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Controversial gun control bill moves to floor of Oregon Senate

Allows local jurisdictions to decide whether to allow guns in public buildings

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- An Oregon Senate bill sponsored by Democratic lawmakers would let local jurisdictions potentially ban handguns in public places, which critics say would take away some of the protected freedoms associated with a concealed carry permit.

On Monday, a packed, yet virtual public hearing on Senate Bill 554 lasted nearly four hours. Oregonians on both sides of the issue voiced their concerns. About 1,000 written testimonies were submitted, about 100 from Central Oregonians.

"Now is the time to protect our public spaces from gun violence," wrote supporter Jean Carlton of Bend. "We must not be deterred by emotional claims that guns in public spaces either protect anyone or preserve our democracy."

Joyce Waring of Redmond opposed the bill, stating, "I am very concerned about the erosion of our rights in this country, and in particular, our gun rights. I see no benefit to this law."

The bill will make its way to the Senate floor for a vote in a few weeks.

Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, strongly opposes the bill.

"What Senate Bill 554 does is it makes felons out of people who have concealed carry permits," Knopp told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday. “It will be impossible for someone who has a concealed carry permit to actually carry to defend themselves and their family.”

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



      1. Jean can eat my ****! I don’t care if it passes!!! Make me a felon. I WILL ALWAYS CARRY EVERYWHERE I GO! So sick of this garbage these Californian leftists have brought to our once nice place to live. I know for a fact that everyone I know that carries will continue to. They will NOT INFRINGE ON OUR RIGHTS. PERIOD!

    1. Griklet, can you read? It said public places!
      An Oregon Senate bill sponsored by Democratic lawmakers would let local jurisdictions potentially ban handguns in public places. That’s everywhere the public is allowed to go. The park, the sidewalk, the street, the store, the all of out doors! This is nothing more than the criminalization of law biding citizens and the taking down of our rights.

    2. Not all schools have SRO’s, but that is beside the point. If you choose not to carry one at all, I respect that because I believe in personal choice as long as you have a legal right to be able to own a firearm. You seemed to be hyper focused on just schools and not all the other public places that are on the chopping block. Not only do people with a CHL have the 2nd Amendment to lean on, but we are taking this a bit further to include someone that has gone through an extensive background check to verify they are typically a good person. If a person with a CHL wants to carry when they leave their house, they are fine on a lot of levels, but to get to some place like a school, or store, or other business and not be able to continue to carry their firearm concealed causes them to make several decisions. Either give up their right to defend themselves completely and leave the gun at home for the entire day because of the one or more now restricted places wont allow it, or decide when they get to that location to have to handle the firearm now in the parking lot to remove it from its place of concealment and then store it in their car somewhere, and additionally try to hide the fact that they are doing so.

      To me, that creates considerably more risk than leaving it hidden where it is. It also now creates a huge risk of a firearm left inside the vehicle. With parking lot car break-ins at an all time high, I think this bill is hugely flawed and will cause law abiding citizens to make unreasonable changes that increase risk on all sides. Since you are only thinking about schools, I have to ask you if you realize that pretty much all school shootings are not completed by adults with a CHL? Try to also remember that the police are not going to protect you 99% of the time. They will be there to investigate what happened after its all over, but the chances that an armed officer will be at your side if something horrible happens is pretty slim. If you are too scared to get training and carry a firearm responsibly then don’t. But don’t push your fears on the rest of the law abiding citizens that just want a little security themselves that they hope they will never need. The last thing that I would like to mention is the sneaky rider laws and language that is usually not known at the time these votes are made. The politicians have one common sense law that most people can usually agree on, and 25 more that are ridiculous that don’t come out until the day of the vote.

      1. Well said. All logical and easily verifiable facts. To which I’ll add the significant CHL cost increases this bill also contains disenfranchises people with limited income. The people which of course are often the most vulnerable members of society – minorities, the poor, the elderly, etc.

        Unfortunately all these facts will mean nothing to the people pushing this bill since they are blinded by fear and willfully ignorant of the subject.

    3. I saw this video opening on the front page at the Z- and just heard that Joe Biden has carpet bombed Syria- blowing up schools- children- anything in sight… I thought the story here was about the Demokrat parties return to murder and how all of us will need small arms and munitions (many parts sold from China) to protect ourselves. Is anyone surprised at what the Demokrats have led this nation to… Both Global and Civil War ? Thanks Kuya ! Thanks Tio-Martha-Fester (LMAOAY)-Neverdumper- and how could we forget the Z and their ongoing propaganda machine that as led the path and championed the cause ! Yer all gonna have to answer to the man someday- I’d love to be there !

        1. Funny- I didn’t hear a single word of gratitude from you when President Trump kept America out of these never-ending global conflicts in the ME or Africa for four years… Now that this geriatric Biden has his thumb firmly pressed on the nuclear arsenal- you are now mildly irritated ! Did you really fall for that “kinder gentler” party of honesty BS that you spouted for four years ? You are an embarrassment and a supporter of the murder of women-children-the elderly. You knew Biden would pull this krap- but in all your girly hysterics- you couldn’t man up to admit that Biden and the Dems are really the party of death ! Now go home- and toss a few back- and try and ease your conscience ! I’ll be back tomorrow to let you know what a dirt bag you are !

          1. Oh my gosh, a MAGA loser who supports the Republican terrorist attack on Jan 6th at the US Capitol doesn’t approve of me? That’s music to my ears, and proof I’m leading a good life.

    4. Any person legally allowed, under the second amendment of the United States of America should carry all the time. PERIOD. The bat sheet crazy politicians need to stop infringing and taking away citizens rights. PERIOD

    5. So – what are you afraid of? Really? Valid question since CHL holders do not cause public safety issues. Of course there have been the CHL holders who stopped a shooter by shooting back – is that what you are concerned about? your own safety while you are shooting others?

  1. It will get passed.then shot down by the courts. We will have spent a bunch of tax money for nothing. Legislators that pass laws that are overturned should be somehow financially liable for their malfeasance.

      1. No, not every piece of legislation is overturned. A fair amount winds up in court. There needs to be something to put a stop to legislation that the authors know is likely to be stopped in court due to constitutional issues, yet push on in an effort to score points with their donors. The authors don’t really care, as it is not their money. They can tell their donors they tried, but those darn courts shot them down. In the mean time, a bunch of lawyers get paid on your dime. A lot of legislators are also lawyers. Hmmmm?

  2. It only makes a concealed carry permit holder a felon if they violate the law. They can choose where they live and travel with their concealed gun.

  3. ” Now is the time to protect our public spaces from gun violence,” wrote supporter Jean Carlton of Bend. “We must not be deterred by emotional claims that guns in public spaces either protect anyone or preserve our democracy.”

    What a bunch of crap. More stupidity from the Dems… I don’t know who this idiot
    Jean Carlton is but like most of the anti-gun crowd, she (?) is totally clueless.
    It’s not the legal, law abiding people that carry that are the problem: it’s the
    section of society that refuses to follow the laws in place and have no concern for
    the lives of others… Even if this stupid bill does pass, I’m not going to change how
    I live my life, because I have a right to protect myself and my family members.

        1. Actually you are wrong. Depending on how it’s written when it passes,and I have
          no doubt that it will, then I will decide if I am going to follow the law or not.
          I comply with dumb laws all the time too, but this is different…

          I refuse to let a bunch of low I.Q Liberals dictate where I can, and can’t protect myself and my family. It would be different if this bill had a modicum of common sense but it doesn’t because law abiding citizens aren’t the problem, and they know it. It is just another bill designed to restrict law abiding citizens.
          Like all of the gun related bills that the Dems push, they don’t accomplish anything
          in regards to reducing crime, if anything it will encourage an increase in crime,
          but it makes them feel like they are actually doing something positive, and it makes the loyal anti-gun sheep happy too…

          I would much rather take a chance carrying my handgun and having it if I need it,
          and be alive to take my chances in court. Of course the always obedient liberals
          will gladly follow and accept the stupidity of their leaders…
          Hopefully this ridiculous bill will get overturned quickly if it does actually pass.

          1. You sound like you’re trying to convince me that this bill is a stupid idea. You can save your breath. I do believe you’ll follow it though. If not, that’s on you. I think it’s a stupid law, but IF it passes I believe my safety and that of my family would be endangered much more by failing to follow it. Let’s be honest here. I’ve carried a concealed firearm for decades now. I’ve only ever needed to use any firearm in any altercation one time, thirty years ago and that was in a home invasion. On the other hand, “concealed” is a relative term and I prefer not to get shot by a trigger happy deputy if my coat rides up at Safeway.

          2. The constitution is the law of the land. The second amendment states our rights shall not be infringed. Any law they pass that infringes on our second amendment rights is noll and void. I will never comply with illegal laws. In fact if they pass this law they’re actually the criminals period

    1. This bill will make criminals out of law-abiding people who exercise their rights and then victims of those law-abiding people who leave their weapons at home.

        1. Why? When’s the last time you were able to buy 9mm fmj locally? For me it’s been 6 weeks, and I’m getting totally sick of dry fire even though my draw to sight picture, reload to sight picture times have actually improved quite a bit in the last couple months. The thing that probably made my comment stupid, in reality, is most criminals are Republican maga terrorists, they steal their boomer-Dad’s revolver and a handful of 9mm and some wine from Mom’s box-o-wine before they get lit and rob someone. So, yeah… you were right, it was a stupid comment.

  4. I (law abiding citizen with ccw) would love to be in a public restaurant being held up by CRIMINALS WITH GUNS and have Jean Carlton of Bend sitting at my table, wonder if she would prefer me shooting them or the other way around at least we will “not be deterred by emotional claims that guns in public spaces either protect anyone or preserve our democracy.”

      1. I’d rather get shot in a gun battle protecting myself than a massacre handing over my wallet. If criminals knew there was a high likelihood they would get shot when they pull out a gun they wouldn’t be a likely to pull out a gun. Fathers child, you probably believed in defunding the police as well. That didn’t work out so well for crime rates now did it?

  5. Just another example that the Democrats are not trying to pass gun laws for safety reasons but for control. What are the statistics of CHL holders committing crimes with their concealed handgun??? This law will have zero impact for Johnny Dirt Bag going into a school with a firearm other then to know that the law abiding person that did have a CHL will not be packing.

  6. A law abiding person with a CCW can’t go around flashing the fact they are carrying. That is a good way to lose that permit.

    This bill only punishes legal carrying people. Just like so called gun control, criminals will always have access to weapons. While the rest of are unarmed targets.

    1. ” A law abiding person with a CCW can’t go around flashing the fact they are carrying. That is a good way to lose that permit.”

      It’s a good way to be cited for Brandishing a weapon too… This law is just one of the many truly stupid laws already in place. If you have a Concealed Carry Permit you must keep it concealed, but on the other hand, Oregon is an open carry state, and you don’t need a permit to carry a handgun that is in plain view… If you have a permit, someone doesn’t have to actually see the handgun for a person to be in violation. You can be
      cited even if the person just sees the outline of the gun under a shirt.
      It’s called “printing”, and it means the person isn’t doing a good job of hiding the handgun…

      1. A defensive display, as opposed to brandishing, will dissuade a large majority of potential attackers, and is not illegal. Besides the fact that I don’t want to be the guy that makes a whole bunch of people anti-gun for no good reason, I always try to not show because you only have the element of surprise until you don’t.

        1. See, we do agree on some things LOL. I don’t want anyone seeing my handgun either because I know that it makes some people uncomfortable, and as you mentioned, you lose the element of surprise once someone sees it, and I firmly believe that it increases the odds of someone deciding that they want to try and take it away
          because some people are really stupid…

          A few years back I surprised a guy that threatened to cut me to pieces because I
          refused to give him money. I told him if he pulled out a knife I was going to shoot him, and he said that I was lying and didn’t have a gun. He decided to test the
          situation and put his hand in his coat pocket, and when he did that I pulled out
          my handgun. He decided that I wasn’t kidding and left. I called the cops and it
          didn’t take long for them to find him, and yes he did have a large knife in
          his pocket…

          1. Well said. So glad that turned out okay for you, and you’re safe. This brings up a super-important point as well… your phone is the second most important tool you carry. Once a confrontation is over, it’s a race to call the cops before the bad guys do. Call 911, tell them you were the victim of an assault and defended yourself. ‘Victim’ and ‘Defend’ are the two words you have to say. Then give a description of yourself and the bad guy, and wait for the police to come write a report. When he shows up say you intend to cooperate and comply, and you respect him very much, but you will not say anything else until your lawyer is present. I encourage everyone to consider contacting USCCA when you get your CHL, because there has never been a justified self protection use of a firearm that did not turn into an expensive muli-year legal defense.

  7. I neither own/carry a gun nor do I have a problem (in principle) with those who legally do. So I don’t have a dog in this fight.

    The ability/right for law abiding citizens to own and carry guns in this country has been around since the inception of this nation. It’s in the constitution (brought in from the Bill of Rights, if I recall correctly)–and it has been ruled by the Supreme Court that state and local governments are limited in how they can restrict folks in their right to have/bear arms. So….good luck Oregon lawmakers–you’re going to waste a bunch of taxpayer money AND you’re going to get your butt kicked in court if you try to pass this…I’ll go get some popcorn now and prepare for the show.

  8. How many concealed carry permit holders have shot up a “public place?”

    Democrats just want us all unarmed. they ONLY like guns when they control who has them and when they are the ones pointing them at citizens.

      1. Hahaha laughable!! You’ve been notoriously the most liberal so called journalist this side of the mountains. So spare us your bull****. I know you won’t post this because you know it’s fact!! Scumbag! You’ve been pushing this fake CNN covid narrative and trump conspiracy for the duration. You’re not a journalist. You’re a lefty cnn cuck

        1. Barney gave up journalism years ago. KTVZ is NOT a news outlet. They throw in a local story occasionally to maintain the illusion but there is ALWAYS an agenda.

      2. Then why do you post all the lies from CNN? I’ve noticed you only post my comments if you approve. That makes you a publisher not a journalist. You should start doing some real digging and just tell the truth! Go to
        Read up and post the facts that Kate Brown’s mask mandate breaks state and federal laws! Show us some truth for once

        1. You think I agree with all the comments here?? You must not read them much. If they violate Terms of Service (including “offensive” – indeed a judgment call, tough at times, easy at others) – they aren’t allowed – if they don’t, they are, even the ones who falsely claim the moderator’s judgment calls are political. Thankfully, I’ve heard from many folks on all ends of the political spectrum who are kind enough say they support my role and decisions.
          Moderators moderate comments. Reddit has 1,000s of them, and their system works well. Our company decided years ago to use the CNN wire feed, which pours through this site automatically, for a variety of reasons.

  9. You liberals who support this bill would have never survived in Bend Oregon in the 60s and 70s. This is the most dumbass legislation I can imagine and only shows how Oregon is going down the sewer. We are already a laughing stock across the country thanks to those idiots in Portland. This 5th Generation Oregonian is almost done with this state and Central Oregon.

    1. How long does it take for police to respond to a call of a gunman at a convenience store 3 min, or maybe 5? How many people can be killed/wounded in those 3 to 5 min? picture this, man has a gun shooting(killing)at people in the park. A Concealed carry or open carry man or woman is near and shoots the assailant. how many lives are saved because someone had a weapon to stop a maniac before the police could arrive? Look at most of the Mass shootings. if someone with a weapon would have killed the assailant before the police arrived how many lives could have been saved?

    2. The idea that law enforcement has a duty to protect you is a common misconception. In 2005 the Supreme Court ruled in Gonzalez vs Castle Rock that law enforcement has no legal obligation to defend you. Neither can they be held legally liable for failing to do so. Of course, the notion of a moral obligation to stop someone committing a violent crime would seem a reasonable assumption but even that can’t be counted on. (See: Sheriff response to Marjorie Stoneman school shooting in Fla)

      When you look at statistics on people who go through the process of obtaining a conceal permit you’ll find they have a lower crime rate than members of law enforcement. CHL holders are not a threat nor are they a demonstrable problem in public places. This isn’t about public safety, it’s a quid pro quo. The proposed restrictions are an attempt to deny gun rights by proxy. Tina Kotek and the Multnomah County Sheriff who strongly support this bill are among many who took campaign money from Michael Bloomberg’s anti-civil rights groups over the last few cycles.

      The goal is and has been to restrict expression of a civil right. If this passes, in the future you can expect to see the state incentivize localities to restrict legal carry effectively eliminating the right to bear arms outside of the home. It’s the first step of many to come.

  10. Oregonians and Americans you are to blame for this crap you voted in all these people that want to take away your rights. And now we have a President sent out with notes in his pocket. Wake up the schools are brain washing the kids with complete garbage.

    1. Not really…

      Not hardly ever…

      As a retired cop I can assure you of that…

      Response times differ per locality, manpower on duty and available, distance to be traveled and road conditions along the way…

      So much the average citizen simply does not know anything about…

      We get there as quickly and safely as we can and are able…

      In the meantime, the Citizen is on her / his own.

      Think about that for a bit.

      1. And the first person someone hopes shows up is someone with a gun. And now look how much liberals hate law enforcement “Defund the police.” “ACAB.” And even when one of those punks gets in the slightest inconvenience they call a cop with a gun.

    1. No *****, didn’t take them long to get back to getting the terrorist to want to start beheading usagain, there should be no doubt who the party of war is, DEMONCRAPS.
      Also good to know, only the criminals who do not pay attention to the law’s, will have gun’s in
      public places, and they will know, that there will be no one to stop them.
      Remember back in the good old days of Obummer, Old joe, and Billery. seems like there was a lot of terrorist activity in the Good ole US of A. well get ready Old puppet Joe is bringing that back, not that he really has anything to do with it. Remember, San Bernardino, December 2015 (14 killed 22 wounded): Garland, Texas, May 2015 (2 killed): Boston Marathon, April 2013 (3 killed, 264 wounded): Benghazi, Libya, September 2012: (4 killed): Ft. Hood, Killeen, Texas, November 2009 (13 killed, 32 wounded): Little Rock, Ark., June 2009 (1 killed, 1 wounded): Yes, they sure would like you to forget, NEVER FORGET, The democrats bring hate, don’t let them fool you.
      There is a reason they want to take away your guns, it makes it easer for their friends.

    2. For what it’s worth, I’m livid about this, and have sent multiple messages via email and twitter to Merkley, Bentz, and Biden. This is illegal, and complete bs. Every anti-war Dem should be completely pissed right now.

      1. Who cares what you think. illegal aliens, big tech, and big corporations are all that is important. you liberal chumps did your part and got rid of the orange menace.

        1. I was so disappointed to learn a republican domestic terrorist maga cult member disagrees with me. So sad. How will I go on? Looking forward to March 4th, btw, lol

    1. Until someone shoots up your kids school. The u.s. is the only country stupid (greedy, obsessed, fill in the blank) enough to not protect kids from being murdered by right wong nut jobs. Real pro life eh. Thank nra and its bancrupted doopah and crooked “lobbyists”.

  11. Was thinking about getting a concealed carry permint, but screw it! The authorities that interact with me, won’t know when I’m armed I guess. I’ll just continue to carry illegally since the anti-gun morons don’t seem to get it. Making something illegal won’t make it go away, idiots. – Fellow Democrat

  12. Guessing my comment will be pulled apart a few.

    I do not own a gun. See no reason to. Have survived a few years of life without one. Can’t imagine seeing the light leave a body, critter or human.

    So why the need for a gun in public place. It makes no sense. Is it a warrior mentality, vigilante mentality? What?

    Statistically, the odds are against anybody pulling their weapon in a mass shooting. In fact more people could be hurt.

    Just sayin’.

    And for those of you who feel compelled to attack, call me names, have at it, you don’t know me. You have no clue as to what I believe, support or how I vote. If it makes you feel important, well so be it.

    Your toxic spew will not offend.

    Happy trails all.

    1. You’re lucky then. Some people live with threats to their safety and well being daily. They could be poor and live in a bad neighborhood. Or a woman who works late. Or someone trying to escape an abusive relationship. Or a person of color. Or someone with a sexual orientation that makes them a target for violence.

      If you don’t have any of those concerns well congratulations! But all of them do not deserve to have the right to protect themselves taken away just because you don’t relate them.

    2. I carry for the same reason I have extinguishers in my house, good deadbolts, and use seatbelts. Rather have those safety devices and not need them than vice versa.

  13. Then why do you post all the lies from CNN? I’ve noticed you only post my comments if you approve. That makes you a publisher not a journalist. You should start doing some real digging and just tell the truth! Go to
    Read up and post the facts that Kate Brown’s mask mandate breaks state and federal laws! Show us some truth for once

  14. “”Now is the time to protect our public spaces from gun violence,” wrote supporter Jean Carlton of Bend.”

    Is she insane? Protect our public places from responsible gun owners who may save lives? Ok let’s only criminals carry and see what happens.

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