Two gun related bills overwhelmingly passed in the Oregon House today. Both were supported and heavily amended by OFF.
HB 4035 allows correction officers to travel with privately owned firearms to and from work at prisons, something they are currently forbidden from doing.
It may seem beyond belief that men and women who work with dangerous populations are not allowed to defend themselves on their way to and from work. Recently one of them was murdered when he stopped to help what he thought was a stranded motorist. Even civilians without permits do not have these restrictions.
It should be noted that this restriction is not Oregon law. It is a condition imposed on corrections officers by the Department of Corrections much as some school districts disarm the employees who are responsible for keeping little children safe at school.
OFF believes that no public employee should be forced to give up his rights simply because he takes a job with the state, but all too often this is the case. If HB 4035 passes the Senate and is signed into law by the governor, at least some corrections officers will not be facing this absurd liability.
There is one line in the bill that troubles us however. Section 3 of the bill states the following ; Section 2 of this 2014 Act applies to employment contracts entered into or renewed on or after the effective date of this 2014 Act.
We have not yet received a satisfactory answer for why this section is needed.
Furthermore, the CO’s must have Oregon CHL’s. This is not a requirement for civilians who travel with firearms.
The following House Reps voted against allowing CO’s to protect themselves going to and from work: Barnhart, Berger, Greenlick and Olson.
Carloyn Tomei was excused but voted against the bill in Committee. Corrections officers, please take note.
The other bill that passed out of the House today was HB 4068.
4068 is a bill OFF has been working on for some time. We heavily amended the original version and made considerable improvements.
What this bill does is apply the same standards for CHL eligibility to persons who had very old, or out-of-state convictions for small amounts of marijuana as for those with more recent or in-state convictions. This is a long overdue correction to a simple mistake in current law. There were no “no” votes on HB 4068, however, once again, Carolyn Tomei, who was not on the floor, did vote against the bill in committee.
Both these bills now move to the Senate where they may simply sail through or may be used as pawns and bargaining chips by Floyd Prozanski to push his stalled gun registration bill, SB 1551.
While this bill expands the State Police checks to private transfers, you should know that for a significant amount of time today, their phones were down again. At least one dealer reported getting an “approval” and a “delay” on his computer check of a well known customer for the same transfer!
As you know, in spite of Prozanski’s multiple assurances that the bill would get a vote on the Senate floor and pass, he lacked the votes to pass the bill out of his Senate Judiciary Committee and it was sent to the Rules Committee where it can be considered and amended well after the Judiciary Committee closes.
There have been numerous reports that the reason the bill went to the Rules Committee was because Senator Arnie Roblan (a previous supporter of a similar bill) balked and objected to passing a bill that lacked the votes on the floor.
If so, this was an attempt by some anti-gun Democrats to avoid going on the record on what may have been a failed attempt at gun registration. However, if Roblan reallywanted the bill to die he could have simply voted “no” instead of moving it to another committee where it remains alive. Roblan’s “no” vote along with the two “no” votes from the Republican members of the committee would have killed the bill dead. Instead Roblan dodged the issue and now the bill is still alive.
There have also been reports that Prozanski will attempt to have the legislature refer the bill to the voters. If he succeeds you can count on one thing. Millions and millions of dollars in out-of-state money will pour into Oregon to savage your rights and privacy.
You may recall in 2000, Ginny Burdick was able to pass a ban on private transfers at gun shows with the help of millions of dollars from out of state millionaires and, of course, Senator John McCain who helped them pass this travesty. We cannot let that happen again.
Please consider another note to the members of the Rules Committee (listed below).
A sample cut and paste message follows.
SB 1551 is now before your committee. This bill serves only as a step towards firearms confiscation. While Senator Prozanski has claimed it would not require a background check for a loan of a firearm, your own Legislative Counsel said exactly the opposite.
While Prozanski claims to need make, model, caliber and serial number of every transferred firearm to “check for stolen guns” he can give no explanation for why those records must be kept by the transferor after the check! Even the State Police claim they don’t do this.
The Oregon Sheriff’s Association recognizes this serves no legitimate law enforcement purpose. I urge you to pay attention to them.
Vote NO on SB 1551