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Well, That Was Interesting

Today the Oregon Senate passed a CHL privacy bill and killed a bill by Ginny Burdick and Peter Courtney to ban CHL holders from school property.

It was a good day for gun owners, and frankly, this would not have happened except for the extraordinary efforts made by OFF supporters.

We have made no secret that we were not happy with the final version of the CHL privacy bill. We believe it was needlessly complicated and preferred the original version. But that being said, we will wait and see if it provides the protections it claims to. Let’s hope so.

It was interesting that during the floor debate, Floyd Prozanski, who carried the privacy bill, responded to a comment by Ginny Burdick by saying “It’s not my bill.” As we have come to see so often, that’s just Floyd being Floyd, meaning “don’t believe a word of it.”  In fact, it was 100% his bill since he removed all the original language and replaced it with his own. Here is the bill as passed by the Senate. It now must go back to the House for concurrence, which we expect to happen. No idea on where the Governor will be on this. See the vote count here.

The “no guns in schools” bill failed in a squeaker. We were very happy to see that not a single Republican caved and voted for this monstrosity. All Republicans except Bruce Starr voted “no.” Starr was not in the building and had been excused from the floor. His failing to vote had the same effect as a “no” vote. Two Democrats joined gun owners and voted “no” as well. A number of people have asked for their contact info to thank them for taking a stand. All their contact info is at the bottom of this alert.

As we mentioned in our email alert today, Prozanski sent out an email on Feb. 28th, in which, in addition to his usual attacks against us, he attempted to imply he was pro-gun by saying he had “stopped” a previous version of the “no guns in school” bill in his committee. What utter nonsense.

You will recall that Prozanski, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, actually scheduled a hearing on that bill, SB 1550, in his committee. Since the Chair has nearly total control over what bills get hearings, it was clear that Prozanski intended the bill to move forward. Chairmen do not schedule bills they want to kill. The reason the bill was “stopped” was because Prozanski, at that time, had failed to get the co-chairs of the House Judiciary Committee to agree to his proposed changes to the privacy bill. So Floyd decided to take his ball and go home. In the end it did not work out that way. Any suggestion that Prozanski “stopped” the bill in order to protect gun owners was laid to rest today, when Prozanski voted in favor of a nearly identical bill to the one he says he “stopped.”

Here is the vote count on the “no guns in schools” bill that failed today.

Many thanks to all of you who took the time to write or call and express your outrage at the process, engineered by Peter Courtney, to ram through HB 1594 with virtually no notice and no public input allowed. His shady tactics failed because of you.

Contact info for the two Democrat Senators who stood up for gun rights follows:

Senator Betsy Johnson
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716
District Phone: 503-543-4046
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box R, Scappoose, OR, 97056

Senator Joanne Verger
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1705
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-401, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 785 Virginia Avenue, North Bend, OR, 97459