun owners and prevents people who are attempting to protect themselves from harm by placing financial obstacles to purchase a gun and exercise the most precious right they have, the Second Amendment,” said Philip Smith, President of NAAGA. “The requirement of having to buy a gun permit is in effect a tax on the Second Amendment. This is wrong and will be damaging to those folks, especially in poorer communities where budgets are already stretched. It now costs more to get the gun that you want and need because of Measure 114.”

“Measure 114 is detrimental for not only Asian Pacific Americans, but for all Americans who want to exercise their right to self-defense,” said Patrick Lopez, President of APAGOA. “The rise of racist attacks against Asian Pacific Americans over the past few years was eye-opening for the Asian Pacific American community.  We will defend ourselves and we will not be easy targets or victims.”

NAAGA was founded in 2015 to defend the Second Amendment rights of members of the African American community. With more than 50,000 members who reside in every state and the District of Columbia, NAAGA’s mission is to establish a fellowship by educating about the rich legacy of gun ownership by African Americans, offering training that supports safe gun use for self-defense and sportsmanship, and advocating for the inalienable right to self-defense for African Americans.

APAGOA was founded in 2021 to create a community of gun owners with an Asian Pacific American Heritage.  APAGOA advocates for strong firearms safety, education, and community building initiatives by providing educational materials and other supportive resources to its members and other interested parties.

The DC Project Foundation was founded in 2016 by retired police officer and professional shooting competitor, Dianna Muller.  The nationwide, non-partisan organization of women believe the gun rights are women’s rights, and that education, not legislation, is the key to firearms safety and violence prevention. There are over 3000 members.

Operation Blazing Sword, Inc. was established in 2016, the day after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shootings, to advocate on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) firearm owners, with specific emphasis on self-defense. It has over 1,500 volunteer firearm instructors in nearly 1,000 locations across all 50 states.  Pink Pistols, founded in 2000 and incorporated into Operation Blazing Sword in 2018, is a shooting society that honors gender and sexual diversity and advocates the responsible use of firearms for self-defense.

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