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Memorial Day, 2015

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Dear Friends,

Next week we will be facing more gun legislation in Salem. There is no reason to tell you there is any positive news. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First, while it’s clear that Bloomberg has managed to buy himself a legislature and the liars who are working to steal your rights and your property are making great advances, we’d be remiss if we allowed that to divert us from this important holiday.

Here at OFF, we want to say a word of profound thanks to everyone who has served our country and risked all in defense of liberty. There are no words to fully express our gratitude and pride in you.  We also want to say to everyone who has used their time in the military as cover for their shameless and vicious attacks on our rights, you will lose. You are a disgrace to the uniform you wore and the country you took an oath to defend. You know who you are.

To the brave men and women who served honorably, we owe you more than we can ever pay. You have been treated shabbily by your government. You deserve so much more. To those who have used their time in uniform for personal gain and the destruction of other people’s rights, you will know shame. Life is like that.

On to the latest in Salem.

Next Wednesday at 8am in the Senate Judiciary Committee, there is scheduled a work session on HB 3093. This is a very limited reciprocity bill that has been sponsored by House Rep Bill Post, who is turning out to be one of the boldest defenders of gun rights in the Oregon Legislature. Given that this bill will be before Floyd Prozanski and Ginny Burdick, it is a very safe bet that it will be used as a vehicle for anti-gun amendments. Prozanski and Burdick are mindless anti-gun zealots. The other Democrat on the Committee is Sara Gelser. She has become a fellow traveler and attacks gun rights every chance she gets. While anything can happen, the chance of this bill moving forward without being turned into something very bad is… very small.

On the same day, they will be holding a work session on HB 2357.  This incredibly simple and common sense bill simply addresses some issues in current law that prevent retired police from having all the protections  that CHL holders have and clarifies that off duty police are allowed to be armed. While you might think no one in their right mind would oppose this, Ginny Burdick has already complained that honorably retired police cannot be trusted. So that bill may have problems too.

On the same day at 3pm in the House Judiciary Committee, work sessions are scheduled for two bills. SB 315 and SB 913.

SB 315 seems to make a minor correction in current law. Right now, if a pawn shop or gun dealer takes a used gun into their inventory they are required to notify the local police and provide all the information on the firearm and the person they got it from. (Yes, it is gun registration.)  This law is obsolete and predates our current background check system.  The law serves no purpose and, in fact, many dealers and pawn shops don’t even know it exists and neither do most police departments. The change SB 315 makes is it allows the dealers to send this info to the police via email instead of being required to hand deliver it or send it by regular mail. Sounds good until you see it also offers access to this info to the Feds. More dangerous registration.

This law should be repealed instead of amended. Period.  In fact, we had good reason to believe the bill was dead. But as with all bad ideas in the 2015 legislature, it has been revived. This bill is a bad idea. But what Bloomberg wants, he most certainly will get.

Another really, really bad idea is SB 913, the”ivory ban” bill.  This bill is the brain child of Senator Mark Hass who also wants to ban transfers of firearms to family members! The bill is nothing more than state sanctioned theft of personal property and is an absolute outrage.  Passed by mostly Democrats in the Senate, we thought the House Committee would kill this and it appeared it had. But someone got their chain yanked and now the bill is headed for a vote. Keep in mind, votes are rarely held on bills in committee unless the fix is already in and the bill is guaranteed to pass. Clearly House Speaker Tina Kotek sent word to Committee Chair Jeff Barker, “pass this bill…or else.”  Prepare to have your property stolen by the state again.

On June 1, the House Judiciary Committee will, once again, hold a work session on  SB 173. This bill had made it to the House floor when  House Rep Andy Olson, who was scheduled to carry it, requested that it be returned to committee for more work.  Often that means the bill is dead as this one should be.  But it’s not.

While well intentioned, this is a very, very dangerous bill.  Current law allows a police officer to inspect a firearm if you are carrying it in a “public building” to determine if it’s loaded. But that law makes no sense at all.

If you have a CHL, you may carry loaded in a public building. If you don’t have a CHL you may not carry at all. So why should a cop ever be allowed to seize and handle your firearm? If you’re legal you should be left alone. If not you should not be there.

The obvious solution to this problem is to, once again, repeal the law. Instead, the bill says that you can show a cop your CHL rather than hand him your loaded firearm.  But this is crazy.  You have no obligation to talk to the police ever. Unless you have been pulled over for a traffic infraction you have no obligation to show ID.  But this bill would make you a criminal if you simply chose not to answer a question and show id when you  have done nothing illegal! Under this bill you can be arrested simply for exercising your rights.   

The House Judiciary Committee is made up of mostly lawyers and ex-cops.
If this bill moves forward in its current form we are in very serious trouble.

God bless the people who fought and died to keep us free. Be prepared to defy.