As you know, the House Judiciary Committee has passed the amended HB 4145 to the full House.
The committee, which is controlled by Democrats, was assisted by two Republicans who voted to move the bill forward.
Republicans Sherrie Sprenger and Bill Post stood up for your rights and voted “no.”
Duane Stark was excused, but that counts as a “no” vote as well.
It is hard to overstate the danger this bill presents, just as it is hard to overstate how deceitful or ignorant its proponents are.
The bill as passed out of committee extends the definition of “family member” to anyone you have ever had an “intimate relationship” with in your entire life.
This was done to create a larger universe of people whose gun rights can be taken if someone requests a protective order against them. The bill also calls for firearms confiscation of anyone “convicted of stalking under ORS 163.732”. This does not mean someone who has violated a “stalking order” this means anyone who had an order sworn out against them no matter what they had done.
Of course, the bill contains not one single word of protection for people who are falsely accused, and there are plenty of them.
The proponents of the bill claim that existing law protects the accused because making a false report is a crime. Tell that to Shane Morgan.
On Feb. 9 the Bend Bulletin published a lengthy story about the hell he went through when a girlfriend, Kambria Armstrong, created an elaborate web of lies to destroy his life.
The story reminded readers of past headlines. “Bend man accused of forcing teen into sex work” and “Court records detail deranged, illegal relationship.”
According to the Bulletin; “The fallout was swift and severe, he told The Bulletin through his lawyer, Jamie Gerlitz. He lost a job. His roommates kicked him out. He felt scared everywhere he went. But it became clear the stories told by Morgan’s accuser, Kambria Armstrong, were not believable.”
After months of torment and legal nightmares the truth came out. So what happened to his accuser? What happened to the woman who fabricated these vicious lies?
According to the Bulletin:
“(DA)Hummel said his office considered charges of filing a false police report against Armstrong. He said he decided against it in part because it would have been difficult to prove her misstatements were intentional. He also said he worries doing so could have a chilling effect on survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, who might worry no one will believe their accounts and they’ll be charged with a crime.”
This is an outrage and exactly what we have been warning the legislature about. Domestic violence, like any violence, is a deadly serious issue. People who are victims of abuse or who are genuinely in fear for their lives deserve all the protection they can get. But this bill is a charade. This is not about keeping women safe. And the people pushing this travesty know it.
Time after time we hear stories of the victims of abuse and violence. And time after time it is clear that this bill would have prevented virtually none of it. The backers of this bill keep perpetuating the dangerous fantasy that a piece of paper will keep a woman safe from a dangerous and violent attacker. Yet, from the supporters of this bill, we keep hearing stories of people who either violated protective orders, or were never subject to them in the first place.
Even the Chairman of the Committee, Jeff Barker, justified his support for the bill by recounting an incident of domestic violence he responded to as a police officer. What he did not mention was this bill would have had no effect whatsoever on that incident or its outcome.
HB 4145 protects no one. If the State of Oregon wanted to protect women it would stop squandering millions on fiasco projects and failing agencies and spend more on services and shelters for victims of abuse.
If it wanted to protect women it would not prohibit them from having the means to protect themselves or subject them to indefinite delays to acquire self defense tools. It would not require them to wait a month and a half to be allowed to be armed when they leave their homes. But the Democrats in the legislature have rejected efforts to provide those tools for at risk women.
What HB 4145 does is create new and more dangerous tools for vindictive people to steal the rights of those who have done nothing wrong. Because there are already plenty of laws to address people who have done something wrong.
Please use this link to contact the members of the Oregon House and tell them in no uncertain terms that you strongly oppose HB 4145 and the damage it will certainly do.