On Friday, March 23rd, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear HB 2852.
This bill “Expands authority of Port of Portland peace officers.” Why is that a bad thing? Because for years the Port of Portland has been willfully violating both the law and the rights of gun owners. For the entire story with documentation, please visit this link.
If you visit the Portland International Airport, you will be confronted with signs on every door warning you that no firearms are permitted, even if you have a concealed handgun license.
As you know, the Port of Portland has NO authority to make or enforce a rule of this kind.
The Oregon legislature, in an effort to eliminate a patchwork of contradictory laws, passed a preemption statute that says, clearly and unequivocally, that only they, the legislature, may restrict the possession or carrying of firearms. Furthermore, if you review the above link, you will see that the Port of Portland has been made aware that they may not enact this kind of rule. Yet they continue to violate the law and disregard the legislature.
As with so many other government agencies and departments, they continue to claim that the law does not apply to them. But it does.
Giving these lawbreakers even more power sends a dangerous message to the other agencies that flagrantly flout the law.
The sponsor of this bill is House Rep Jeff Barker. Barker has been a solid supporter of gun rights in the past, but this bill is clearly a bad idea and endangers all gun owners.
Please contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote against this bill and any bill that rewards law breaking government agencies. Their contact information and a suggested message follow.
House Bill 2852 rewards the Port of Portland police with expanded powers, even though, as you are aware, the Port Police are breaking the law and defending that lawlessness.
You, and you alone, have the authority to regulate firearms possession. The Legislature, in its wisdom, recognized that a patchwork of rules was dangerous for gun owners and confusing for law enforcement. Yet, like many other agencies, the Port claims that the rules do not apply to them. If each agency can determine which statutes it chooses to obey, the statutes have no meaning.
I urge you to reject any expansion of the Port’s police powers until they comply with the law, just as I, as a gun owner, must do.
Very truly yours,