(Update: Adding video, comments)
'The strict liability provisions of this bill are draconian'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A vote in Oregon’s House of Representatives on controversial gun storage legislation, initially set for Monday, has been pushed back a week to enable Democrat lawmakers to work with the Senate as they seek its passage.
The bill requires the owner or possessor of a firearm to secure the firearm with a trigger or cable lock, in locked container or in a gun room, except in specified circumstances.
Those in favor say this is a gun safety issue, while those who oppose believe it could waste time, should someone have to defend themselves against an armed intruder.
Paul Kemp is just one of the hundreds of Oregonians that have testified about HB 2510.
"I don't know why with such a lethal weapon that there's no consequences," Kemp said.
Kemp's brother-in-law, Steve Forsyth, was killed with a stolen gun in the Clackamas Town Center shooting near Portland back in 2012.
"Nobody is asking anybody to do anything that is not already recommended by experts in the industry," Kemp told NewsChannel 21 Monday evening.
Kemp, now the president of Gun Owners For Responsible Ownership and director of State of Safety Action, says the storage law would hold firearms owners more accountable.
"We face consequences for leaving a child in a hot car. We face consequences for providing our children alcohol," Kemp said. "You face consequences if you have unsafe conditions at home."
But there are many who oppose the bill, like Redmond gun owner Ash Blair, who reached out to NewsChannel 21 to voice discontent with the proposal.
"Say if there was a robber, I wouldn't have time to unlock my gun lock, just to grab one gun to defend my home," Blair said.
And others like, the Oregon Hunter's Association, have expressed similar opposition, saying "the strict liability provisions of this bill are draconian" and that "shifting the burden onto law abiding gun owners for the actions of thieves is crazy."
House Bill 2510:
- Requires owner or possessor of firearm to secure firearm with trigger or cable lock, in locked container
- Punishes violation by maximum of $500 fine
- If minor obtains unsecured firearm, maximum of $2,000 fine
One of the sponsors of the bill is Bend's Democratic state Rep. Jason Kropf.
"I spent a large part of my career in the DA's office, and I've read and seen too many types of these acts of violence when it comes with firearms and suicides with firearms," Kropf said. "This is a measure that will make us a safer community, a safer state, and help prevent some of those incidents."
Kropf says he personally owns a gun, and uses a cable lock to ensure the safety of his spouse and 8-year-old daughter.
Those in favor also say safe storage could reduce school shootings.
But opponents say the bill is an infringement on their constitutional rights.