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04.20.09 RECOGNITION BILL IN SERIOUS TROUBLE.

House Bill 2463, a bill that would have recognized the concealed handgun licenses of other states, is in serious trouble.

As originally crafted, the bill would have allowed persons with concealed handgun licenses from any other state to carry firearms in Oregon. To our surprise and pleasure, the Oregon Sheriffs approved of the bill and it passed out of committee with an amendment to also allow persons who could lawfully carry in their home states WITHOUT LICENSES, to carry here.

The bill passed out of committee, but, as you know, House Democrats attacked it and it was returned to committee. That bill was due to have a “work session” today where it would have been voted on again.

However, amendments demanded by Democrats would now require that we would only accept licenses from states that accept ours or states which have “substantially similar” requirements to ours.

Because the State Police would be required to determine which other  states had “substantially similar requirements” they would have to be funded to do the research. In the current environment anything that has a cost will be far more difficult to pass, especially since so much of the State Police budget is on the chopping block. (Staffers at the State Police ID unit have been contacting gun dealers to warn them that the ID unit may be closed, turning background checks over to the Feds.)  As a result of the fiscal impact the new bill would have, and because the committee did not yet have the fiscal impact reports, the bill was pulled from the schedule today.

In addition to the obvious financial roadblocks created by the proposed amendments, it should be noted that when the CHL law was first changed in 1989, it had very similar language. At that time, Oregon could recognize any state’s license that was “substantially similar.” Guess how many the State Police approved of.  If you guessed zero, you would be right.

The State Police concluded that not a single state had provisions for a license that were good enough for Oregon. Not even New York City’s license was good enough.

Subsequently, as a result of the complete capitulation on the part of people claiming to represent gun owners in the 90’s, even the possibility of accepting other states’ licenses was removed from law.  The position of some gun groups at the time was, “well they won’t accept other licenses so we may as well let them take it out of the law.” And so, here we are again.

There is no question that the amendments were intended as a poison pill for this legislation. Not only will the fiscal impact almost certainly doom it, but history has shown that the State Police will not be inclined to accept a single other state’s license.

The Oregon Sheriffs have taken the position that they supported the original bill as the easiest, fairest way to deal with non-resident licenses. The Judiciary Committee could have simply allowed gun owners from any other state the option of applying for an Oregon CHL. Then, not only would it not have COST the  Police money, it could have MADE them money. Instead, they chose to write an amendment which will torpedo the intent of the bill, even in the unlikely event the fiscal impact does not doom it.

This is political game playing at its worst. Please contact the  House Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote on the original bill with no  “poison pill” amendments.

A sample message follows:

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Dear Representative,

The proposed “dash 2” amendments to HB 2463 are little more than a disguised attempt to kill the bill.

At a time when the State Police budget is so in jeopardy that the ID unit itself may be forced to close, it’s highly unlikely that they will be able to fund the necessary research to determine which other states have requirements for CHL’s that are “substantially similar” to ours.

But even if money were not an issue, you should know that, in the past, Oregon law allowed us to recognize other states’ permits. At that time, it was the State Police who were to decide which licenses to accept. They refused to accept a single one.

I believe that the “dash 2” amendments are simply an effort to kill the bill. I urge you to vote “no” on the amendments and “yes” on the bill.

Yours,

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On another note, for those of you who may have subjected yourself to the preposterous ABC anti-gun screed “If I Only Had A  Gun” you may want to have a look at some of the reprehensible methods ABC used to create their fantasy anti-gun piece.