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02.05.09 HOUSE SPEAKER DEFENDS ATTACKS ON FOSTER PARENTS.

What follows is an e-mail response from House Speaker Dave Hunt to people who have contacted him to express opposition to HB  2530.

HB 2530 would allow the Department of Human Services to dictate to foster parents, the manner in which they would be required to store, transport and use their firearms.

Hunt insists that the bill “in no way restricts a foster parent’s right to own guns.”  To no one’s surprise, Hunt has decided to play word games with the truth. Hunt seems to believe that gun owners can’t read.  The fact is, the bill turns over to the Department of Human Services, total dictatorial power to control the “storage, transportation and use of firearms and ammunition in the presence of children placed in a foster home.”

Somehow, Dave Hunt thinks that having a notoriously anti-gun state agency making rules about every aspect of gun ownership “in no way restricts a foster parent’s right to own guns.”

That’s like saying that you may own a car, but the state will tell you where, when and how often you can drive it, and then insist they are not restricting your right to own it. Looks like we are in for another long session of double talk.

It is simply absurd that the state would seek to discourage parents from caring for foster children by imposing rules that could very well leave those children defenseless in the case of a criminal attack. Hunt and his allies like to talk about “the children” but are clearly more interested in ramming through new restrictions on rights then they are in protecting Oregon’s neediest.

Please contact Hunt and tell him that you don’t want an agency that created rules forbidding toys that shot ping pong balls, making rules for every aspect of gun ownership. Tell him to can the double talk and kill the bill.

Contact info and a sample message follow.

________________________________________________________

Dear Speaker Hunt,

I have seen your response to voters who oppose HB 2530. I am disappointed that you would choose to play word games instead of addressing the problems with the bill. You claim that the bill will “in no way restrict a foster parent’s right to own guns.This is simply nonsense. If DHS creates the rules  regulating the storage, transportation and use of firearms and ammunition, “ownership” becomes meaningless.

Please stop using your office to placate anti-gun state agencies and stand up for the rights of foster parents.

Yours,

_______________________________

Dave Hunt  rep.davehunt@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-269
Salem, OR 97301
Phone:
503-986-1440

From: Rep Hunt
To:XXX
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: NO HB 2530
Dear Mr.XXXX,

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about House Bill 2530. Your feedback is important to me and helps inform the actions I take in the Legislature.

I share your commitment to protecting the right of Oregonians to own firearms. Let me assure you that this bill in no way restricts a foster parent’s right to own guns. The specific language of the bill says the following:
“The Department may not deny or revoke certification of a foster home on the basis that a person possesses firearms or ammunition or is licensed under ORS 166.291 and ORS 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun”
This language explicitly protects the right of foster parents to own guns. Specifically, House Bill 2530 relates to the storage of guns and related issues, but does not infringe on the right to own firearms.

It is the responsibility of the Department of Human Services to ensure that children in foster homes are safe. This bill would grant case workers the right to cite when guns are not stored appropriately. This bill gives them the ability to make rules around the proper storage of guns so that they are kept out of the reach of children.

Those who choose to be foster parents are giving the greatest possible gift to a child in need, a house and a safe place to stay. We have no intention of discouraging these generous individuals from continuing to do this meaningful work.

Thanks for writing me. I hope this clears up the intention of this bill. It is an honor representing you in the Oregon House of Representatives and I hope you will continue to write me about issues that are important to you.

Sincerely,

Dave Hunt
State Representative
Speaker of the House
http://www.state.leg.or.us