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02.10.07 Some Progress On Good Bills

Some Good Bills Make Progress.

Two bills of importance to gun owners got quiet, but important action this week.

Senate Bill 81 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Bill 2370 passed out of the Joint Committee on Emergency Preparedness.

SB 81 would require that persons charged with crimes involving “domestic violence,” be informed prior to pleading guilty or no contest, that Federal law could prohibit them from owning firearms for life.

This bill was requested by the Governor for the Oregon Military Department.

Since there is no exception in Federal law for military or police, you can see the motivation.

Domestic violence accusations ensnare countless gun owners annually, so this bill is a positive change. The bill still has a long way to go before becoming law, but at least we know it’s not likely to face a veto threat.

House Bill 2370 is not a “gun” bill but it has a major provision that will be important to gun owners.

The bill: “Creates Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Oregon Military Department. ”

This bill turns over tremendous powers in emergencies to the Oregon Military Department.

Anyone who has seen the video of National Guardsmen invading private homes in New Orleans and confiscating legally owned guns in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, would have justifiable concerns about this.

The bill, however, has been amended to forbid any government agency from confiscating guns in times of emergency.

House Rep. Wayne Krieger requested the amendment and it passed unanimously. Thanks to Representative Krieger for the amendment and to Senator Gary George for his work on this important change.

This bill now goes to the Ways and Means Committee.

Although this committee is not supposed to make substantive changes to any part of the bill that is not fiscal, there are ways they can do it, so we will need to be watching it.

As with SB 81, there is still a long process before this bill can become law, but in both cases gun owners are making progress.