1,100 responses from the AG's office
A proposed ballot title for Initiative Petition 43 to criminalize the production and transfer of "assault-style" firearms and high-capacity magazines received a record volume of comments earlier this month.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's Office received comments from 1,095 individuals about the proposed measure, 35 of which were past the May 8 deadline.
Under state law, the Attorney General's Office now has to revise the ballot title and respond to all of the comments by May 23.
Asked whether the office's entire staff would have to tackle that project, spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson said that some staffers, who normally don't respond to comments on ballot titles, would need to help out on this one.
But employees have a strategy for the responses: "We try to combine different comments into categories and respond with one letter," Edmunson said.
That will include comments in which Oregonians objected not to the language of the ballot title but to the fact that gun law reform could happen through the initiative process at all.
Some commenters proposed alternative wording to the highly contested term, "assault weapon" in the title.
"Factually, succinctly should be 'semiautomatics with capacity of 11 or more rounds of any caliber," wrote the helpful Walter Hunter, who didn't list his city of residence.
Salem resident Soren Winslow passionately opined that the ballot title should read: "Instantly turns 1.2 million law-abiding Oregon citizens into felons."
One supporter of the initiative wrote simply that it needs to pass.