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Two Oregon gun control proposals may merge, in scaled-back fashion


SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon lawmakers are considering scaling back and combining the two central gun control proposals to emerge this session, OPB reported.

Under an amendment taken up by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday, a bill to ban guns in state buildings and allow local governments to pass their own bans would be curbed significantly.

The amended proposal to Senate Bill 554 — submitted by Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, whose chamber has already approved the changes — would limit a new ban to the state Capitol, and only allow K-12 schools, community colleges and universities to enact bans. Local governments like counties and cities would not have that ability.

The new proposal would also ensure that anyone violating those bans would face a class A misdemeanor if they have a concealed handgun license, a lesser crime than the class C felony in the original bill, OPB said.

Courtney’s amendment would also incorporate the session’s other major gun proposal, House Bill 2510, into SB 554, ensuring that the concepts’ success or failure this year are tied to one another — and that fewer potentially hours-long debates are required to pass both.

HB 2510, known as the “safe-storage bill,” would require Oregonians to lock their guns when not in use. The bill would create penalties if guns are not stowed properly, require owners to report stolen guns and help facilitate lawsuits against owners whose improperly stored firearms are stolen and used to cause injuries or property damage. The new amendments, however, alter the liability standard for such lawsuits, requiring plaintiffs to demonstrate more elements in order to prevail over gun owners.

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