The Oregon Legislature has reached the point in their session where deadlines are looming.
While they have not found time to address the state’s impending financial crisis, there has been time to debate whether the osprey should be the state bird and to recognize April 6th as National Tartan Day in Oregon (Declares emergency, effective on passage.) And soon they will be working on new gun control restrictions.
Yes, it has been quiet up until now, but rest assured the attacks on your gun rights are coming. And soon.
We expect to see anti-gun bills moving next week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. While there has been nothing officially scheduled at this point, look for hearings, probably late in the week.
The bills that will be moving have not been publicly announced, but the senate bills most likely to be heard are:
SB 797 which would allow the Oregon State Police to delay a firearms transfer forever. This is the bill Governor Brown was pushing soon after her election. Right now if the State Police delay you, you may lawfully take possession of a firearm after three business days have transpired. This bill would eliminate that safeguard.
Keep in mind, the OSP ID unit has an abysmal track record of fairly conducting background checks. If you are delayed, their default position is “no” and typically only a call from a pro-gun legislator will make the process tolerable. (We recently heard from a woman who was denied on a gun purchase incorrectly. She told us that she had a “very good” experience dealing with the ID unit who only took 8 months to correct her false denial. She got off easy.)
This bill could essentially end gun transfers for anyone the OSP chooses to target with a faulty background check.
One of the main supporters of this legislation (House Rep Jennifer Williamson) has stated that background check delays are false 95% of the time.
Senate Bill 868 allows police or family members to request that a court force you to relinquish all firearms based on the accusers perception that you are dangerous to yourself or others. It does not require that you have committed a crime, it does not require that you have been convicted of a crime, and one of the indicators that you are “dangerous” is that you have purchased or attempted to purchase a firearm or ammunition in the last 180 days. Of course, this bill contains nothing that would allow for a person who really was a danger to himself to access any kind of help.
Senate Bill 1026 “Creates the crime of endangering a minor by allowing access to a firearm.” This bill is one of the most poorly crafted pieces of legislation this session, and that’s saying a lot. Of course it does nothing to address things that are far more likely to be dangerous, like prescription drugs, household chemicals and your car keys.
There are also quite a few very good gun bills that would address real problems in the law, like the fact that it is illegal for a person who does not have a concealed handgun license to leave a gun store with a new handgun in the manufacturer’s original box or the fact that persons who live in motor homes cannot legally buy guns. However it is a near certainty that none of these bills will be allowed hearings by the chairman of the committee, Floyd Prozanski, unless he believes they could be a vehicle for amendments that would turn them into anti-gun bills.
Information on the Senate Judiciary Committee (including bill scheduling information)can be found here.
We will follow up with confirmations on hearings as soon as they become official, but for now please be prepared. It’s going to happen soon.