SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Legislators have brought guns into the Oregon Capitol for personal protection. Protesters have carried semi-automatic rifles onto the grounds and into the building. Later this year, doing so will be outlawed under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Kate Brown that was earlier passed by the Legislature.
Democrats were in favor and minority Republicans opposed.
The new law also mandates the safe storage of guns. The bill was named for Cindy Yuille and Steve Forsyth, who were slain in a shooting at a Portland-area shopping mall in 2012 by a man who stole a friend’s AR-15 rifle. A third person was seriously wounded.
“Today, I am signing SB 554 with the hope that we can take another step forward to help spare more Oregon families from the grief of losing a loved one to gun violence,” Brown said on Twitter.
The bill was named for Cindy Yuille and Steve Forsyth, who were slain in a shooting at a Portland-area shopping mall in 2012 by a man who stole a friend’s AR-15 rifle. A third person was seriously wounded.
Among those who testified in favor of the measure was Paul Kemp, Forsyth’s brother-in-law.
“I will never forget the screams I heard when we had to tell my teenage nephew that his father had been killed at the mall,” Kemp said.
Backers of the new law, which takes effect three months after the Legislature adjourns this summer, said it will prevent accidental shootings by children, suicides and mass shootings.
It requires that firearms be secured with a trigger or cable lock, in a locked container or gun room.
Opponents said a delay in accessing a firearm for self-defense could cost lives.
Jim Mischel, of Sheridan, Oregon, provided written testimony to lawmakers describing how his wife woke up when he was away one night in 1981. She heard a noise, went to investigate and saw a stranger in their home.
She tried to get a pistol that was in a locked gun box in the nightstand out but was unable to before the man got into the bedroom and threatened her with his gun, Mischel said.
“She has never recovered,” he said.
The bill also bans guns from the Oregon Capitol, changing a law that allowed concealed handgun licensees to bring firearms into the building.
In a related development, an interfaith movement plans to present signatures Wednesday to the staff of Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a step in an attempt to get two initiative petitions onto the ballot.
IP 18 would ban the sale of assault-style weapons in Oregon. IP 17 would ban the sale of large-capacity magazines and require a permit to purchase any gun and a completed background check before a firearm is purchased.