Experts Secure Key Victory for State of Oregon in High-Profile Gun Safety Case

In the wake of the passage of Oregon Ballot Measure 114, which restricts the use of large-capacity magazines (LCMs, magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets), several lawsuits challenging its constitutionality were filed. The consolidated case, Oregon Firearms Federation et al. v. Tina Kotek et al., was heard in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.

The state of Oregon engaged NERA Economic Consulting in their defense, with Senior Managing Director Lucy Allen acting as the key expert and providing analysis and testimony on statistical issues related to LCMs. Ms. Allen testified about her analysis of the number of shots fired in self-defense as well as an analysis of mass shootings. Based on Ms. Allen’s analysis, the court found “that it is exceedingly rare (far less than 1 percent) for an individual to fire more than ten shots in self-defense.” The court also determined that “LCMs are commonly used in high-fatality mass shootings” and “the use of LCMs in mass shooting events increases the lethality of those events.”

The court found “Ms. Allen to be a highly qualified and credible witness and [gave] significant weight to her testimony and statistical conclusions.” The court concluded that the state of Oregon’s restrictions on the use of LCMs were not unconstitutional since LCMs are not commonly used for self-defense. The court also found that Oregon’s restrictions are consistent with the US’ history and tradition of regulating uniquely dangerous features of weapons and firearms to protect public safety.