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03.07.07 New Gun Bills, DAS Changes Rule. SB81 Passes Senate.

Numerous Gun Bills Introduced
DAS Changes Gun Policy.
SB 81 Passes Senate.

A number of gun related bills have just been introduced, including several versions of a “stand your ground” law.

We had already told you about SB 658, now you can add HB 3069 and HB 3115, a bill we have been working on for some time with Representative Kim Thatcher. HB 3115 has 23 cosponsors including Democrat Jeff Barker.

To view this bill and the other new gun related bills, please see our 2007 Gun Bills page. This page is updated regularly.

On Feb.28th, we told you, that after being informed by a gun owner that Oregon’s “Department of Administrative Services” had an illegal policy forbidding handguns in their buildings, we asked several legislators to look into it. House Reps Wayne Scott, Brian Boquist and Kim Thatcher all contacted DAS and told them their policy was not lawful.

As we pointed out in the earlier alert, the illegal policy was removed from their website, but it was not clear that they had actually changed their rules. Now it is. Yesterday we received an e-mail from Representative Brian Boquist, which he had gotten from Lindsay Ball, the Director of DAS. It is reprinted below:

Rep. Boquist,
I have removed the language regarding the authority of weapons possession by individuals with concealed firearms permits. I am very respectful of the statutory language and the authority vested in the legislature on this issue. I am disappointed that language on the Web site was not written in an obvious fashion with respect to the law.

I am driving a concerted effort to ensure the next posting on our Web site contains language consistent with the law. There will be a review of the language by myself, staff and legal counsel. We will share that language with you by March 15, 2007.

Sincerely,
Lindsay Ball, Director
Department of Administrative Services

In addition, Representative Wayne Scott forwarded a letter he had received from Legislative Counsel, (the legislature’s lawyers) making it clear that state agencies may NOT make rules of this kind. You can download a .pdf of that letter here.

We are currently working with legislative staff on a similar issue. We have been informed that the Department of Human Services has policies that greatly restrict gun ownership for foster parents,even those with concealed handgun licenses. We believe those policies are unlawful as well, and we’ll keep you informed as we learn more.

Finally, one more piece of good news for gun owners. SB 81, a bill which would require that a court would must inform persons who are charged with domestic violence offenses, that if they plead guilty or no contest, Federal law could bar them from owning firearms, passed the full Senate yesterday with 27 “yes” votes, The only people not voting “yes” were three Senators who were excused from the floor session.

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03.06.07 Hearing for HB 2334 cancelled.

We recently alerted you that a hearing was scheduled for HB 2334 tomorrow, Wednesday, in House Judiciary.

HB 2334 has several very bad provisions and many of you contacted your reps to oppose it.

We have just been informed that tomorrow’s hearing has been cancelled.

We will let you know you if it is rescheduled.

Numerous new gun bills were introduced today. The legislative website is having technical difficulties, so right now we cannot link to the new bills. As soon as that is resolved we will update you.

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03.01.07 Gun Bill Scheduled, Contact Your Reps Today.

Gun Bill Scheduled For Hearing.

House Bill 2334 is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, March 7th at 8:30 AM in the House Judiciary Committee.

(Please note. Schedules are subject to change. Please use this link for updated committee schedules.)

This bill is a rewrite of the Sheriff’s concealed handgun license bill that OFF members killed last session. (For more, click on this link and scroll down to the alert dated 05/25/05)

This year’s version is a big improvement over last session’s and does contain language we sought in 2005 that would allow active duty military to renew concealed handgun licenses by mail, however the bill still contains some significant flaws

The bill has added language to deny CHL’s unless the applicant “Is not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, a controlled substance.” That sounds reasonable, except that in this case, we are not talking about people who have a conviction for drug use, or even an arrest. The bill describes drug users as follows:

(10) For purposes of subsection (1)(m) of this section, a person is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, a controlled substance if within the four years prior to the application:
(a) There have been two or more official reports by a law enforcement agency that document incidents involving the person’s unlawful use of a controlled substance;
(b) The person has admitted to being addicted to a controlled substance to a peace officer, a corrections officer or a parole and probation officer;
(c) The person has been addicted to a controlled substance and the fact of the addiction has been documented, electronically or in writing, during the course of an investigation by a law enforcement agency

Basically, you are a drug user if a law enforcement officer SAYS you are.

In our lengthy meetings with the Sheriffs last session, they could not provide any satisfactory explanation of what prevented any law enforcement officer from “documenting” drug use whether it had occurred or not.

Our position then, and now, is that if there is evidence of unlawful use of drugs, there should be an arrest. In the absence of one, we believe this provision is an open invitation to abuse.

OFF hears from people regularly who face unlawful delays for CHL’s and the incidence of lengthy delays for firearm’s purchases in Oregon is exploding. The unfortunate reality is that not all law enforcement officers or agencies are supportive of gun rights. Many police officers are committed Second Amendment advocates, but often the bosses’s of departments do not share those beliefs.

Another area of concern is Section 3, sub section(4) of the bill, which states:

Any peace officer or corrections officer may seize a concealed handgun license and return it to the issuing sheriff { – when – } { + if + } the license is held by a person who has been arrested or cited for a crime that can or would otherwise disqualify the person from being issued a concealed handgun license { + or if the officer knows of the existence of any other circumstance that would disqualify the person from being issued a concealed handgun license + }. The issuing sheriff shall hold the license for 30 days. If the person is not charged with a crime within the 30 days, the sheriff shall return the license unless the sheriff revokes the license as provided in subsection (3) of this section.

(The red text is new language.)

Once again, we believe this language is dangerously over broad and ripe for misinterpretation and abuse. We believe gun owners deserve clearer laws.

We know of many cases where sheriffs have used “discretion” they were not entitled to by law, and believe that without clear cut guidelines gun owners are in jeopardy.

Please contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to remove these dangerous provisions from the bill. Their contact information and a sample letter follows:
___________________________________________________

Dear Representative,

House Bill 2334 contains several provisions that could create unnecessary problems for concealed handgun license holders. In particular, Section 2(10)(a)(b)and (c) and Section(3)(4) are dangerously vague and open to abuse. I urge you to amend this bill to remove those provisions. Gun owners and police benefit when the laws are clear and unambiguous. Unfortunately, these provisions of the bill are not.
Very truly yours,

_____________________________________

House Judiciary Committee
Greg Macpherson, Chair
rep.gregmacpherson@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-385, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1438

Jeff Barker, Vice-Chair rep.
rep.jeffbarker@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-476, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1428

Gene Whisnant, Vice-Chair
rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-372, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1453

Suzanne Bonamici
rep.suzannebonamici@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-374, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1434

Kevin Cameron
rep.kevincameron@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-383, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1419

Linda Flores
rep.lindaflores@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-287, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1451

Betty Komp
rep.bettykomp@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-276, Salem,, OR, 97301
503-986-1422

Wayne Krieger
rep.waynekrieger@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-378, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1401

Tobias Read
rep.tobiasread@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-489, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1427

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02.28.07 New Gun Bills, DAS may have changed its tune, Burdick boasts about WA bill.


Several new gun bills are in the works for the 2007 Legislative session. Some are quite good and others are quite dangerous.

You can view all the bills we are tracking here.

The newest additions are SB658, a new “stand your ground” bill, and HB 2888, a bill that would make it legal for a person with a concealed handgun license to have a loaded handgun while operating an ATV. (It is currently a traffic violation.) It is also a violation to have a loaded firearm on a snowmobile. This bill does not permit license holders to carry while on snowmobiles. Finally, and most importantly, we have LC 142, a draft of a bill intended to shut down shooting ranges.

A copy of the draft was provided to us by the Oregon consultant for the NRA and we thank him for the information.

It’s hard to imagine a worse bill for shooters and gun clubs. Where this will go remains to be seen, but we’re keeping track of it and will let you know.

On another issue, OFF was contacted recently by a gun owner who found a page on the website for the Oregon Department of Administrative Services that stated that no one, even those with concealed handgun licenses, was allowed in DAS controlled buildings with a firearm.

DAS has no authority to make a rule of this kind. So, OFF contacted legislators and asked that they look into this policy. Representatives Kim Thatcher and Brian Boquist contacted DAS and made it clear that this policy was not legal. As of now, the offending page has been removed. It is not clear if DAS has really gotten the message or if they have just changed the website, but we will be keeping a eye on this. To view a PDF of the old website, click here. The same page now, can be seen here.

The Department of Human Services, which deals with foster parents, also currently has a policy restricting CHL holders who have foster children. We believe their policy is unlawful as well and are working with legislators to address the issue. We will keep you posted.

Finally, Ginny Burdick has issued a press release rejoicing over her role in a Washington State bill to destroy gun shows there. In her release, Burdick states “Neither I nor the Washington State Legislature is in the business of taking away the right to own firearms.”

This must be the new Ginny Burdick. The old one promoted a bill to put you in jail for 10 years and fine you a quarter of a million dollars for being in possession of a semi-automatic firearm. The old Burdick has pushed for years for a law that would turn schools into no-safety zones.

In fact, Burdick’s efforts to spread the damage to other states is nothing more than an attempt to add whatever restrictions she can to the lives of gun owners. So far this session, it would appear that the Senate leadership has thrown a net over her efforts to harass gun owners in Oregon, so she’s turned her attention to Washington.

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02.23.07 Alert Update HB 2304 Pulled From Schedule.

HB 2304 Pulled From Agenda.

In an earlier alert sent today, we informed you that on March 2nd, the House Judiciary Committee would be hearing two gun related bills, HB 2300 and HB 2304.

We also expressed our concerns about HB 2304 and asked that you contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to oppose it.

As of today, Feb. 23rd, HB 2304 has been pulled from the schedule.

Should it reappear in the future, we will let you know.

You can keep track of hearings on bills by using this link:

Thank you for your activism.

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02.23.07 Two Gun Bills Scheduled For Hearings.

TWO GUN BILLS SCHEDULED.

On March 2nd, the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing 2 gun bills, House Bill 2300 and House Bill 2304

HB2300 is a bill we told you to expect last year. It corrects changes that were inadvertently made to the concealed handgun license law in an “omnibus” bill that no one read before voting on it.

While there is nothing in this bill that really benefits gun owners, the small technical change will not hurt law-abiding CHL holders. For more information see here. Scroll down to “Making Your Case” for an in depth explanation.

HB 2304 is far more troubling. This bill “Provides that person barred from purchasing firearm by reason of felony conviction or finding of guilty except for insanity of felony may not apply for relief from bar.”

Much like HB 2336, which would have forbidden anyone with a “domestic violence” conviction from ever having their conviction set aside, this bill eliminates forever a person’s ability to regain gun rights, no matter how perfect a life they have lived, no matter how long.

OFF hears from people all the time who made one mistake in their youth and have cleaned up their lives and made valuable utions to society. Currently, those people, under certain circumstances, can request to have their gun rights restored. If this bill passes, that will be impossible.

OFF strongly believes that individuals who are a danger to others should be incarcerated. We do not believe, however, that one mistake should eliminate a person’s chance to turn their lives around. So we are urging you to ask the House Judiciary Committee to reject HB 2304.

Please contact the members of the committee to express your concern about this bill.

Their contact information and a sample letter follows:
************************************************************
Dear Representative,

House Bill 2304 eliminates any possibility that a person with a single felony, even if committed as a juvenile, may ever request a return of his gun rights.
Many people make mistakes early in life and then resolve to become productive and law-abiding members of society.
I urge you to reject any attempt to remove forever, one more incentive to good behavior.
Dangerous people should not be free to prey upon others, but some people truly do turn their lives around. In a state where hunting is such a common and valued tradition, this bill would be a tremendous disincentive to rehabilitation.

Very truly yours,

****************************************************************

Greg Macpherson, Chair
rep.gregmacpherson@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-385, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1438

Jeff Barker, Vice-Chair rep.
rep.jeffbarker@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-476, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1428

Gene Whisnant, Vice-Chair
rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-372, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1453

Suzanne Bonamici
rep.suzannebonamici@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-374, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1434

Kevin Cameron
rep.kevincameron@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-383, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1419

Linda Flores
rep.lindaflores@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-287, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1451

Betty Komp
rep.bettykomp@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-276, Salem,, OR, 97301
503-986-1422

Wayne Krieger
rep.waynekrieger@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-378, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1401

Tobias Read
rep.tobiasread@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-489, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1427

 

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02.14.07 Burdick’s Road Show. New Gun Bills.

Ginny Burdick Takes Her Show On The Road.
New Gun Bills Introduced.

Senator Ginny Burdick has branched out.

After her successful ballot measure in 2000 which seriously damaged Oregon’s gun shows, Burdick has expanded her efforts and is now trying to destroy gun shows in Washington State.

You can read all about it here.

House Rep Greg Smith has introduced HB 2652, a bill to forbid gun seizures during times of emergency and two new hunting bills have been introduced in the Oregon legislature.

While we are not specifically a “hunting” organization, we know many of our supporters are hunters and outdoorsmen. We thought you would want to take a look at these bills yourself.

The first one, SB 490 deals with “Internet or closed circuit media to remotely control weapon for purpose of hunting.”

The second one, SB 572 “Prohibits hunting, wounding or taking or attempting to hunt, wound or take exotic mammal or game mammal held or obtained by
person.” We think hunters should take a particularly close look at this one.
You can view all these bills by using this link.

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02.10.07 Some Progress On Good Bills

Some Good Bills Make Progress.

Two bills of importance to gun owners got quiet, but important action this week.

Senate Bill 81 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Bill 2370 passed out of the Joint Committee on Emergency Preparedness.

SB 81 would require that persons charged with crimes involving “domestic violence,” be informed prior to pleading guilty or no contest, that Federal law could prohibit them from owning firearms for life.

This bill was requested by the Governor for the Oregon Military Department.

Since there is no exception in Federal law for military or police, you can see the motivation.

Domestic violence accusations ensnare countless gun owners annually, so this bill is a positive change. The bill still has a long way to go before becoming law, but at least we know it’s not likely to face a veto threat.

House Bill 2370 is not a “gun” bill but it has a major provision that will be important to gun owners.

The bill: “Creates Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Oregon Military Department. ”

This bill turns over tremendous powers in emergencies to the Oregon Military Department.

Anyone who has seen the video of National Guardsmen invading private homes in New Orleans and confiscating legally owned guns in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, would have justifiable concerns about this.

The bill, however, has been amended to forbid any government agency from confiscating guns in times of emergency.

House Rep. Wayne Krieger requested the amendment and it passed unanimously. Thanks to Representative Krieger for the amendment and to Senator Gary George for his work on this important change.

This bill now goes to the Ways and Means Committee.

Although this committee is not supposed to make substantive changes to any part of the bill that is not fiscal, there are ways they can do it, so we will need to be watching it.

As with SB 81, there is still a long process before this bill can become law, but in both cases gun owners are making progress.

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01.31.07 Domestic Violence Bill Gets Hearing.

On January 25th, we warned you about House Bill 2336.

This bill would eliminated any possibility of expunging a “domestic violence” conviction or record of arrest.

As you know, any offense that is considered one of “domestic violence” eliminates, forever, your right to own firearms or even a single round of ammunition.

The legal definition of “domestic violence” is so overly broad that the potential to be swept up in a charge of this kind, for a truly trivial event, is enormous.

Today the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill.

Based on the proceedings, it would appear that the committee members have gotten your message. For everyone who took the time to contact them, we thank you.

We’d also like to send a special thank you to the OFF member who came and testified at the hearing and shared his personal story about his experiences with a stacked judicial system, and how this bill would impact people who had done nothing to require law enforcement involvement. We believe his testimony had a major impact on the committee members and we think it demonstrates the importance of every gun owner’s involvement.

Several legislators told us that they recognized the dangers of the bill and we believe that the majority of the committee sees its flaws.

One member made it clear that he intended to vote against it and had personally killed it in a previous session.

The bill is, by no means, dead. It is still quite viable. But, we believe, based on what happened at today’s hearing, that we have a good chance of killing it. Your willingness to communicate with the committee members will have a major impact on whether this bill goes anywhere.

Please take minute to send a note to the members of the committee and urge them NOT to approve HB 2336. Their contact info and a sample message follows.
________________________________________

Dear Representative,
I believe you have heard sufficient reasons to reject HB 2336.
While domestic violence is a serious problem, HB 2336 does nothing to address it while doing much to punish those who may be guilty of nothing more than a misunderstanding.
Please do not support HB 2336.
Very truly yours,

__________________________

Contact Info:

Greg Macpherson, Chair
rep.gregmacpherson@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-385, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1438

Jeff Barker, Vice-Chair rep.
rep.jeffbarker@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-476, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1428

Gene Whisnant, Vice-Chair
rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-372, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1453

Suzanne Bonamici
rep.suzannebonamici@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-374, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1434

Kevin Cameron
rep.kevincameron@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-383, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1419

Linda Flores
rep.lindaflores@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-287, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1451

Betty Komp
rep.bettykomp@state.or.us
900 Court St NE, H-276, Salem,, OR, 97301
503-986-1422

Wayne Krieger
rep.waynekrieger@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE., H-378, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1401

Tobias Read
rep.tobiasread@state.or.us
900 Court St. NE, H-489, Salem, OR, 97301
503-986-1427

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01.25.07 Domestic Violence Bill Could Ensnare Gun Owners.

On January 31st, the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing HB 2336, a copy of which can be viewed here.

The summary of the bill states “Prohibits, in any case involving domestic violence, setting aside conviction or setting aside record of arrest when dismissal is result of diversion.”

Persons who could no longer seek to have convictions set aside would be, according to the bill:
A person convicted of a crime involving domestic violence as defined in ORS 135.230. or
A person who, as part of a diversion agreement, has pleaded guilty to a crime involving domestic violence as defined in ORS 135.230 and has subsequently had the accusatory instrument pleading domestic violence dismissed as a result of fulfilling the diversion agreement.

ORS 135.230 defines “domestic violence” as ” abuse between family or household members” and defines “abuse” as:

(a) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury;
(b) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly placing another in fear of imminent serious physical injury; or
(c) Committing sexual abuse in any degree as defined in ORS 163.415, 163.425 and 163.427.

While no one would downplay the seriousness of domestic violence, we believe that the definitions in the law are dangerously broad and could ensnare people for relatively mild transgressions.

OFF has heard from numerous people who were involved in minor incidents with family members, that in the past would never have involved the intervention of law enforcement.

Many chose to plead their cases simply to avoid costly and protracted legal proceedings. None of them knew that a domestic violence conviction comes with a LIFE LONG prohibition on firearms ownership. That of course, means an end to hunting with firearms for life.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by a domestic violence issue, we urge you to read this bill and determine what impact it could have on the ability to seek to have a conviction set aside.

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01.19.07 Free Speech Safe, For Now.

Your right to receive information from activist organizations like OFF is safe, for the time being.

Yesterday, the US Senate voted to approve the Bennett Amendment to a “lobbying reform bill” ,”S1.”

As we have reported previously, without the amendment, we would no longer have been able to send out legislative alerts(like this one) to you without onerous restrictions and reporting requirements.

It was because of your efforts, and the efforts of activists from across the country, that this very dangerous provision in the bill was killed.

However, 43 Senators, all Democrats, voted AGAINST the amendment.

It’s hard to imagine a more blatant attack on American’s rights than to refuse to allow them to speak without Congressional approval.

If the Democrats have this little regard for the First Amendment , it’s a safe bet they will continue to attempt assaults on the Second Amendment.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden was among those who voted to silence organizations or individuals who wanted to communicate with you about legislative issues.

Contact information for Wyden’s Washington office, and all his local offices can be found here.

If you prefer to e-mail Wyden, with the simple message that you are outraged at his attempts to silence dissent, you must use his webform.

Tell him that his vote against the Bennett Amendment to S1 was a cowardly attempt to crush free speech rights.

Here in Oregon, as we have told you, a bill to mandate locking up your self defense firearms has been introduced in the Oregon Legislature. That bill is SB 283.

An in-depth analysis demonstrates this bill to be among the most poorly written we have ever seen. To see the bill and our analysis of it, please use this link.

In a past sessions, an example was used to justify the need to require that guns be locked up. That example was when Matthew Randall (13) used his father’s gun to shoot and kill his 10 year old sister.

Matthew’s father was a Clark County Sheriff’s Sergeant.

We were told over and over that this tragedy was a justification for mandating locked guns. Oddly though, SB 283 EXEMPTS police.

On another note, we have added a page to our website that should make your activism a bit easier.

It’s a collection of links to help you find information on local legislation and act on it. If you have suggestions for added links, please let us know. That page can be viewed here.

Thanks for all you have done to protect our First AND Second Amendment rights.

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01.13.07 Gun Lockup Law Introduced.

As we warned you, Ginny Burdick is back with another bill to force you to keep your firearms locked up and useless.

Senate Bill 283 is the bill version of LC Draft 1116, which we have had posted on our website for some time.

The bill includes prison terms of up to 5 years and fines of $125,000.00 for failure to lock up your firearms.

Although this bill was introduced as a “committee” bill, it has Burdick’s fingerprints all over it. It will be assigned to the Committee she chairs. Interestingly, it provides an exemption for police officers.

On another note, if you have not yet done so, please contact US Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith and urge them, in the strongest possible terms, to vote for the Bennett/McConnell amendment to the “Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act “(S.1).

In the wake of lobbying scandals in Washington, the Democrats in the Senate are seeking to silence groups like OFF who simply communicate with their members, but DON’T throw bags of money at legislators.

Not only are they determined to undermine your Second Amendment rights, they are now trying to eliminate your FIrst Amendment rights.

We have provided contact information for both Smith and Wyden.We have also provided some suggested text. Please feel free to modify it.

Gordon Smith:
503-326-3386 or 202- 224-3753
Fax- 202-228 3997
E-mail

Ron Wyden
Local Phone Numbers
DC Phone 202-224-5244
Fax 202-228-2717
E-Mail
Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

——————Suggested Text————————————————–

Dear Senator,
The Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act (S.1) contains provisions that will silence organizations that keep me informed.
This is an outrageous and unacceptable attack on my First Amendment rights.
I urge you to vote in favor or the Bennett/ McConnell amendment to strike these dangerous and unconstitutional sections.
Very truly yours,

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01.11.07 US Congress Gunning For First Amendment Rights Now.

Congress Attacking The First Amendment Too.

First Amendment Under Attack Again!

Urge Senators for Vote YES on the Bennett Amendment!

The Democratic Congress is about to enact new ethics and lobbying rules. As you might expect, they are using this opportunity to silence organizations like the Oregon Firearms Federation.

A section in the” Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act “(S.1) being voted on next week in the U.S. Senate, would target groups like OFF, who represent gun owners in Oregon.

Our style of grassroots lobbying has long been treated differently than the kind of high dollar inside lobbying that made the changes needed in the first place.

The dangerous provisions in the bill would subject groups like OFF to onerous government regulation.

When we expend a certain amount of money encouraging citizens to contact their elected officials on a particular issue, this provision would require extensive government reporting, including notifying Congress 45 days before such action would take place.

Given the pace that attacks on our rights take place, this is clearly an attempt to chill our ability to contact you and inform you about dangerous legislation that is in the works.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT), along with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has offered an amendment to strike the grassroots lobbying provisions included in S.1.

We need you to contact Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith as soon as possible and urge them to support the Bennett/ McConnell amendment.

Please act now.

The Senate will vote on the Bennett amendment to protect your voice through grassroots groups soon. Please call Senators Smith and Wyden and tell them to vote YES on the Bennett amendment today!

Use the following contact info to urge your Senators to vote YES on the Bennett Amendment!

Gordon Smith: 503-326-3386 or 202- 224-3753
Fax- 202-228 3997

Ron Wyden
Local Phone Numbers <http://wyden.senate.gov/locations.html#dc?>
DC Phone 202-224-5244
Fax 202-228-2717
E-Mail <http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/>

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

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01.10.07 Session Begins. Gun Bills Introduced.

The 2007 Oregon Legislative Session has begun.

Yesterday, January 9th, the first gun bills were introduced.

For some indication of what to expect, the Democrats in the Senate have already passed a Resolution calling for annual sessions. (Twice the opportunity to erode your rights.) They did this without a single word of public testimony. No public hearing was held on the issue at any time.
So far gun bills are the introduced versions of drafts we have had posted on our website for some time.

To keep track of, and see the bills, (and all future bills) please use this link

There will be plenty more as the session continues.

There are some important developments of which you should be aware, that will make you a more informed and effective citizen lobbyist.

Please make use of the following links:

This is the Home page of the Oregon Legislature.

If you spend some time you will find it to be very useful. This page has contact information for all legislators and a link to find your representatives.

On the right side of this page you will find a link entitled “Esubscribe.” You can use this link to get regular e-mail updates of committee schedules. You can sign up for whatever committees you want. We suggest you sign up for the schedules of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. These schedules will let you know when gun bills are being heard. If you choose, you can come to the capitol and offer your testimony.

For those who cannot come to the Capitol, the Legislature now offers a way to watch any hearing or floor session, live on your computer.

For that, please use this link: It will take you to a page where you can pick whatever hearing room or chamber you want to monitor.

You can learn the times and locations of any hearing, by using this link.

2007 promises to be a pivotal year in the battle for gun rights, but you will have more tools than ever before to be effective in this fight.

Please keep an eye on our legislation tracking page and please be sure to make your voice heard.

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12.14.06 First Gun Drafts Introduced.

GUN BILL DRAFTS POSTED

We now have copies of the drafts introduced yesterday in a joint session of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

Most of these drafts, (which will be introduced as “committee bills” so no legislator’s names are on them,) will be introduced as House Bills. The “lock up your gun” draft has been introduced in the Senate.

As you know, while anti-gunners control both the House and Senate, they are stronger in the Senate. (The recent defection of Ben Westund to the Democrats gives them an additional vote.) We believe that bills introduced in the House will have any pro-gun language stripped out when the bills make their way to the Senate, where they will be under the control of Ginny Burdick.

One of these drafts eliminates the ability to petition for a restoration of rights after a felony conviction. Keep in mind, if Burdick has her way, almost all gun owners will be felons.

Another is the Sheriff’s bill from last year that OFF members killed. It is basically a wish list of new ways to revoke or deny permits. Interestingly, it includes our language from last year which would allow active duty military, who are deployed away from home, to renew concealed handgun licenses by mail. This was the token pro-gun addition the Sheriffs allowed last year in hopes of getting our approval. That bill had been introduced in the House as well, and we knew that when it went to the Senate and Burdick, it was likely that the pro-gun token would be stripped out. The rest of the bill was bad news. We opposed it, and when you made your voices heard the bill died
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We have no plans of supporting any bill that reduces gun owners’ rights. Last year the bill was opposed by the NRA. We have no idea whether we can count on their opposition this year.

Also returning is a bill that would define the word “unloaded” for situations where a person was operating a snowmobile or atv. Currently, it is a traffic violation to operate either with a firearm that contains a round even if not in the chamber. This bill would define “loaded” has having a chambered round, or a round under the hammer of revolver.

All the drafts can be downloaded here.

Please bookmark this page. It will be where all gun bills will be tracked in the 2007 session