(Update: Adding videos, details of debate)
Mayor pro tem says it 'wont take my guns away'; gun-rights attorney calls measure 'overly burdensome'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The pros, cons and details of Measure 114, the gun safety and regulation proposal on Oregon’s Nov. 8 ballot, were debated for an hour Thursday evening on NewsChannel 21, with a proponent saying it will save lives and a foe disputing any impact but a burden on police and law-abiding citizens.
Bend Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Broadman, an attorney, spoke as a gun owner and hunter in favor of the “simple, effective gun-safety measure,” recently endorsed by the Bend City Council, while Medford attorney Shawn Kollie, a criminal defense lawyer who focuses much of his work on defending gun rights through Oregongunlaw.com spoke of flaws and major issues it would create.
The measure would require permits, issued by local law enforcement, to buy a firearm. It also would require a photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, a criminal background check and fee payment to apply for a permit.
It also would ban the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using or transferring of ammunition magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, making violations a Class A misdemeanor.
Broadman said his first job was at a gun range and he’s an avid hunter but that “I understand the horror of gun violence,” and 30 years ago as a youngster knew “the trauma of having a parent get shot at.”
“Measure 114 won’t take my guns away – if it did, I wouldn’t support it,” he said. But Broadman repeatedly pointed to other states where he said the data shows similar steps have reduced gun homicides and suicides.
Kollie, who formerly practiced law in Bend, said Measure 114 is “duplicative and overly burdensome,” creating “more hurdles and more problems for people trying to purchase firearms lawfully.”
And he said Oregon’s death rate for firearms has been consistent for years, despite increasing regulations to prevent them. The measure, he said, “doesn’t save a life. All it does is make more burdens, more hurdles for law-abiding citizens.”
Broadman said 10 other states have limited the size of magazines and the measure “won’t take them away. I have magazines that exceed (10). I would have the option of maintaining them at my residence, or transport to a private piece of property to use them.”
Now, Broadman said, if a background check doesn’t come back in three days, someone can still buy a gun. “I want every person in my city to have gone through a background check (to buy a gun),” he said. “There should be no improvement.
Kollie laid out the various stepped-up measures over recent years, from background checks at gun shows and for private-party sales to the state’s Red Flag Law (to get a court order to remove firearms from those deemed at risk to themselves or others) and the state’s safe-storage requirement.
“We have created so many laws and hurdles for gun owners,” he said.
Moderator Lee Anderson asked if the measure would have made any difference in last month’s tragic shooting at Bend’s Eastside Safeway, and said, “Don’t laws only restrict the law-abiding and not the lawless?”
Kollie said the measure “would do nothing to stop” what transpired. He noted that the Columbine High shooters fired 188 rounds while the nation’s assault weapons ban was in effect.
Broadman said he would “steer clear” of the sensitive topic of Bend’s recent shooting but that “we know measures like 114 work,” pointing to Connecticut, where a similar law reduced gun homicides and suicides by about 30 percent.
“We’re losing two people every day in this state to gun violence. That should be unacceptable,” Broadman said.
The pair were asked about the expected burden on local governments, as a city of Bend law clerk said processing the permits and their requirements could require 13 to 20 more city employees.
Broadman said, “This cannot be an unfunded mandate,” and that local governments would work with the Legislature to make sure resources are made available. But he also said that “gun violence is costing us $9 billion a year. If we need to spend money to keep each other safe in our communities, it’s a small price to pay.”
Along with current delays in processing existing firearm permits, Kollie said another “huge factor” is the burden, especially in rural areas, of requiring safety and live-fire training where such facilities now don’t exist. And he disputed that more gun regulations will work, pointing to the hundreds killed in Chicago, where regulations are among the toughest in the country.
And he used a familiar phrase: “When all the guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.”
Learn more of what they had to say by watching the two-part video.