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After emotional statements, Oregon House passes gun bill

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House on Thursday passed a bill, after emotional debate on both sides, that would mandate safe storage of firearms, ban them from the state Capitol and allow public schools and colleges to ban concealed carrying of handguns.

The bill, Senate Bill 554, next goes to the Senate, which had passed a much narrower version of the bill before it was amended. Two separate gun bills had been watered down somewhat and then combined into one measure.

“It would be pretty impactful in (Oregon) as it is currently in the minority of states that has no law aimed at preventing unsupervised gun access by minors,” said Allison Anderman, senior counsel at Giffords, a gun safety advocacy group.

The bill is aimed at reducing the number of accidentally shootings by children who get ahold of guns, of suicides and of mass shootings. It requires firearms to be secured with a trigger or cable lock, in a locked container or in gun room. Among those who testified earlier was Paul Kemp, whose brother-in-law Steve Forsyth was killed with a stolen gun in a mass shooting at a Portland-area shopping mall in 2012.

The bill also authorizes the board of a public university, community college or school district to adopt a policy banning concealed handgun licensees from possessing firearms on school grounds.

The debate in Oregon over guns mirrors similar discussions being held nationwide, with little movement on gun control, even as the number of mass shootings climbs again as the nation eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Republican lawmakers said the bill will deprive people the ability to protect themselves.

“This bill won’t save lives. It will make criminals out of our law-abiding citizens,” Rep. David Brock Smith, a Republican from Port Orford, said on the House floor.

But Rep. Rachel Prusak, a main sponsor of the bill, said: “The safe storage portion of this bill creates no crime. It does establish that a gun owner may share in the responsibility for civil damages as a result of their carelessness if an unsecured firearm is used to cause harm.”

Previously, the measure imposed strict liability on people who violate the statute and whose guns are used to injure or kill another person. Instead, it now imposes a negligence standard. It also previously would have allowed local governments to prohibit concealed handgun licensees to have guns on their properties. The new version does not allow that.

Rep. Dacia Grayber, a firefighter and paramedic, stood in support of the bill and described coming on the scene of shootings. Her first was the fatal accidental shooting of a child by a friend. They had found a gun under a bed while playing.

“We could not save him, and he died while his father howled the most unimaginable sounds in the next room,” Grayber said, her voice cracking with emotion. “This scene plays out in our state and our country time and time again. And colleagues, it does not have to.”

The bill passed the House with 34 votes in favor and 24 against. Democrats, who overwhelmingly favor the bill, have a majority in both the House and Senate.

Crime And Courts / Government-politics / Oregon-Northwest / Top Stories

The Associated Press



        1. Elections don’t matter because you were the only one that voted for these Nazis. Wait till they take your voice away too. Don’t worry it’s coming.

  1. This will insure that the only people with firearms handy will be criminals. When seconds count the police are only minutes away. Good luck out there if you adhere to this bad law.

  2. I’m all for some common sense improvements to gun laws but I’m not really sure what allowing schools/colleges to ban concealed carry really accomplishes. If a person has gone through training and has their permit, then that seems like they aren’t really the big problem. What I’d really like to see is a better way to identify and act on early warning signs that a person has a fetish or fascination with guns or violence and be proactive about making it harder for that type of person to have guns. Isn’t there some kind of test that the military gives to potential recruits to see if they are mentally fit, which basically attempts to identify people who have tendencies to be overly fascinated with guns and violence? To be honest, I don’t know anything about the military screening so if anyone else knows about it please inform me.
    Anyway, my point is, you know the type. It’s the guy who has a chip on his shoulder, posts whacky and paranoid things to social media, people who know him have observed unstable behavior, military-wanna-be who is constantly fixated on tactical gear, bulletproof vests, stockpiling, etc. Those are patterns with at least some capability to identify ahead of time to see if there is a reason to connect the dots. Obviously, that is tricky because it can quickly become invasion of privacy, but my point is that we seem to be more reactive than proactive with gun laws.

  3. So you really think that the people that carelessly leave their guns out so the kids can get to them will change their behavior? And the law abiding people that use guns responsibly which is a majority will continue storing guns the way they have in the past. Another stupid idea from the left.

  4. They just keep taking baby step. When have you ever heard the left talk about the actual problem statistically with gun deaths. Its not law abiding citizens doing the killing. Its thugs, of all colors, killing each other. When will that ever be part of the conversation. Oh, yeah, one of the first steps of Marxism is chaos. Well, here we are.

  5. My question is how are they going to enforce a law to make sure a gun owner has locked up their gun ?? are they going to send out the gun owner enforcement team to every legal law abiding gun owner to see if they have their gun locked up ?? This I might add only allows the nut case who illegally buys or steals a gun to have the upper hand when they commit a crime against a law abiding gun owner who has to unlock his gun before they can defend their self. This is asinine law makes absolutely not sense whatsoever once again the far lefties in Oregon try to pass a law that will be impossible to enforce without going against the rights of legal gun owners.

  6. More absolutely worthless liberal legislation. They only thing that this accomplished
    was making politicians feel good about themselves, and it opens up the potential to punish otherwise law abiding citizens… You can bet that a large section of people who legally
    own firearms won’t adhere to this stupidity. The old saying, “I would rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6” holds true even more now.

    1. You will be tried by 12, once. Then if you’re not in jail, you’ll spend several years in civil courts fending off every family member, friend, neighbor, and casual acquaintance of the guy you shot wanting every penny you ever picked up off the sidewalk. People better think long and hard before owning a weapon.

      1. That’s true but the civil liability isn’t anything new. It’s a known risk that
        if you own a firearm and use it in self defense situation, you will be dragged
        into civil court by the remaining family members. If the person that was shot
        was in the process of assaulting someone, or breaking into a home, and even if the shooting was justified, the gold digging families and their ambulance chasing lawyers will still try to profit from the situation…
        Most people don’t think about it but anyone that owns firearms should add the name and phone number in their contact list of a very good attorney that specializes in firearms and self-defense cases, especially if you carry concealed, because if you do unfortunately have to use your firearm for protection, you will need one.

  7. Let’s think back to Sandy Hook . . . Where did the shooter get the firearm? From his mothers locked gun safe, after he killed her. This law wouldn’t have changed a thing or the mass killing.
    Show me where laws stopped any criminal from breaking the law?
    How about the numbers of times, someone with a concealed weapon stopped a mass shooting or just a killing? I see the stories everyday, just not in MSM, as it’s against their agenda.
    When a person is suicidal and there isn’t a firearm handy, does that stop him from committing suicide? NO! They find another way.
    If someone is bent on killing, does the lack of a firearm stop him? NO! He just finds another way.
    The firearm isn’t the problem! People are the problem.

  8. A responsible gun owner properly secures his/her firarmas when they are not under direct control. By the tantrum responses here we can see who does not care anout securing thier firearms

  9. It seems to me that “The State of Oregon” now must require all alcohol and prescription drugs in homes to be locked up as well, as more kids die or are harmed by them than all the guns. Except for the liberals, their little angles would never steal their drugs and booze. “In 2012, an estimated 15 percent of all adults reported binge drinking at least once in the past 30 days in Oregon. The stats for teens are more alarming. An estimated 16.5 percent of 11th-graders reported binge drinking in the past 30 days in 2015. Boys were slightly more likely to binge drink than girls. The majority of teens who drank alcohol drank either liquor or beer, and most teens said it would be very easy or sort of easy to get alcohol if they wanted it.”

  10. Gun-owners should be responsible on their own to keep firearms safe in their homes without the government looking over their shoulders. Just too much of an intrusion and overreach. If there is overt negligence that leads to the death of another by firearm, use the existing laws on the books for accountability. It’s a fairly straightforward process to charge someone who creates a “substantial and unjustifiable risk” ….without looking for more ways to persecute legal gun owners.

  11. The bill seems to state what should be common sense if everyone was responsible. I do not think that it will change any behavior. I do see some legal change in careless behavior. Well it is a place to start, and personally I do not see why it should be such an issue to illicit such strong opposition.

  12. Kate, why stop at half measures in restricting people? These same standards need to be applied to vehicles, prescription drugs, booze, etc. ANYTHING used by people to kill another person or used in a suicide, even if it saves one life we must do it.
    After all, in for a penny in for a pound.

  13. Oregon colleges and schools soon to be “gun free.” Let’s hope that our students survive the mass shootings that seem to gravitate towards large gatherings of unarmed victims.

  14. I don’t own any guns. Someone even offered to buy me one and I said no, I don’t need one. But two of my sons own them and I understand why. They have small children to protect and that is their primary reason for having them. They keep their guys locked up. So my family is doing what is morally right here. But these new laws will do absolutely nothing to stop the vast majority of gun deaths. Nothing.
    If laws were all it took to stop murders then why does the law against murder not stop all the murders? The people shooting others are already breaking the law and another law will not stop them.
    The part in this new law where if your gun is stolen then you will be held responsible if it is used in a crime is just absurd. Why don’t these lawmakers do something about the homeless? Or just do anything productive and leave law-abiding citizens alone.

  15. Meanwhile a recent Newsweek poll finds support for new gun control laws is significantly down nationwide –

    > A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday from among more than 1,000 U.S. adults found that Americans overall are less supportive of new gun control legislations than they were just three years ago. People between the ages of 18-29 saw the sharpest decline in backing for new weapons laws, with fewer than half now saying new legislation is needed to reduce the risk of future mass shootings or to block “red flag” buyers.

    > The preference for enacting new gun laws aimed at reducing firearm violence has dropped by 7 percent overall since the last corresponding survey was conducted in April 2018. Percentage drops were seen in nearly every demographic divide. In that time period, 20 percent of Hispanics pulled back from supporting new gun laws, falling to 50 percent. An increase in rural Americans also now say they want no new gun restrictions, down 17 points to 30 percent.

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