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05.16.07 HB 2334 Passes Senate Judiciary.

House Bill 2334, which started life last session as a dreadful anti-gun bill, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee as a pro-gun bill because of your tireless efforts.

The bill contains language that OFF wrote last session giving active duty military personnel the ability to renew concealed handgun licenses by mail.

The bill now moves to the Senate floor where we believe it will pass.

This bill represents a great victory for the activism of gun owners even in the face of a vocally antigun legislature. Thank you for all your hard work.

We are still watching to see if one more efforts will be made to pass a bill to give the law-breaking Port of Portland more police powers. While it is too early to tell, there are bills still in play that could be amended or “gut and stuffed” to give the Port’s Police expanded police powers.

In particular House Bill 3442 A, due to be heard on May 24th in Senate Judiciary, could be a vehicle to be amended.

If there is another attempt to slide the bad language of previous Port of Portland bills into this or other bills, we will need your activism to defeat it, but right now congratulate yourself on your efforts to clean up and pass HB 2334.

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04.30.07 Port of Portland Bill Removed From Schedule.

“Thank you for writing.  House Bill 2890 (formerly HB 2852) was recently considered by the House Judiciary Committee on which I serve as Chair.  It will not be moving forward this session.”

With those words, Greg MacPherson (Chair of the House Judiciary Committee) may have closed the book on the Port of Portland’s efforts to expand their power in spite of their refusal to obey the law.

Today was the deadline for hearings on bills in the house where they originated. Since the “gut and stuff” bill 2890 was removed from the schedule,it would appear the bill is no longer an issue.

However, while we are hopeful that this is the case, the show is not yet over.

The deadline DOES NOT apply to the Rules Committee in both the House and Senate. They can continue to hear bills well after other committees are closed to new bills. And of course, the “rules” can always be suspended. But for now, it seems likely that your efforts have paid off.

We intend to continue to monitor any bill that can be used to revive the language MacPherson attempted to stuff into HB  2890, but we believe that the bill is dead for now.

We will count on your activism if the bill returns in any form or shape, but right now please congratulate yourself on a job well done.

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04.26.07 Port of Portland Bill Gets Worse.

Port of Portland Bill Gets Even Worse.

As we warned you yesterday, the Port of Portland is trying to use an unrelated bill to expand their power in spite of their continued refusal to obey the law.

We can now confirm that House Bill 2890, a bill originally intended to outlaw handcuff keys, will have all its original language removed and replaced with the language of the Port of Portland bill that has died. But it gets worse.

These amendments not only have all the original language from HB 2852, they also include a new crime, “possessing or controlling a firearm in a restricted access area.” What do gun owners get in exchange? A promise from Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt that he will “recommend” that the Port of Portland Commission “take all necessary steps to conform Port ordinances concerning weapons possession to current Oregon law.”

Some deal. The Port Police get expanded powers, gun owners get a new crime and a promise that a “recommendation” will be made that the Port start obeying the law.

Director Wyatt tacitly admits that the Port is breaking the law and violating your rights and he is going to “recommend” that they start obeying the law?

Oregon Firearms was NOT consulted about this “deal” and certainly does not agree to it. (To the best of our knowledge, no one else in the gun lobby was consulted either.) Furthermore, these amendments and this “deal” have been made entirely outside of the public eye, with even some legislators not being told what is going on.

This is clearly bogus.

The hearing for this bill is scheduled for tomorrow. There is still time to contact the House Judiciary Committee and tell them not to exchange rights for promises from people who are breaking the law now.

Contact info and a sample message follow:

UPDATE 04.27.07. Gun owners who have contacted the committee members have received positive responses from Representatives Flores and Krieger saying they will not support the bill until the Port of Portland obeys the law. We have no indication yet where Representatives Cameron and Whisnant (both Republicans) stand. Please be sure to contact them.

____________________________________________________________________

Dear Representative,

The deal to gut and stuff HB 2890 is a cynical and underhanded way to pass legislation that rewards law breakers.

You have already heard from many gun owners expressing their opposition to HB 2852, and the language that would be added to this bill is even worse.

The Port’s executive director has NOT promised to change illegal anti-gun policies, only to “recommend” they be changed. Please do not reward them for vague promises while they continue to violate gun owners’ rights.

Very truly yours,

______________________________

_________________________________________________________________

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04.25.07 HB 2334 Passes Committee With Good Amendments.

You made your voices heard, and once again, it worked.

In its original form, HB 2334 contained several provisions that were a danger to gun owners and confusing for law enforcement. But today, after you made your feelings known, the bill was amended to address all the concerns we had about it. What’s even better, the bill contains provisions we have been working towards since last session.

If this bill makes it through the full House and then the Senate, active duty military personnel will be able to renew concealed handgun licenses by mail, a goal we have been working towards for two years.

As amended, the bill more specifically defines “residency” for purposes of obtaining a CHL and prohibits persons who have been dishonorably discharged from the military or are registered sex offenders from gaining CHL’s. The prohibition would also be extended to people who have had two convictions for possessing marijuana.

The sections that address the marijuana convictions are a bit complicated, but they state that only one conviction for a marijuana violation does NOT disqualify a license applicant. The exception would be a person who has  both a conviction, and has been through a court supervised “diversion” program. These programs are sometimes offered to persons who have been convicted, and if completed allow the conviction to disappear. So if, after a person has completed one of these programs they have a subsequent violation, they can be denied a CHL.

However, all the vague language that referred to mere “reports” by police about drug use have been removed, and other sections that were subject to misinterpretation and abuse have been stripped from the bill. This and the inclusion of the military renewal language were clear victories for your activism.

On another note, we told you in an alert on 4.21.07 that there are very well founded rumors that the Port of Portland may be attempting to use another bill to expand the powers they were denied when your response (apparently) killed HB 2852.

While we have been unable to get a confirmation, the best information we have now indicates that the bill that may be used is HB 2890, a bill which creates a crime of having a handcuff key. We believe that this bill may be “gut and stuffed” with the language the Port’s Police want to expand their power. This bill is currently scheduled to be heard this Friday.

Several Capitol insiders have informed us that there is extensive talk of a “deal” where the Port will rescind its illegal “no-guns” policy in exchange for this power expansion. If that’s true, that’s fine with us. All we have demanded all  along is that they obey the law. However, unless there is an unequivocal elimination of the illegal ordinance, we are still opposed. Vague promises of future action are not enough.

We are having important and significant victories but please take the time to contact the House Judiciary Committee one more time and tell them “no” to any “deal” that does not fully remove the illegal Port policy.

Sample message follows:
___________________________________________________________________________

Dear Representative,

I have received a report that there may be an attempt to “gut and stuff” a bill to allow the Port of Portland Police to expand their powers. As you know, this very idea was rejected when they attempted it in HB 2852.

I urge you not to make any “deals” with the Port of Portland until it rescinds its illegal “no-gun” policy.

Very truly yours,

__________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

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04.24.07 Gun Bill Scheduled For Tomorrow. Please Support Amendments.

HB 2334 To Be Heard Tomorrow

On 03/01/07, we alerted you to HB 2334, a bill requested by the Oregon Sheriffs. A very similar bill was introduced last session and then killed after you made your voices heard and let legislators know how badly drafted and dangerous it was.

This session’s version of the bill is scheduled to be heard tomorrow in House Judiciary.  (Please note, the hearing has been moved up a half hour and will be at 8 instead of 8:30 as we reported in previous alert.)

In its current form, the bill is, as we have said, still a bad deal for gun owners. However, so many of you contacted the House Judiciary Committee that numerous amendments to the bill have been drafted, which, if adopted, will make the bill a reasonable piece of legislation.

The amendments are the “Dash 2” amendments and we are asking that you contact the committee members with the simple message, “Adopt the Dash-2 amendments to HB 2334.”

Suggested message follows.

__________________________________________________________________________

Dear Representative,

Please support the “Dash-2” Amendments to HB 2334.

In its current form, the bill is dangerously vague and a problem for both gun owners and law enforcement.

The “Dash-2s” will be a major improvement.
Very truly yours,

______________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

On a national level, as we have told you, there is a major push to expand the failed background check system.

As we pointed out in our 4.21.07 alert, the system is already a tremendous failure causing countless delays for law-abiding gun owners.

Expanding this failing and intrusive system is a sure way to guarantee even more gun buyers are denied legal purchases.

In an alert sent out today, the National Rifle Association published a link to an article by NRA board member Ted Nugent pointing out the absurdity of “gun free” zones, but it is the official policy of the NRA to support them.

As we pointed out in our previous alert, the NRA is working WITH anti-gun politicians to expand the background checks which will, no doubt, stop more lawful gun purchases and may even cost lives.

HR 297 is fast tracked in the US Congress. It is essential that you let your Representative know that the NRA is NOT speaking for you when it supports such pointless and counterproductive bills.

You can use the Legislative Action Center of our friends at Gun Owners of America to contact your member of Congress.

 

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04.21.07 Mayhem, Collaboration And New Gun Bills.

Mayhem, Collaboration and New Gun Control Bills

(Some links in this alert may require registration)

This week has shown us, with astonishing clarity, the ugly failure of the gun grabbers’ agenda.

Over thirty innocent people, young and old, are dead as a result of the arrogance and stupidity of college administrators and legislators in Virginia.

As horrifying as the events at Virginia Tech were, gun owners will be equally horrified to learn that the largest “gun lobby” in America supports the policies that cost those students and teachers their lives. The following quote is not from Sarah Brady. It is not from Nancy Pelosi. It is not from Charles Schumer. It is from Wayne LaPierre,

“First, we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period … with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.” 

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times have reported that the NRA is “negotiating” with the gun grabbers to expand the already onerous and intrusive “instant check” system, which is anything but.    Representative John Dingell is quoted as saying “The N.R.A. doesn’t have objections. There are other gun organizations on this that are problems.” As well they should be.

In Oregon, the State Police have been delaying and denying qualified gun buyers in tremendous numbers. In many cases they have informed buyers they must wait weeks or more to take possession of purchased guns. This is something they have no authority to do as we have reported in previous alerts.

Many of the delays are imposed on people with concealed handgun licenses. Some have much more extensive government security clearances, yet the Virginia Tech killer passed quickly through the system in spite of his well documented history. And now the gun grabbers, with support of the NRA, want to expand and extend this failed system.

Waiting three weeks or two months to take possession of a firearm is an annoyance and inconvenience to a gun owner merely seeking to add to his collection, to a woman being stalked,it could be a death sentence.

If you are an NRA member, please let the NRA know that you DO NOT support the disarming of the innocent. Please tell them to repudiate their long standing policy of making people in schools the favored targets of killers and NOT to support any more expansions of a failed and dangerous “background check” system. (To contact NRA-ILA call 800-392-8683) And please use GOA’s Legislative Action Center to contact your representatives in Congress to express your opposition to more failed anti-gun policies.

Back here in Oregon, gun owners are facing hearings on numerous bills that affect gun rights. Three bills are scheduled for hearings next week.

The first is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, in the House Judiciary Committee. That bill is HB 2415.

This bill makes it illegal to sell guns, explosives, cars or  gasoline to people who are “visibly intoxicated.”

It’s doubtful that any rational person would support the idea of selling these items to people who are drunk, but it still seems hard to believe that this problem is so pervasive that it requires a new law. The bill also creates twice the penalty for selling a gun to a drunken person than it creates for selling them explosives. The punishment for selling a gun to a drunk is 12 times the punishment for selling them a car. Given that cars are used to kill more people than guns are, this seems bizarre.

We are also concerned that this bill would be used to entrap both FFL and private dealers who make sales, since neither are trained (like bartenders) to determine when a person is “intoxicated” and the term is never defined.

In addition to our belief that this law is simply unneeded, we are watching to make sure it is not amended to become an attack on all gun owners’ rights.

On Wednesday, the same committee is scheduled to hear HB 2334.

This bill is a particular concern as we have warned you in the past.

The bill contains new restrictions on CHL’s and is so badly drafted that it could create serious problems for license holders.  We strongly urge you to contact the committee and tell them that the language in the bill is dangerous and vague and needs to be amended or eliminated.

Suggested text of a message, and the contact for the committee members can be found here

Even if you have contacted the committee about this before, please contact them again and let them know you are very concerned about the unintended consequences of this bill.

As you know, your efforts have derailed a bill that would expand the police powers of the law-breaking Port of Portland.

Because of your rapid and overwhelming response, HB 2852 seems to be dead this session. (Although nothing is certain.) However, we have been reliably informed that the Port of Portland Police are pulling out all the stops to achieve the same ends, perhaps in a different bill.

It is possible that the POP may try to use a procedure called “gut and stuff,” (where the language of an unrelated bill is totally removed and replaced with new language) to expand their powers in spite of their continued refusal to obey Oregon’s clear preemption statute.

Although we cannot know for certain what bill they may use, it is possible that they will try to “gut and stuff” HB 2327 or HB 2890, two bills that appeared to be going nowhere and then were suddenly scheduled for hearings next week. 2337 on Thursday and 2890 on Friday.

We will be watching both bills carefully and ask that when you contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee to express your opposition to HB 2334, you also urge them not to vote for any bill that is “stuffed” to expand the Port’s Police powers as long as they insist on breaking the law.

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04.06.07 Sheriff’s Bill Back On Schedule. Please Act Now.

In our 03.06.06 alert, we informed you that HB 2334 had been removed from the schedule. We told you that we would let you know when it came back. Well, it’s back.

The bill is now scheduled to be heard on April 25th at 8:30 AM in room 357. As always, if you cannot make it to the hearing, you can watch it live here.

For in depth information on what’s wrong with this bill and what you need to do about it, please refer to our previous alert of March 1st. You have been tremendously effective making your voices heard. Let’s do it one more time.

On another note, if you not yet heard, your front porch is now considered public property. That means you can be arrested for possession of a loaded firearm on your own property.Here’s the Oregon Appeals Court Decision. It is a new low for judicial absurdity. OFF is working with legislators and other organizations to formulate a response.

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03.31.07 NRA Launches Attack On Gun Rights Court Decision.

The landmark decision of the DC Court of Appeals stating that gun ownership is an individual right is in grave danger. And that danger is coming from the NRA.

As you know, the Appeals Court of the District of Columbia recently ruled that DC’s ban on guns was unconstitutional. It made clear, that despite what anti-rights activists have claimed for years, the Second Amendment means exactly what it says. The right to keep and bear arms is a right of people, not some vaguely defined “state militia.”

But now that decision is under attack and that attack is coming from the National Rifle Association.

In an alert, dated March 28th 2007, the NRA tells its members “This week, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) introduced S. 1001, the Senate version of the “District of Columbia Personal Protection Act,” with 41 original cosponsors! Like its House counterpart — H.R. 1399, introduced on March 8, by U.S. Representatives Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and Mark Souder (R-Ind.) — the Senate legislation seeks to restore the constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights of the residents of the District of Columbia by repealing the District’s onerous gun ban.”

What’s wrong with that? Well if the politicians and the NRA have their way, and this bill is passed, the Court’s decision becomes meaningless and moot.

According to the lead lawyer in the DC case, Alan Gura, “If the D.C. gun ban is repealed before the appellate process is completed, Parker will be vacated and dismissed. It will have no precedential value. Whenever the Supreme Court might consider the Second Amendment in the future, it would likely be a criminal’s case, not the upstanding plaintiffs in the Parker case who
have been harmed by the DC ban.”

Gura added: “If Hutchison’s bill were to pass, all of our hard work would be wasted.”

In their March alert, NRA asks “all freedom-loving Americans to ask their Senators to vote for this bill.  We will continue to work until we right this injustice in our nation’s capital.”

The lawyers who worked so hard on this case made extraordinary efforts to keep the NRA out of it, convinced that it was NRA’s intention to torpedo the case.

In an alert from Gun Owner’s of America, Executive Director Larry Pratt said “GOA is encouraged by Gura’s report that the NRA shares his concern about Hutchison’s bill. Gura says that the NRA has “given us their assurances that they are not interested in ruining the case. And Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s Executive Vice-President, told me I can take that to the bank”

Gura and Pratt were too optimistic.

If the NRA is successful, this pivotal decision in favor of gun rights will be trashed.

The NRA is talking out of both sides of its mouth, and the victim of its deception will be you.

We will take a line out of their alert and urge you to follow it:

“You can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121”

That’s sound advice. But please tell your representatives to oppose Hutchison’s ill conceived bill, S 1001.

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03.29.07 Supreme Court Declares Self Defense Legal.

Supreme Court Rules “No Duty To Retreat”

On March 29 2007, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that Oregonians have no “duty to retreat” when faced with a violent confrontation.

This is certainly welcome news. It also means that several bills that would have accomplished the same thing may now be unnecessary. That is particularly good news, since in the current legislative climate, the chances of those bills moving ahead is virtually zero.

In their decision, State of Oregon v. Sandoval, the Supreme Court correctly notes that Oregon law contains no requirement to retreat from an attacker and that previous rulings to the contrary are not only incorrect, but obviously so,

The Court noted “On a purely textual level, ORS 161.219 contains no specific reference to “retreat”, “escape,” or “other means of avoiding” a deadly confrontation. Neither, in our view, does it contain any other wording that would suggest a duty of that kind.”

It went on to describe a previous Appeals Court ruling this way: “The court’s analysis did not focus on or even consider the words of the statutes that we now recognize to be pivotal.” and “We conclude, in short, that the legislature’s intent is clear on the face of ORS 161.219: The legislature did not intend to require a person to retreat before using deadly force to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force by another.”

The Supreme Court points out “Indeed, the entire analytical flow of the Charles opinion is distinctly odd: The court did not examine the wording of either ORS 161.209 or 161.219 at all… Instead, the court set out the wording that the Oregon Criminal Law Commission had proposed to the legislature regarding the use of deadly force as part of the final draft of the proposed 1971 Criminal Code, which wording explicitly imposed a duty of retreat to avoid the necessity of using deadly force. Then, after noting that the 1971 legislature had rejected that wording, the court cited a view expressed in the Oregon Criminal Law Commission’s Commentary to the 1971 Code to the effect that “the statute probably was not necessary” because of existing Oregon case law..”

This is a great decision for those who are forced to defend themselves, but at the same time it is chilling that it was even needed. Oregon law, as we repeatedly remind the Port of Portland, is clear. We wonder how many innocent people have been sent to prison for acting lawfully.

This decision also points out how easy it is for judges to ignore the law and make a ruling that can destroy a person’s life. OFF’s experience in courts in Oregon has been similar if less personally traumatic.

This decision is an overdue recognition that the law is the law. It is regrettable that it was even necessary.

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03.28.07 HB 2852 Pulled From Schedule!

Your activism and hard work have paid off, at least for now.

House Bill 2852, the bill expanding the Port of Portland’s police powers, has been pulled off the schedule for April 2nd.

The Chairman of the committee, Greg MacPherson, has been telling gun owners, “In any event, it appears that HB 2852 will not be moving forward. ”

Until the session is over, nothing is totally dead, but you’ve clearly gotten their attention.

The Port Police lobbied hard for this bill, just as they did last session. You can bet they won’t give up. But for now, a clear message has been sent to the Port Police and the legislature, that gun owners will not tolerate having their rights violated.

You’ve done a great job, but we need to remain vigilant until this session is over, and of course, we’ll need to start again in February when the “special session” begins.

As always, we will keep you informed so you can continue to do what you do best.

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03.27.07 HB 2852 Scheduled For “Work Session.”

PORT OF PORTLAND BILL MOVING FORWARD. YOUR ACTION NEEDED NOW

House Bill 2852, a bill that will reward the Port of Portland Police for breaking the law is scheduled for a “Work Session” on  Monday-April 2 at 8:30 A.M.in room 357.

As you know from our previous alert, the Port of Portland is violating gun owners’ rights and the law with an illegal ordinance banning CHL holders from airport property if they are in possession of their self defense firearms.

The Port is well aware that they are violating the law, and the committee is well aware of it as well.

Each committee member has received extensive documentation demonstrating that the Port is in violation. The Port, as well, has received ample information that their rule is unlawful.

The Port Police have made it clear that it is their intention to continue to break the law. If this bill passes it will send a clear signal that the law is meaningless and the few protections gun owners have are void.

Please contact the Committee members and urge them not to reward the Port Police for breaking the rules and violating your rights.

It is particularly important that you contact Jeff Barker, the bill’s sponsor.

The Chairman of the Committee, Greg MacPherson has been sending out e-mails to voters saying :”If you think the public should have the right to carry concealed weapons in airports, I suggest you have legislation introduced to establish this right”.

MacPherson’s apparent ignorance is amazing. This “right” is already clearly articulated in Oregon law, and as an attorney, MacPherson should know that.

Contact information for the committee members and a suggested message follow:

________________________________________________

Dear Representative,

Your Committee is scheduled to vote on HB 2852 on April 2nd.
As you know, the Port of Portland is violating the law and gun owners’ rights.
Please do not reward them for ignoring the clear mandates of the Oregon Legislature.

Very truly yours,
___________________________

________________________________________________

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03.23.07 Dangerous Port Bill Moving Forward. Please Act Immediately.

Today the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HB 2852.

As we told you in a previous alert, this bill expands the power of the Port of Portland Police.

Today it was amended to expand it even more.

This is a very dangerous bill for gun owners. Why? Because the Port, and its police, have an illegal policy banning concealed handgun license holders from the Portland Airport terminal.

For the whole gruesome story, see this link.

Concealed handgun license holders are specifically allowed in the public areas of the Portland Airport terminal anywhere outside the TSA security checkpoint. In fact, in spite of what many agencies say, they are allowed in ALL public buildings except courts.

The Port of Portland knows their policy is illegal and made no attempt to defend it in the hearing today. They simply stated that this bill has “nothing to do with guns.” But it certainly does.

The Port and its police are breaking the law, plain and simple. They are using their authority to intimidate gun owners in violation of Oregon’s preemption statute, and now they want to be rewarded by having their power expanded! This is even more dangerous than it seems.

As you may know, we have been making some progress in getting Oregon government agencies to reverse illegal gun policies, (Department of Administrative Services, Deschutes County Commission.) But there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of agencies and departments that may have illegal anti-gun rules and policies. (The Bend Police Department for example.) That’s why it is SO important that the Port of Portland is NOT rewarded for breaking the law and violating the rights of Oregon gun owners. You can imagine the message that this bill would send to law breaking government agencies across the state.

No “work session” was held on the bill today. That’s the good news. The bad news is the chairman of the committee, Greg MacPherson, seems determined to pass it. Your action now is imperative. If this bill passes, you can bet that agencies that would have complied with the law if pressured, will thumb their noses at the statutes, knowing the legislature will do nothing.

The sponsor of the bill is Jeff Barker. Barker is a Democrat who has supported gun rights in the past. In fact, he has contacted us numerous times to remind us that he is solidly behind gun rights. But this bill is a clear attack on gun owners. After today’s hearing, where we provided the committee with extensive documentation that the Port is breaking the law, no member of the committee (including Barker) can claim they are unaware of the problem.

Please contact Jeff Barker and urge him to reconsider his support for this bill. Remind him that this bill, if passed, would send a very dangerous message. A message that encourages government agencies to violate the law, a message that gun rights are being trampled while the legislature turns a blind eye and a message that clearly written statutes only apply to gun owners and not government bureaucrats.

Barker’s contact information and a sample message follow.

Representative Jeff Barker
rep.jeffbarker@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-476
Salem, OR 97301
Session Phone:
503-986-1428
_____________________________________________

Dear Representative Barker,

While I appreciate your support for gun owners’ rights in the past, HB 2852 is a dangerous step backward.

You are aware that the Port of Portland operates under an ordinance that is contrary to Oregon’s preemption statute and is unlawful.

Whatever your goals were with this bill, I can assure you that it will encourage more state and local agencies to ignore the laws that you in the legislature created.

I strongly urge you not to reward the Port for breaking the law and violating gun owners’ rights. Please reconsider your support for this bill until the Port is in compliance with the law.

Very truly yours,
___________________________

_____________________________________________

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03.21.07 Port of Portland’s Lawlessness To Be Rewarded?

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.

____________________________________________________

Dear Representative,

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,

_______________

____________________________________________________

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03.16.07 Range Shut Down Bill Goes To Burdick.

On February 28th, we warned you about a bill that was written to close virtually every shooting range in the state.

At the time, the bill was in draft form. We promised to keep you informed of its progress.

As many of you know the bill now exists in bill form. It is SB 1012

Yesterday the bill was assigned to Ginny Burdick’s Judiciary Committee. As you know, Burdick is Oregon’s most fanatical gun hater.

It is imperative that you contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and express your opposition to this very dangerous bill. A suggested message appears at the bottom of this page. Feel free to alter it.

You can see all bills in both html and easier to read PDF format here.

You can contact your own representatives, even if you don’t know who they are by using this link.

You may also want to consider contacting your local police department. Many departments rely on local private ranges for practice. Obviously their costs will skyrocket if this bill becomes law.

Suggested Text:

_________________________________________________________________

Dear Senator,

Senate Bill 1012 is extreme, unneeded and unwise.

At a time when everyone agrees that firearms safety is essential, SB 1012 would effectively close virtually every range where people can safely shoot.

I urge you in the strongest terms to oppose this draconian and dangerous legislation.
Very truly yours,

______________________

_________________________________________________________________

 

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03.15.07 Deschutes County Reverses Illegal Gun Policy.

Gun owners in Deschutes County got a small but significant victory today.

On March 9th, OFF was contacted by a Deschutes County gun owner and informed that the county buildings were posted with signs stating that carrying a firearm in a county building was a felony,even with a permit. This is not true. CHL holders are very specifically allowed in county buildings with firearms.

We contacted Deschutes County and informed them that their policy was unlawful.

On March 14th we received a phone call from Deschutes County Commissioner Mike Daly. He informed us that he thought we “were right” and promised to change the policy. Today, March 15th, we received an e-mail from Dave Kanner, the County Administrator simply saying “The signage will be changed. The county has no formally adopted policy, but will comply with ORS 166.”

If you know of similar violations in your area, please let us know.