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08.02.11 HB 2792 BECOMES LAW

Governor Signs Gun Bill

Governor Kitzhaber has signed HB 2792 into law. That’s good news and bad news.

2792 clarifies lawful carry of firearms on motorcycles, snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles. The “short ” version follows.

As always, concealed handgun license holders can carry handguns any way they choose while on motorcycles. This was always so. However,until this bill became law, there was no practical way for a person to legally transport a handgun on a motorcycle if they did not have a CHL. Now those without licenses can carry handguns on motorcycles if they are in a locked container or if they are equipped with a trigger lock. This is a positive development.

In the past, it was unlawful to have a  loaded firearm on a snowmobile or ATV. This applied to everyone, even those with concealed handgun licenses. One of the main problems with this law was that the term “loaded” was not defined. Could you have a magazine inserted in an auto loader if there was no round in the chamber? The law did not say. Now, with the enactment of 2792, this too has been clarified. For the purposes of carry on snowmobiles and ATV’s “unloaded” means the following:

If the firearm is a revolver, that there is no live cartridge in the chamber that is aligned with the hammer of the revolver;
If the firearm is a muzzle-loading firearm, that the firearm is not capped or primed;
or If the firearm is other than a revolver or a muzzle-loading firearm, that there is no live cartridge in the chamber.

Please note, the above restriction no longer applies to CHL holders, who may carry fully loaded firearms on snowmobiles or ATV’s . You may also carry concealed on snowmobiles and ATV’s without a CHL if you follow the same guidelines as are applied to motorcycles, meaning the gun must be in a locked container or be equipped with a trigger lock. Without a CHL you may carry the gun openly in the newly defined “unloaded” condition anyplace there are not local restrictions. The rules for motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATV’s are now much like the rules for cars and trucks

While these are good changes and ones we have been working on for some time, 2792 also had bad components. As you may know, in 2009 OFF crafted legislation to clean up Oregon’s laws on gun rights restoration for persons with past felony convictions. SB 603 corrected an error in Oregon law that allowed a person with a felony conviction to petition the court have his rights restored to buy a gun, but because of an anomaly in the law, that person could still not own it!. SB 603 fixed that and worked well for the short time it was in effect. Now, HB 2792 greatly restricts who may apply for rights restoration. Remember, this was not a law that gave anyone their rights back, it only allowed them to ask for their rights back. Some applied and were approved and some were not. The new system worked. Now, many who were convicted of a “person felony” cannot apply for rights restoration. You can see a list of “person felonies” here. This link is no longer active. You can see the list of person felonies in ORS 137.700