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07.25.06 Update On New Background Checks By Oregon State Police

MORE ON NEW BACKGROUND CHECKS.

On June 16th, OFF alerted you to new and more invasive background checks being conducted by the Oregon State Police for firearms purchases
.
As you know, OFF has been receiving reports of many lengthy delays for people who have no criminal history.

We contacted Senator Gordon Smith’s office to find out exactly what was going on. Today we received an e-mail from Matt Hill, a staffer for Smith. He provided the following information.

“NICS/FBI was doing a training in Oregon in Spring of 2005. In
conversations with OSP, they found that OSP (in performing background
checks) was only looking for certain types (felony) of arrests and
convictions.
NICS/FBI asserted that OSP needs to be looking at the misdemeanor
crime of harassment to determine if it meets the domestic violence
threshold under the law.
Harassment now triggers a more lengthy check by OSP. In certain
cases, OSP needs to research whether there was a conviction or just an
arrest, and determine if the harassment “victim” is someone within the
household — which would trigger “domestic violence.” OSP said that
this research is what is taking longer for some background checks,
especially if it’s a common name.”

If you have been unjustifiably delayed or denied as a result of these new rules, and you would like to share your story, please e-mail us with the specifics of your case.

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06.30.06 Pro-gun Amendment Passes House.

 

Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave arguing for her pro-gun amendment.

On June 28th Colorado Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave passed an amendment to an appropriations bill that stops the federal government from implementing the trigger lock provisions of the gun lawsuits liability bill passed by the NRA last year.

The Musgrave Amendment (an amendment to the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce Appropriations bill) will allow no funds to be made available (to the Justice Department) to carry out section 924(p) of title 18. This section is the penalties section relating to the new trigger lock law that says that every handgun sold, must be sold with a trigger lock.

The penalty for manufacturers, importers and licensed dealers who fail to provide a trigger lock with a sale of a handgun is:

Suspension for not more than 6 months, or revocation of their license.

Fine of not more than $2,500.

The trigger lock provision was part of the “Firearms Manufacturers Protection” bill that was signed into law on Oct. 26, 2005. The trigger lock provision took effect on April 24th, 2006. At the time the bill was being debated, we warned of the dangers of the trigger lock requirement, but the NRA insisted that the bill pass with that and other bad provisions.

There were 230 aye votes and 191 noes on Musgrave’s amendment. All four Democratic, Oregon House members voted against your rights, only Republican Greg Walden supported the amendment.

Hooley, DeFazio,Blumenauer and Wu all voted “no.”

You can view the vote here.

Capitol sources informed us, that before the vote, it looked like the amendment might die because the NRA had not taken a position. When pressed by hill staffers, the NRA simply would not take a stand on the amendment.

According to those sources, the NRA’s reasoning for not getting involved was “our plate is just too full right now.”

Remember that early in 2005 the NRA claimed they would strip out these bad provisions after they passed the gun lawsuits liability bill in the Senate. Then, when the trigger lock provisions were added in the Senate, they claimed they HAD to pass this bill as it was. They put a full court press on Congress to pass a bill with trigger lock provisions, and dismissed the anti-gun amendments as “meaningless.”

Anyone who needs their firearm in a hurry, but has been fed the lie about trigger locks, won’t call this capitulation on trigger locks “meaningless.”

This amendment was an attempt to undo what the NRA did in 2005 — and it passed, despite the naysayers in the institutional gun lobby. Now we need to get the same amendment attached to the appropriation in the Senate.  

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06.16.06 New Background Checks Instituted. Federal Control Of CHL’s Coming?

NEW BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIREMENTS. FEDERAL CONTROL OF HANDGUN LICENSES?

Persons attempting to purchase firearms in Oregon have recently been facing new and more intrusive background checks.

The Oregon State Police have been instructed by the FBI to do more extensive checks on buyers in an attempt to find more people guilty of crimes of “domestic violence.”

As a result many, many purchasers are facing long delays . Often, people in possession of concealed handgun licenses are being needlessly delayed in spite of their obvious qualifications.

Buyers should, however, be aware of Oregon law 166.412.

In section 3(c) it states: “If the department fails to provide a unique approval number to a gun dealer or to notify the gun dealer that the purchaser is disqualified under paragraph (a) of this subsection before the close of the gun dealer’s next business day following the request by the dealer for a criminal history record check, the dealer may deliver the handgun to the purchaser.”

If you believe you have been wrongly delayed and are willing to share your experience, please send us a note describing what happened.

On another issue, you may have heard about a bill being promoted by Senator George Allen of Virginia. The bill’s (S. 3275) purpose is to mandate, Federally, a recognition of concealed handgun licenses. You can read the text of the bill here.

While we obviously support the goal, we think this bill could prove to be far more dangerous than helpful. As we are learning by our experience with the FBI’s meddling in Oregon’s background checks, once the Federal government gets involved, the danger of new restrictions, on top of existing state restrictions becomes immense.

While the bill has the support of the National Rifle Association, you’ll recall that the bill they heavily promoted (and passed) concerning immunity for gun dealers, came at the cost of dangerous new gun controls.

The last thing Oregon gun owner’s need are New York style mandates brought on by “national standards.”

Allen is reportedly planning a run for President, and needs to hear from gun owners that interstate recognition is a state matter, and the Feds should keep out of it. As more and more states are recognizing other’s licenses, this bill is dangerous and unneeded.

E-mails can be sent directly to Allen’s staff at this address and you can bypass the webform on his website. For more on the potential dangers of this bill, please read the commentary by Andy Barniskis here.

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05.06.06 Atkinson For Governor. (From OFFPAC)

A Message From OFF PAC

Dear Fellow Gun Rights Supporter,

As you know, we have very high standards for people who are asking to be hired for public office. OFF PAC rarely endorses candidates but always holds them accountable.

We are getting close to the final days to vote in the primary election. If you are a registered Republican, we strongly urge you cast your vote for Senator Jason Atkinson for Governor.

Of the Republican candidates, only Atkinson has a solid record on gun rights. Of the three major Republican candidates, only Atkinson went on the record and returned the OFF PAC candidate survey. (Oddly, Ron Saxton completed a six page NRA survey, but refused to answer a six question OFF survey.)

Atkinson has made no secret of his desire to reach out to gun owners. He has been a consistent voice for gun rights in the legislature. In contrast, Mannix has a well known anti-gun record in spite of the high marks given to him in the past by the National Rifle Association, and Saxton has no record on gun rights at all.

Since both Mannix and Saxton have a record of trying to work both sides of the fence, (Mannix was a liberal Democratic legislator and favors government solutions to every problem, and Saxton has close ties to the liberal establishment in Portland,) we think that Atkinson’s consistency on many issues makes him the only reasonable choice in this race.

Regardless of which party you are in, we hope you will consider financially supporting Senator Atkinson, and if you are a registered Republican, voting for him in the primary.

Gun owners can make the difference in this race. In the last race for governor, Mannix lost by a narrow margin after gun owners learned of his anti-gun record, in spite of his lying to voters about that record. Your vote can make all the difference in this race as well.

Please support Senator Atkinson financially and with your vote.

For more, please see our commentary page.

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04.18.06 Special Session Coming.

Special Session Coming

As you no doubt know, the Oregon legislature will be meeting for a special session starting on Thursday, April 20th.

While we expect the issues on the table to be limited, we have no guarantees. So rest assured we will be watching carefully.

If you are in the Medford area, tune in tomorrow to KMED at 7:05AM for a discussion of the latest BATF actions with OFF Executive Director Kevin Starrett. As you probably know, the BATF has ramped up their attacks on gun owners recently and Congress has held several hearings dealing with ATF abuses.

We have posted new links on our website to bring you up to speed on these hearings if you missed them the first time. You can find those links here.

They appear at the top of the page.

If you are going to be in the Portland area this weekend, consider stopping by the Expo gun show.

Please come by the OFF table if you make it to the show. There’s lots to talk about including the upcoming elections.

If you have not already gotten a copy of “Understanding Oregon’s Gun Laws” this would be a great time to pick one up.

Hope to see you there.

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02.19.06 ATF HEARINGS BECOME FORUM FOR MORE GUN CONTROL.

If you missed the BATFE hearings in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, held on the February 15th, we’d like to give you a brief wrap up.

Annette Gelles, a gun show promoter, testified about outrageous harassment and abuse at the hands of ATF agents and other law enforcement officers at gun shows in Virginia.

Stories were told of customers having agents show up at their homes to grill their family members about gun purchases, sometimes before they even returned home from the show. If no one was home, neighbors were questioned.

James Lalime, a private citizen who worked as a salesman for an FFL dealer sometimes, was detained and questioned, all while law enforcement agents, some with obscenities printed on their tee shirts, made ridiculous and unsupported accusations against him.

But as is so often the case, the star of the show was a FFL dealer whose comments were largely an attack on private collectors. John White, a former police officer, seemed more concerned that collectors were able to sell guns without the onerous background checks that are required of dealers, than he was about the abuses being perpetrated by the ATFE agents and other police officers.

The legislators present expressed more than a little skepticism at the stories they were told. Congressman Delahunt, from (where else?) Massachusetts, virtually accused the witnesses of lying about the good men and women of BATFE. And he and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee used the hearing to promote even more gun control.

The Chairman,Howard Coble, missed no opportunity to repeat over and over, that they were NOT there to criticize ATFE.

No one from ATFE testified, although the chair indicated that they would be at a future hearing.
We believe that these hearings may easily turn into a new attempt to impose Oregon style gun show restrictions (or worse) on a national level.

The behavior of law enforcement at gun shows in Virginia was inexcusable and frightening. BATFE has a long history of abuses against gun owners, and this was only one more example of that abuse. If Congress members continue to bend over backwards to defend or deny the actions of BATFE, look forward to a new attack on your rights and privacy, both by rogue law enforcement agents and members of Congress.

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Alerts older than 2005

OFF ALERT 11/09/05 GOOD NEWS……BAD NEWS

Proving that some people are dangerous and stupid to a degree that words cannot describe, voters in San Francisco yesterday banned all handguns within that great center of freedom.

We have heard from people asking if that would be possible in Oregon.

Presently, no. But Oregon’s pre-emption law, which would prevent that type of lunacy here, is in statute, not the Constitution. This means that the law could be changed at any time by the legislature. So, it’s more important than ever that candidates with some sense of reality get elected.

As you probably know, militant anti-gunners are working overtime to gain control of the Oregon House. This is the only part of government that they don’t control now.

The Senate is in their hands and the Governor’s mansion has been theirs for years. And they control Oregon’s courts.

The upcoming election will be a knock down, drag out for the House. The House Speaker, Karen Minnis is a major target and is vulnerable.

Minnis has been no friend to gun owners since she first came to the Oregon House, replacing her husband John who was also no friend to gun owners.

You may recall that John Minnis left the Senate seat he had moved up to, when he took a job offer from anti-gun Governor Kulongoski.

Karen Minnis, a Republican, has drawn fire from both the right and left and has made plenty of enemies because of her dictatorial style. Because she has almost complete control over assigning committee seats, and because committees have enormous power in the Oregon legislature, she will be a major target this election.

The real danger is that other Republicans, many of whom actually support gun rights, may become targets as well. So please be as active as you can in the upcoming election.

There is some possible good news however.

Senator Ginny Burdick, whose deranged anti-gun ravings have embarrassed even other anti-gun nuts in the Oregon legislature, has announced that she would like to take a more full time job in politics.

Attacking gun rights every two years apparently was not satisfying enough for Burdick, so she is planning a run for Portland City Council where she hopes to join another foaming-at-the-mouth gun hater, Randy Leonard.

This might be seen as bad news for Portland residents, but since things can’t get much worse there, it could be a real positive thing for gun owners state wide.

If Burdick does not win the seat she is seeking (Eric Sten’s) she remains in the Senate, so if you are a Portland resident and can vote in City Council election, please keep that in mind.

Our Political Action Committee will be doing all it can to support sane candidates, so if you have not already done so, please consider a donation to OFFPAC in time for the tax credit it offers.

If your ution is made before the end of the year, you get a write off on your 2005 taxes.

OFF ALERT 10/20/05
Wrap Up On New Gun Control Bill.

Note: This alert refers to several e-mail alerts we sent urging our members to oppose S397 and support HR 800. For reasons of space we have not reproduced those e-mails. If you are on our alert list, you should have received them.

Senate Bill 397 has now passed both the US Senate and the House of Representatives.

As you probably know, the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation/ Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms, were relentless in their support of this bill. If you receive alerts from these organizations, you know that they were adamant that the bill be passed in the House, in the form it was agreed to in the Senate.

These organizations were determined, for whatever reason, to make sure that the gun control provisions that were added in the Senate were KEPT in the bill and NOT removed.

Gun Owners of America was the only national organization to oppose the bill because of the new gun control provisions included.

If the President signs the bill, which we assume he will, you will now be required to purchase a trigger lock with every handgun you buy.

The supporters of the bill have insisted this is “no big deal.” In fact, this is a very big deal and a slap in the face to every responsible gun owner in America.

Let’s can the nonsense and be real for just a minute here. Does anyone think that an irresponsible person will suddenly change his ways because a cheap trigger lock came with his gun? Of course not. So what purpose does this part of the law serve?

Well it served to get the NRA to continue to support the bill and demand that the bill be passed with that provision included.

(Please note, in numerous e-mails sent by NRA prior to the vote on S397 in the Senate, they told their members “Your U.S. Senators need to hear directly from you that you consider any votes in support of anti-gun amendments to this legislation as votes against the bill itself.” But when the bill passed with anti-gun amendments they insisted that it wasn’t a problem and the bill must be passed without removing the anti-gun amendments in the House. When they pushed this bill last time they promised just the opposite, that a bill with anti-gun language would be “cleaned up” in the House.”)

There was an alternative bill that DID NOT have that provision, but NRA insisted that their members support the version with gun control in it.  What are the practical ramifications of this?

They are pretty clear. As a result of the lobbying for this bill, the NRA has stated very clearly that trigger locks are not only acceptable, but are a “good idea.”

Here’s the problem. The bill does not mandate that the trigger locks be used. But there can be no rational reason to promote something if it is not intended to be used. It simply makes no sense.

When Hillary Clinton or Chuck Schumer, or Diane Feinstein or any of the other anti-gun nuts introduce legislation to make their use mandatory, how exactly will all the “pro-gun” organizations who demanded this law argue against it? The “gun lobby” has signed off on trigger locks, how can they then claim they should not be used?

The bill contains this interesting language:
“(3) LIABILITY FOR USE-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who has lawful possession and control of a handgun, and who uses a secure gun storage or safety device with the handgun, shall be entitled to immunity from a qualified civil liability action.”

So, do you really believe you WON’T be subject civil liability if you DON’T lock up your guns?

There are countless prosecutors out there just dying to hang any rap on gun owners that they can. This provision is an open invitation to do just that.

Let’s see what happens if a dealer forgets to sell you what may be an entirely unnecessary lock. The rules about that follow:

“(Sec. 5) Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 – Prohibits the sale, delivery, or transfer by a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer of a handgun to any person other than a person with a firearms license unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device. Lists exceptions, including for U.S. and state agencies and for law enforcement. Grants immunity from a qualified civil liability action for a person who has lawful possession and control of a handgun and who uses a secure gun storage or safety device. Establishes as penalties for violations: (1) license revocation or suspension for up to six months; or (2) a civil penalty of up to $2,500.”

Given the NRA’s ferocious desire to see “all gun” laws enforced, this is not really a good thing for the dealers they claimed to be trying to help.

No, what we have here is simply more rules, more restrictions and more opportunities for gun owners and dealers to run afoul of the thousands of ridiculous laws that serve no purpose other than to harass us.

Why are the people who claim to be protecting your rights so eager to make these deals?

We now have a Republican controlled House, a Republican controlled Senate and a Republican controlled White House. For all the years the anti-gun Democrats were in charge, we were told, “Elect Republicans and your gun rights will be restored.” What happened?

There was a great, clean, gun maker’s protection bill in the House, HR 800. But it was not even considered.

We gave them the control they asked for, and now we have more anti-gun rules.

Do you really feel you need the government to tell you have to safely handle guns?

Do you know that the government is exempted from the trigger lock rule? Why is that?

“(2) EXCEPTIONS- Paragraph (1) shall not apply to–
`(A)(i) the manufacture for, transfer to, or possession by, the United States, a department or agency of the United States, a State, or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, of a handgun; or
`(ii) the transfer to, or possession by, a law enforcement officer employed by an entity referred to in clause (i) of a handgun for law enforcement purposes (whether on or off duty); or
`(B) the transfer to, or possession by, a rail police officer employed by a rail carrier and certified or commissioned as a police officer under the laws of a State of a handgun for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);”

If trigger locks are so important, why does the government exempt its agencies from their acquisition? What magical powers do these people have that you lack?

We have been sold out once again
.
As we stated in a previous e-mail, Joe Waldron, the executive director of Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms, is telling people that “politics is compromise.”

Who authorized anyone to “compromise” something that belongs to you? Did you make that deal? And exactly what did you agree to give up?

For too long, gun owners have been force fed the line that they have to give something up to keep something else. Why? Rights are rights. Why should you have to give up any of them to keep any others?

When a thief breaks in and steals your TV and your DVD player and you catch him and he offers to simply steal your TV and leave your DVD player, that’s not a “compromise.”

There is simply NO reason that a clean bill could not have passed except for the demands of the NRA.

The militant anti-gun “Violence Policy Center” had this to say about the success of S 397 and the failure of the clean bill HR 800:

“The bill was not as bad as the gun lobby wanted it to be, however. The bill passed by the House last Congress did not contain the gun control measures included in S. 397: a requirement that gun dealers provide a child safety lock when they sell a handgun; and, a provision requiring a study that may ultimately lead to a strengthening and expansion of the federal ban on armor-piercing ammunition.”

So the anti-gun nuts are cheering because the NRA insisted on passing the version with gun control in it. That’s just great isn’t it?

Note how happy they are about the possibility that the new bill “may ultimately lead to a strengthening and expansion of the federal ban on armor-piercing ammunition.”

That’s funny, that’s exactly what the NRA promised would never happen.

So now we have a new gun law that VPC has found reason to embrace, for all the reasons that the NRA told us we had nothing to worry about.

And as we told you in a previous alert, the fringe anti-gun group “Coalition To Stop Gun Violence” is confident that their lawsuits will go forward anyway. Part of their press release is copied below:

“The only good news is that many lawsuits against the firearms industry are likely to survive despite the NRA’s ham-fisted attempt to protect gun sellers from the consequences of their own misconduct. We plan to move forward with our lawsuit against the gun makers and dealers involved in the sale of guns to Buford Furrow, the convicted felon, ex-mental patient, and white supremacist who went on a shooting rampage at a Jewish day care center near Los Angeles, and we believe nothing in the new gun industry immunity bill will prevent us from obtaining a judgment against these companies”

Gun owners have been hosed again. And there was not a single reason for it.

The people in control of Congress and the White House were supposed to be pro-gun. But even with all that control they refused to give us a clean bill, and they got tremendous political cover from the people who claim to speak for you.

This is a shame.

A roll call vote on the bill can be seen here.
The bill can be viewed here. (Click on “Bill Number” and type in “S 397”)

OFF ALERT 9/08/05
No Jokes. Gun Confiscation Begins In New Orleans.

The New York Times is reporting that the “authorities” are confiscating legally owned firearms in New Orleans.

This link may require registration, so if you cannot see it, let us know and we will send you the story as a PDF.

The top of the story reads as follows:
” NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 – Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.”

This is madness. The “authorities” have shown no ability to deal with this crisis and now want to disarm people in a place where dangerous criminals have been freed and packs of thugs wander at will
.
The “authorities” however, are not disarming everyone. The Times goes on to report:
“But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16’s and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.”

Gun owners have often been accused of being “paranoid.” Clearly, their fears have been realized.

And now we are facing the appointment of two new Supreme Court Justices who will be able to have a profound effect on our gun rights for years to come.
Please, don’t ignore the lesson from New Orleans. Disasters can happen anywhere. Prepare yourself.

OFF ALERT 8/05/05
OREGON LEGISLATURE ENDS SESSION

The Oregon Legislature closed down this morning ending the second longest legislative session in Oregon history.

You’ll find no shortage of wrap-ups and analysis of the session in your local media. O.F.F. wants to focus on just one issue. Our gratitude for all you have done these last months.

Going into this session, we braced ourselves for the worst.

With anti-gun forces in charge of the Senate, and with the most rabid, anti-rights Democrat in charge of the Senate Judiciary Committee we expected, and got, a flood of antigun bills.

We also faced some problems on the other side. Two bills with bad implications for gun owners came out of the House Judiciary Committee, but in spite of that, your overwhelming response forced them off the floor and back into committee to die.

In fact, as a result of your efforts, every single anti-gun bill died.

Make no mistake, it was your activism that accomplished this, no mean feat with an anti-gun Senate and an anti-gun Governor.

You should be very proud of all you’ve done this session. In an uphill battle you made your voices heard loud and clear.

We are, of course, disappointed that no positive legislation could be passed. Not even something as obviously beneficial as our bill to allow active duty military personal to renew CHL’s by mail. Frankly, this was a failure by both parties and both Houses.

We are preparing a full report of the session and OFF members will receive it in the mail shortly.

Take a short break and get ready to turn your attention to Federal legislation, as the the gun makers legal protection bill moves to the House.
As always, we will keep you posted.

OFF ALERT 7/29/05

S 397 PassesS 397, a bill to protect gun dealers and manufacturers, passed the US Senate today at 2:30 Pacific time.

Because of your unrelenting pressure, most antigun amendments were defeated, leaving only the Kohl amendment requiring dealers to sell gun locks with every handgun sold.

We still consider this a dangerous new provision because of the possible consequences in the future. We are reviewing the amendment now and will give you an update soon.

However, this much needed and overdue bill has now passed over the hysterical objection of the usual suspects.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden voted against your gun rights today on final passage of S 397.
He also voted in favor of mandatory trigger locks.

Oregon Senator Gordon Smith voted in favor of mandatory trigger locks and just didn’t bother showing up for the vote on the bill itself.

Smith, Gordon– (R – OR)
404 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-3753

Wyden, Ron– (D – OR)
230 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5244

Thanks to each one of you who worked so hard to protect gun rights this year.


OFF ALERT 07/28/05
ANTI-GUN AMENDMENTS ADDED TO S 397

Today the Senate agreed to add an anti-gun amendment to the gun makers legal protection act being debated.

On a 70 -30 vote, the Senate adopted an amendment that requires that when you purchase a handgun, you MUST purchase a gun lock. If you have already invested in a gun safe, well, tough. Big Brother knows best.

Of course, there is no requirement (yet) that you use the lock, but don’t be surprised if that comes in future legislation, or if zealous prosecutors go after gun owners who don’t lock up their self defense firearms.

Both Oregon Senators voted in favor of this mindless amendment. (Not a surprise, since Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden have long anti-gun records.)
Another amendment (the Levin amendment), to essentially gut the bill, was set aside.

And many more amendments are being considered. And so the danger grows.

We have gotten numerous reliable reports that the NRA’s strategy is to push this bill through no matter how many bad amendments are attached. Calls and e-mails to them have been met with the response that anyone who does not agree with their strategy “doesn’t know how things work.”

Last time they employed this tactic, the bill was so laden with anti-gun provisions that they had to back off. This time they seem determined to push it in the hopes that it will be “cleaned up” when it gets to the House.

Why they have this belief when it has failed so many times before is anyone’s guess, but it’s a very dangerous strategy. There is no reason to think that the Senate will concur with any “cleaned up” bill if they would not pass one to begin with.

Please call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-8683 and tell them NOT to accept any anti-gun amendments. Don’t let them tell you it will all be “alright later.” That tactic has not worked before, and if this good bill turns into a bad bill, now is the time to kill it.

You can make your feelings known to your Senators by using this link:

Please keep the heat on. The potential for this bill turning into an anti-gun nightmare is tremendous.

Senator Bill Frist is the Senate Majority leader. He also wants to be your next President. As such, you don’t have to live in his state to be important to him. He has a lot of power, and since Oregon Senators seem determined to load this bill up with bad amendments, it would be wise to make sure Frist hears from you. You can call Senator Frist at (202) 224-3344.

OFF ALERT 7/26/05
DANGEROUS AMENDMENTS COMING TO FEDERAL BILL
.

While the Oregon Legislature appears to be slowly winding down, there is trouble afoot in Washington D.C.

As you know, if you’ve been getting our alerts for anytime, last year the US Senate introduced a bill that would protect gun makers and sellers from meritless lawsuits. As you also know, the bill turned into an anti-gun nightmare that had to be stopped.

Along with our friends from pro-gun groups across the country, and with your tireless efforts, we were able to kill it.

Until the very last minute, the NRA supported the bill and promised that, in spite of the terrible anti-gun amendments added to it, they were confident that it could be “cleaned up” when it was sent to the House.

At the time we warned you that it would be a fatal strategy to accept passage of the gun makers protection law if it included anti-gun language.
We felt that was a dangerous approach that had failed many times in the past. In the end, because of your input, the NRA backed off this dangerous policy and agreed that the bill had to be killed, but not before they and others ridiculed our position.

Well, it may be deja-vu all over again.

Another bill (S 397) to protect gun makers is due to be dealt with in the Senate any day, and sources on Capitol Hill have informed us that the NRA is prepared to accept anti-gun amendments in the Senate in hopes of having them stripped out in the House, in spite of recent NRA alerts opposing anti-gun amendments.
For more on this please see a recent GOA alert.

Urge Senator Bill Frist to do whatever it takes to keep anti-gun amendments off of the gun makers’ protection act. Ask him to use ANY and ALL of the parliamentary maneuvers that he has at his disposal to keep anti-gun zealots from attaching amendments to S. 397.
You can call Senator Frist at (202) 224-3344, or go here and select “Contact Senator Frist” under the “About Senator Frist” heading to send a message similar to the one below.
Dear Senator Frist:
I have been informed that anti-gun militants intend to offer gun control amendments to the gun makers’ protection act, S. 397. I want you to know that the minimal gains this legislation will give us should NOT be accepted in exchange for any additional gun control.
I have no confidence that gun control language will be taken out of the bill in a conference committee. Those are the same kinds of failed promises that I have heard in years past when we got stuck with the Clinton-Feinstein semi-auto ban in 1994 and the McCain-Feingold free speech restrictions in 2002.
Instead, I would encourage you to use the SAME SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY that you used last year to keep gun control off of the class action lawsuit bill. I would urge you to use any and all parliamentary tools at your disposal to prevent this amendment from being offered to the gun makers’ protection act.

Sincerely,

Once again, we cannot allow this well intentioned bill to become a vehicle for the militant anti-gun forces.
Stay tuned.


OFF ALERT 07/11/05

GUN TAX INCREASE SENT BACK TO COMMITTEE.
Senate Bill 954, a 30% increase in the tax you must pay to purchase a firearm in Oregon has been sent back to the Budget Committee.

Saying only “needs more work” the bill’s carrier, Senator Richard Devlin made the motion to return the bill to committee.

This is good news and proof that your voices have been heard.

The only other comment on the motion to send the bill back was from Senator Ted Ferrioli who said that he would not be surprised if the bill was “worked to death” when it returned to the Budget Committee.

We are now in the pressure cooker segment of the session where budgets are battled out behind closed doors, out of view of you and us. So rest assured, we will be staying vigilant, as should you. But for right now, the tax increase has been dealt a serious blow.

Don’t relax, but do pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Thanks for keeping up the pressure and we will keep you informed.

 

OFF ALERT 07/08/05
GUN TAX BILL DELAYED AGAIN!
After a lengthy morning session in which the Oregon Senate opened with a rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Senator Margaret Carter, (no we are not kidding) and passed a bill supporting a “virtual” gay marriage, they returned this afternoon to address long overdue budget issues.

Senate Bill 954, the gun buyers’ tax increase, was moved off the schedule once again today at 3:30 PM.

Its carrier, Senator Richard Devlin asked for “more time” to consider the bill.

Your calls and e-mails are working!

There is only one reason this bill has been delayed twice. The anti-gun Senators don’t think they have the votes to pass it.

Now is the time to run up the heat.

Please contact your Senator and tell them to vote NO on new and unjustified taxes on gun owners.

Your Senators can be found here just put in your address and all your Reps will be listed.

Remember your STATE Senator is the fourth person listed, after US Senators and your Congressman.

You can e-mail with the simple message NO ON 954, or call anytime over the weekend and leave a message at their office with the same message.

You are doing a great job and your voices are being heard. PLEASE don’t let up now.

Your calls and e-mails are especially important if your Oregon State Senator is a Democrat.

OFF ALERT 07/07/05
GUN TAX VOTE POSTPONED PLEASE ACT NOW!
The vote on SB 954, the gun buyers’ tax increase was postponed on the Senate floor late today.

Anti-gun Senator Bill Morrisette (D-Springfield) was off the floor for unexplained medical reasons and it was his absence that was given as the reason for postponing the vote.

The only conclusion we can draw from today’s actions is that the Democratic Senate leadership is afraid they don’t have the votes to pass the fee increase for gun owners.

The vote is scheduled for tomorrow. PLEASE take a minute to contact the following Senate Democrats and urge them to vote NO on SB 954:

Senator Alan C Bates
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
Email: <sen.alanbates@state.or.us>

Senator Betsy Johnson
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716
Email: <sen.betsyjohnson@state.or.us>

Senator Floyd Prozanski
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1704
Email: <sen.floydprozanski@state.or.us>

Senator Joanne Verger
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1705
Email: <sen.joanneverger@state.or.us>

Time is short, a brief phone call (even to an answering machine) or an e-mail with the simple message “NO ON 954” is all we need.
This will be a squeaker, but there is clearly some concern on the part of the Senate Democrats that they are in a tight situation. Your calls and e-mails TONIGHT can make the difference.

OFF ALERT 07/06/05
GUN TAX INCREASE COMING
We have been reliably informed that the Oregon Senate plans to “suspend the rules” and vote tomorrow on SB 954.

As you know from previous alerts (see below), this bill raises the tax on gun purchases 30%.

Oregon charges gun buyers a fee every time they purchase a firearm from a dealer to pay for the Oregon State Police to run “background checks” and database gun buyers.

SB 954 will raise that fee from $10.00 to $13.00.

There is still time to contact your Oregon State Senator with the simple message “NO MORE FEES FOR GUN BUYERS”

Right now, the background check can be conducted FOR FREE by the FBI who are also forbidden from keeping records on gun owners, but the State Police want to run these investigations and are now asking you to pay even more for them.

Please contact your Senator and tell them NO on SB 954
.
Your state Senator can be found here.
Your Senator will be the fourth person listed.

OFF ALERT 07/02/05
COMMITTEE APPROVES FEE HIKES
Increases in the fees you will be forced to pay for a gun purchase background check were approved yesterday in the full Senate Budget Committee. (SB 954)
The cost for a background check will rise 30% should this bill pass both Houses and become law.

The only objection to the passage in the committee came from Senator Frank Morse, although Senator Betsy Johnson reserved the right to vote no on the floor, based on the fact that the bills were brought before the committee with virtually no time for members to review them.

Please contact your own State Senator and urge them to vote no on any bill that attempts to balance the State Police budget on the backs of gun owners.
Remind them that the State Police are the people who want to do the background checks and that these intrusive checks can be done FOR FREE by the FBI as they are in many other states. (Without the dangerous 5 year retention of records that the State Police now insist on.)

You can locate you State Senator here.

Your Oregon State Senator will be the 4th person listed.
The members of the committee that passed SB 954 yesterday are:
Kurt Schrader, Chair
Margaret Carter, Vice-Chair
Alan C Bates
Richard Devlin
Avel Gordly
Betsy Johnson
Frank Morse
David Nelson
Ben Westlund
Jackie Winters

OFF ALERT 06/29/05
GUN OWNER FEE BILL MOVES TO FULL COMMITTEE

Senate Bill 954, the bill we warned you about you about yesterday, passed out of a Senate Budget Subcommittee today.

This bill, which included major fee increases for gun buyers and persons applying for concealed handgun licenses, now moves to the full Senate Budget Committee.

The Subcommittee is comprised of 3 members, two Democrats, Avel Gordly and Richard Devlin, and one Republican, Jackie Winters.
Winters was not present today, so the the bill moved out with just the votes of the two anti-gun Democrats.

At the time the bill was voted on and approved in Subcommittee, “conceptual amendments” had been added. These “conceptual amendments” would eliminate the fee increase for concealed handgun license applicants and increase the fees for gun purchase background checks from $10.00 to $13.00.
This is, obviously, a lot less than the original bill called for, so your calls and e-mails are having an effect.

However, ANY increase in fees for gun purchase background checks is totally unwarranted. The State Police are saying they need the added money to pay the cost of doing the background checks. But just two days ago we were being told that they would need at least $25.00 to cover the costs. Now we are being told they can cover their costs with a $13.00 charge.

Of course, they are the ones who WANT to do the background checks. The FBI will do it for free as the do in many other states. Our position is that any increase in a fee we should not have to pay in the first place is unacceptable.

As we said, the bill now moves to the full Budget Committee. The members of that committee are

:Kurt Schrader, Chair 503-986-1720 <sen.kurtschrader@state.or.us>

Margaret Carter, Vice-Chair 503-986-1722<sen.margaretcarter@state.or.us>

Alan C Bates 503-986-1703 <sen.alanbates@state.or.us>

Richard Devlin 503-986-1719 <sen.richarddevlin@state.or.us >

Avel Gordly 503-986-1723 : <sen.avelgordly@state.or.us>

Betsy Johnson 503-986-1716 : <sen.betsyjohnson@state.or.us>

Frank Morse 503-986-1708 <sen.frankmorse@state.or.us>

David Nelson 503-986-1729 : <sen.davidnelson@state.or.us>

Ben Westlund 503-986-1727 <sen.benwestlund@state.or.us>

Jackie Winters 503-986-1710 <sen.jackiewinters@state.or.us>

Please contact these Senators and remind them that the fee increase is not justified and the background check to which gun buyers are subjected can be done for FREE right now. (Without 5 years of record retention.)

OFF ALERT 06/28/05
Senate Pushing Big Fee Increases For Gun Owners.

A bill which will dramatically increase fees for firearms purchase background checks and fingerprinting for concealed handgun licenses is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow(Wednesday June 29th) at 1pm.

The “Public Safety Subcommittee” of the Senate Budget committee will be holding hearings on Senate Bill 954.

This bill would raise the fees you must pay for a firearms background check 150% and raise the fees for CHL fingerprints from $15.00 to $22.00, an almost 50% increase.

The Senate is hoping to increase funding for the State Police on the backs of gun owners who never asked for, or wanted, the “services” the State Police are “providing.”

Not only does the Senate demand that you subject yourself to invasive checks simply to exercise a “right,” but it also wants to increase the fees for these checks exorbitantly.

There is NO justification for this outrageous price gouging.

Please contact the members of the subcommittee as soon as possible and tell them to vote NO on any fee increases for gun owners.
Sub Committee Membership:
Senator Avel Gordly, Chair Phone: 503-986-1723 Email: <sen.avelgordly@state.or.us>
Senator Richard Devlin Phone: 503-986-1719 Email: <sen.richarddevlin@state.or.us>
Senator Jackie Winters Phone 503-986-1710 Email: <sen.jackiewinters@state.or.us>

Sample e-mail follows:

Dear Senator,
I strongly urge you to vote against ANY bill that includes fee increases for gun owners. The “service” provided by the State Police is not one gun owners have asked for or desire.
Please don’t use these gun owners as a funding mechanism for government.
Very truly yours,
__________________
Please also contact Representative Wayne Scott and tell him to kill SB 954 should it be passed from the Senate to the House.
Representative Wayne Scott
Phone: 503-986-1400
Email: <rep.waynescott@state.or.us>

OFF ALERT 06/10/05
GUNS IN SCHOOL BAN, ONE MORE TIME.

Demonstrating the single minded obsessiveness for which she has become so famous, Senator Ginny Burdick has introduced one more ban on licensed concealed handguns in schools.

As you know, her most recent attempt was Senate Bill 956. This bill was voted down in her own committee (Senate Judiciary) on April 21st.
Even anti-gun Senator Floyd Prozanski voted against this bill, apparently out of fear of the damage it would do to rural Democrats if it was voted on.

After that vote, Burdick attacked Prozanski in the press, and now she has introduced one more version of the “no protection for children” bill that has become her only reason to live. The bill is SB 1078.

It combines a ban on concealed carry in schools and on school buses, along with the “lock up your self defense” language Burdick and other anti-rights extremists have long sought.

In order to avoid another embarrassment like the failure of her last anti-gun bill, we have been informed that this bill will not be heard in her committee (which includes Prozanski) but will go to the Rules Committee. This has not been officially posted yet, and if it changes we will let you know. (Since this alert went out we have confirmed the referral to Rules.)

The cosponsors of this bill are a veritable who’s who of gun grabbers.
They are:

Senator Ginny Burdick
503-986-1718

Senator Ryan Deckert
503-986-1714

Senator Avel Gordley
503-986-1723

Senator Rick Metsger
503-986-1726

Senator Bill Morrisette
503-986-1706

Senator Charlie Ringo
503-986-1717

Senator Frank Shields
503-986-1724

Senator Vicki Walker.
503-986-1707

The Rules Committee is run by ultra liberal, anti-gun Kate Brown (503-986-1700)

Two of the sponsors of this bill are on the committee as well, Charlie Ringo and Frank Shields.

There are two pro-gun Senators on the Committee, Ted Ferrioli (503-986-1950) and Jason Atkinson. (503-986-1702)

They will not have the votes to kill this bill should Brown decide to hear it.

This bill was introduced this morning and has already gotten a Committee assignment by Senate President Peter Courtney, who is clearly trying to fast track it.


OFF ALERT 05/27/05

In a recent alert we told you about the national ID card that will soon be required.

Some Republican members of the Oregon Senate seem determined to fast track this dangerous legislation by implementing enabling laws.

Senate Bill 640 will require you to give “biometric” data to the Department of Transportation before being allowed to get a driver’s license.

Two forms of “biometric data” will be required, but the bill does not specify what they must be, it only defines them as “measurements of physical characteristics that are unique to an individual and that can be used to authenticate the identity of an individual.”

Proponents of this legislation are claiming that this bill is needed to combat identity theft and illegal immigration, but it may very well do the exact opposite.

Imagine if this added personal information is stolen or otherwise compromised from within the Department of Transportation.

Numerous incidents have occurred recently involving the loss of thousands of pieces of personal data by banks and other organizations that collect this information. This new “big brother” step is far more chilling. The answer to identity theft should not be forcing American citizens to be treated like cattle.

Calls to the legislature to find out exactly what “biometric data” would be required yielded no answers. What they have in mind beyond fingerprints is anyone’s guess.

Senate Bill 640’s creepy Orwellian overtones are obvious.

This bill has already passed out of the Transportation Committee and is now in the Rules Committee.

Please consider contacting Senator Kate Brown who chairs the Rules Committee and telling her that databasing Americans is not the solution to crime.

Brown can be reached by phone at 503-986-1700 and by e-mail at sen.katebrown@state.or.us.

You can also contact all legislators by using Senator Gary George’s automailer.

Senator George is usually a strong supporter of individual rights and freedoms, however he is a cosponsor of this bill. He and others need to know that more centralized data is a danger, not a solution to danger.

OFF ALERT 05/25/05
HB 2768 “RECONSIDERED”

Thanks to the many of you who made your voices heard, House Bill 2768 was “reconsidered” today and returned to committee.

As you know, HB 2768 started life as a bill that would have allowed persons with CHL’s to purchase firearms without a background check.
As of the time this alert is being written, the Legislative Website still shows the bill in its original form.

However, in the House Judiciary Committee, the bill was “gut and stuffed” with entirely different language and the original language was deleted.

After numerous meetings with the Sheriffs and others, we did manage to include language that would allow military personnel to renew CHL’s by mail, but in the end there were too many provisions that would have been dangerous to gun owners and we made our opposition clear.

The Sheriff had hoped to use this bill as a vehicle to give them more power to revoke or deny CHL’s, and some of the language they insisted on including was simply too vague and open to abuse to be agreed to
.
We hear regularly from people who have had bad experiences with misinterpretations of the law in its current form. Expanding the Sheriff’s power without safeguards made no sense.

Although we expressed our opposition, and were made assurances that our concerns would be addressed, the bill passed out of Committee Friday.
Since then, you have done a magnificent job of being heard in Salem, and today the full House Judiciary Committee voted to reverse their earlier vote on the bill.

This action by the full Committee was the only way to keep the bill from moving forward.

As of now, the bill will NOT be going to the House floor for a vote of the full House. This means that (as of now) it will also not get into the hands of gun hater Ginny Burdick on the Senate side.

The vote DOES NOT MEAN the bill is dead. So please stay tuned for new developments, but for now, your efforts have stopped it in its tracks and the bill is back in Committee, where we hope it will die.

Your commitment to grass roots activism has once again protected gun rights in Oregon. Thank you.

OFF ALERT 5/20/05
BAD NEWS FOR GUN OWNERS….AND IT CAME FROM OUR “FRIENDS.”

In a previous alert, we warned you that a good gun bill, HB 2768 might morph into a bad bill. It did.

HB 2768, which was supposed to allow CHL holders to purchase firearms without a background check was “gut and stuffed” with language the Oregon Sheriffs wanted to make it easier to deny and revoke handgun licenses. All the good language was removed. (The new language is not yet available on the legislative website.)

Yesterday, that bill was heard in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Law.

Both OFF and the NRA expressed opposition to elements of the bill. We were told that new amendments would be drafted and attached to the bill in full committee. Both OFF and NRA stated that until we saw the amendments, we opposed the bill.

After repeated assurances that the amendments would satisfy our concerns, the bill was voted to the full committee. (Over our opposition.)

The bill was scheduled to be heard in full committee today, however, the Chairman of the full committee assured us that under no circumstances would the bill be dealt with today and would be held over until we had an opportunity to see the amendments.

Based on those assurances, no representative of the gun lobby was present at the “work session” today.

Today, in spite of promises to the contrary, the bill was voted on and passed out of committee with no opportunity for us to see, or comment on, the new language. Keep in mind, the House Judiciary Committee was the one that was supposed to be friendly to gun owners. So now, in spite of months of promises that no bill of this type would get to the House floor if opposed by the gun lobby, the rug was pulled out from under us and the bill was passed out of Committee.

In our conversations with members of the committee we were told that all this was the fault of a committee staffer who told the Chair of the Committee that the “gun lobby” supported the amendments. This of course was nonsense since none of us even had copies of the amendments until moments before the hearing was due to begin.

Whether the staffer misinformed the Chair or not is beside the point. He (Representative Wayne Krieger) had said in no uncertain terms that the bill WOULD NOT be voted on today.

Oddly, while the gun lobby was told the bill would not move and as such did not attend the hearing, the Sheriffs DID have a representative there.

The staffer who told the Chair that the gun lobby “approved” of amendments we had never seen, has now asked us to please allow the bill to proceed to the House floor and promised that any problems with the bill will be addressed in the Senate!

This is absurd. If the bill gets to the Senate, it will be assigned to anti-gun fanatic Ginny Burdick. Obviously, Burdick will not be doing anything to benefit gun owners.

We have made it clear to the staffer and the committee members that we will absolutely oppose this bill. While fingers are being pointed in Salem, we have been told that the bill will NOT go to the House floor. This however requires some special procedures since it HAS been voted out of committee. We are assuming NOTHING at this point.

Although we’ve been told the bill will be held until we have an opportunity to weigh in on it, we were also told that it WOULD not be voted on today, and that turned out to be untrue.

If this bill gets to the House floor and on to the Senate, a bad bill could turn into a nightmare bill.

Please contact the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and tell him to do whatever it takes to stop HB 2768.His contact info and a sample message follows:
Representative Wayne Krieger
503-986-1401
<rep.waynekrieger@state.or.us>

Dear Representative Krieger,

HB 2768 moved out of your committee in spite of your assurances that it would not.

There is no reason to believe that problems with the bill that were not corrected in your committee will be addressed when the bill is in the hands of Ginny Burdick, whose animosity towards gun owners is well known.

I urge you to do whatever you must to make sure this bill is pulled off the House floor. Please keep your promise to gun owners.

Very truly yours,
________________________________________________________

OFF ALERT 05/16/05

GOOD BILLS GONE BAD.


In an alert dated 05/15/05 we informed you that HB 2768 was due for a hearing on Tuesday. This is a bill that would have allowed persons with concealed handgun licenses to purchase firearms without a background check.

The bill is now scheduled for Thursday instead, and it would appear that it will be “gut and stuffed” with numerous anti-gun provisions. It is very likely that no pro-gun language will survive when this bill is “worked on” in committee. So what started out as a pro-gun bill will now be an anti-gun bill.

The new language, expected to be inserted, is a wish list from the Sheriffs who want to make it easier to revoke or refuse to issue CHL’s. In several meetings we have had with the Sheriffs, we made it clear that there are elements which are not acceptable.

The new language will deny CHL’s to persons who use illegal drugs. The problem is, it DOES NOT require that a person have any criminal conviction. The proposed language is as follows:

(k) Is not an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as defined in ORS 475.005. For purposes of this section, a person is an unlawful user of controlled substances if there are two or more documented incidents involving the person’s use of illegal drugs or admitted addition within the last four years or the person has completed a court-supervised drug diversion program within the last four years;

A “documented incident” is anything the police want it to be. This language is dangerously vague. If a person makes an accusation and a police officer writes it down, that could be a “documented incident.”

People must not be denied rights in the absence of a criminal conviction.

The new language also allows your license to be revoked for a single incident that is interpreted as a “threat of violence.” Once again, this language is dangerously vague and moves us back to the time when Sheriffs had dictatorial control over CHL’s. The current law requires a more objective reason for denying or revoking a license.

There are other elements in the proposed language which are potential trouble for gun owners, and while there are some proposed changes that are intended to appear as though they benefit active duty military, they simply complicate matters.

The only real benefit to active duty military is a “renew by mail” which the legislature has so far refused to consider.

Both the schedule and the language of this bill are still subject to many changes. You can check the schedulehere.

Look under House Judiciary, Criminal Law Subcommittee.

Please contact the chair of the Committee and ask that no pro-gun bill be “gut and stuffed.”
The Chair is Representative Jeff Barker, 503-986-1428.

OFF ALERT 5/15/05

TWO GUN BILLS TO BE HEARD TUESDAY, ONE GOOD, ONE VERY BAD.

House Bill 2768 and Senate Bill 954 are both scheduled for work sessions on this Tuesday, May 17th.

HB 2768 will allow persons who have concealed handgun licenses to purchase firearms without background checks.

This bill will be heard in the Criminal Law Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee at 8:30 am.

We fully expect law enforcement to oppose this bill.

Senate Bill 954 will be dealt with in the Joint Ways and Means Committee which meets at 2:45 pm.
This bill dramatically increases fees for CHL fingerprints and background checks for gun transfers.

It increases the fingerprint fee from $15.00 to $22.00. This represents an increase of almost 50%. It increases background check fees 150% from $10.00 to $25.00.

This is an amazing and outrageous proposal and in no way represents any added expenses on the part of law enforcement. It is nothing more than an attempt to boost law enforcement revenue on the backs of (and the wallets of) gun owners.

It is crucial that you immediately contact the chairs and vice chairs of the Ways and Means Committee and tell them NO to any fee increases for gun owners.
Contact info for the chairs and vice chairs follows:

Sen. Kurt Schrader, Co-Chair 503-986-1720
Rep. Wayne Scott, Co-Chair 503-986-1400
Sen. Margaret Carter, Vice-Chair 503-986-1722
Rep. Susan Morgan, Vice-Chair 503-986-1402

OFF ALERT 5/12/05

NATIONAL ID CARD COMING SOON

In a move that was all but ignored by the mainstream media, the US Congress has passed a bill requiring American citizens to obtain national ID cards.

The only member of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to vote against this bill was Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Every other Congressman and both Oregon Senators voted in favor of this unconstitutional attack on your privacy.

If the President signs this bill, which he has indicated he will, your current drivers license will soon be obsolete. Biometric data will be stored on your new license and it will be much harder to get a license in the first place.

If, as assumed, the new licenses contain RFID chips, personal information about you could be read by someone, without your knowledge, simply because you got in proximity of a reading device.

While this new invasion of your privacy has been promoted as a way to battle terrorism, as Congressman Ron Paul has recently written “Terrorism is the excuse given for virtually every new power grab by thefederal government, and the national ID is no exception. But federal agencies have tried to create a national ID for years, long before the 9/11 attacks.

The fact is, neither terrorists nor illegal aliens will be affected by this law. They are by nature law breakers, and driving without a license will be way down on their list of concerns.

However, without the new ID cards, American citizens will not be able to get a job, open a bank account, board a plane or Amtrak or enter a Federal Building.

The solution to the problems of criminals invading our country is not to put Americans in a virtual cage. One vast, central database with every bit of information on every single American is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Not only will it greatly expand the potential for identity theft, but the danger of government abuse (especially to gun owners) was proven when Hillary Clinton got her hands on private FBI files of her opponents.

You can rest assured that when this ID card is available, you will not be able to purchase a firearm without one.

Please urge your Congressman and both Senators to reconsider this dangerous and counterproductive attack on your rights.
Your legislators can be reached through GOA’s legislative action center:

OFF ALERT 05/10/05
GUN DEALER AND MANUFACTURERS PROTECTION BILL PASSES OUT OF HOUSE.

A bill to protect manufacturers and dealers of firearms and ammunition from frivolous lawsuits has passed out of the Oregon House.
HB 2373 passed by 39 to 17.

The arguments in opposition were, typically, unrelated to the reality of the bill.

Several anti-gun legislators repeated that no other industry was getting any protection from this bill, while ignoring the fact that other industries have not been the target of politically motivated anti-rights extremists.

Oddly, Representative Greg Macpherson argued against the bill by stating that when he drives down the street, he is responsible for what he does with his car.

Strangely, this was why he supported people being able to sue gun makers for the actions of criminals.

Listeners were, no doubt, baffled by attorney Macpherson’s reasoning. The whole point of the bill was to make the person who participated in the action responsible, not the company that made the tool the person used in the act. Macpherson’s argument made no sense at all, since he never said that car dealers should be held responsible, only the driver. How this related to the bill is anyone’s guess.

You can hear some of Macpherson’s comments in MP3 format here . If they make sense to you, you understand politicians better than we do.

The bill now moves to the Senate. The Senate, as you know, is under the control of anti-gun radicals. This bill will face an uphill climb at best.

Meanwhile, efforts are under way to make major changes to the concealed handgun license law. Because it is late in the session, this means that an existing bill must be gutted, and stuffed with new language.

What we’ve seen so far is not good. The proposed changes provide no benefits for law abiding gun owners. Included in the proposed changes is language intended to placate gun owners by allowing active duty military personnel to keep using an expired license for 90 days after they return from out of state deployment.

This is a totally unworkable approach for a wide variety of practical reasons. But the anti-gun Senate leadership refuses to allow a simple renew by mail for military such as the one introduced at our request.

We will let you know immediately if there are any developments on this front.

OFF ALERT 04/29/05
Gun owners got a quiet, but important, victory today, when HB 2892 was reconsidered.

HB 2892 expanded the powers of the Port of Portland Police. The problem is, the Port of Portland Police are enforcing an ordinance that violates Oregon law and attacks law abiding gun owners.

This bill had passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, but after lawmakers were alerted to the actions of the Port, the bill was brought back to committee and the vote to send it to the House floor was “reconsidered.”

This means that the bill starts the process again and may very well die in committee.

For the whole story on why we oppose the bill click here.

We sent this information to legislators after the bill passed out of committee and we’re pleased that the members of the Judiciary committee chose to bring the bill back from the House floor.

Too many bureaucrats are making up their own rules (schools being a perfect example) and we are pleased that the members of the committee were willing to revisit this issue.

The committee voted unanimously to return this bill to the committee.

Special thanks go to the Chairman of the committee, Wayne Krieger, for his leadership on getting this bill off the floor and Representative Jeff Barker for rethinking a bill he sponsored.

We will continue to watch this bill but are pleased that the committee took the action it did. The committee members are listed below:
Wayne Krieger, Chair
Greg Macpherson, Vice-Chair
Andy Olson, Vice-Chair
Robert Ackerman
Jeff Barker
Linda Flores
Bill Garrard
Kim Thatcher
Kelley Wirth

Thank you to everyone who has contacted Senate President Peter Courtney about Senate Bill 793, the bill that would allow active duty military personnel to renew concealed handgun licenses by mail
.
As you can see, the Senate continues to boast about what it is doing for Oregonians in the military, but refuses to hear this no cost, common sense measure.

This is a disgraceful and transparent partisan slap at military gun owners. Whatever the outcome of this bill, it will become clear who really supports the men and women who serve in the armed forces and who is more interested in lip service with no action.

OFF ALERT 4/22/05 SB 956 VOTED DOWN.

Senate Bill 956 was voted down in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

This was another attempt by Ginny Burdick to attack the rights of gun owners. In this case, any concealed handgun licensee who had a reason to be at a public school.

Had Burdick been successful, a license holder who was on public school property with a firearm could be convicted of a felony.

The hearing was scheduled for 1pm, but started late as the Senate Democrats held a meeting in the hearing room. It was clear that the participants were not happy. When they finally emerged to a crowd of people waiting to enter the hearing, anti-gun militant and Senate Majority Leader, Kate Brown looked visibly shaken.

Apparently, there were lots of displeased Democrats. And Burdick’s bill was, no doubt, the source of their discontent
.
The first witnesses were Jim Green from the Oregon School Board Association and Mark Chism from Tigard-Tualatin School Board.

Chism ( who shared that his grandfather had “sportsterized” a 30-06) actually said that a teacher who had an abusive ex-spouse and feared for her life should give up her employment rather than have a defensive firearm available.

He invoked images of “blazing gun battles in schools” preferring, it would seem, that the only shooting being done should come from a murderer while staff and children remain defenseless.

Green repeated the Oregon School Board’s position in support of this bill while admitting that many of their members disagreed with it.

Senator Bill Morrisette , whose district includes Thurston High School, testified that he did not even want POLICE to have guns in schools and could not imagine why a police office would have a firearm in a school. This may have been the most inane and baffling testimony heard all day.

The Oregon Education Association sent Laurie Wimmer to voice their support for disarming their members.

Now, it is clear that teachers in Oregon have a widely diverse set of political beliefs. In fact, Wendy Coombs, who is a teacher herself, came to testify AGAINST the bill. But the union that represents teachers is absolutely consistent in their politics. They are always far to the left on any issue, and this bill was no exception.

It is ironic, that the same group that regularly demands more money because of the high quality of the work their members do, considers those same members incapable of handling a firearm safely, even when their lives may be at risk.

Oregon teachers are presumed to be able to care for the safety and well being of children, along with their education, but they are too incompetent to protect themselves or those same children from violent attack.

OEA members who believe in their rights have some dues money coming back.

Gun owners traveled from as far away as Douglas County to attend this hearing, and their testimony was uniformly excellent.

The testimony from the supporters of the bill was the now familiar (and totally discredited) litany of “what if’s” without one shred of evidence that their nightmare scenarios could ever come true.

In fact, it was exactly like listening to the nonsense we heard when concealed handgun licenses became widely available.

Angry motorists were going to be shooting each other over parking spaces, any perceived slight would end in gunfire.

It was all fantasy and all false and all repeated at this hearing. But in this case it was even more ludicrous because we’ve had years of CHL’s in schools without a single problem.

When the vote was held, all the Committee Republicans voted “no” as did Democrat Floyd Prozanski.

Prozanski is an outspoken opponent of gun rights and has introduced plenty of anti-gun bills himself. So you might wonder why he voted the way he did.

The answer may well be that the Senate Democrats are getting as tired of Burdick’s shenanigans as are the rest of us. According to today’s Statesman Journal “Prozanski said that he doesn’t object to the intent of the bill but that he wanted to avoid a ‘fractious debate’ in the Democratic caucus.”

Senators Vicki Walker, Charlie Ringo and of course, Ginny Burdick voted in favor of the bill. When the vote failed by a 4 to 3 margin, Burdick switched her vote from yes to no. By doing this, she was on the prevailing side and could ask that the bill be heard again.

Whether this will happen remains to be seen. But right now, even Prozanski is admitting that the votes are not there to pass it in the Senate.

This means one thing. Your input is working.

The Senate is now solidly in the hands of anti-gunners. But your activism has put them on notice. And while they still seem determined to kill any bill that would benefit gun owners, (like our military renew-by-mail bill) they are equally determined to stay in office. For now, that would seem to mean not stomping on the rights of gun owners.

There are still plenty of other issues to be dealt with. For example, yesterday the House Judiciary Committee passed out HB 2892.

This bill seemed innocuous enough. It extended the police powers of the Port of Portland Police beyond the areas they usually patrol. The problem is, the Port of Portland Police have a long standing policy of ignoring state law and enforcing their own rules on concealed carry, even after they were informed that they have no authority to do so.

We’ve informed members of the Committee of this problem and we’ll keep you posted on its progress.

You can listen to the entire Senate Judiciary hearing here.


OFF ALERT 04/18/05

POSSIBLE ANTI-GUN HEARINGS. UPDATE ON SB 793.

Reliable sources have informed us that Ginny Burdick plans to have hearings on Thursday April 21, on another “No Self Defense In Schools” bill.

At this time, there has been no official announcement, but there is a possibility that SB 956 may be heard at 1PM in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You can keep track of the schedule by using this link. It is the committee schedule and is updated regularly. Please use it to check and see if 956 actually gets scheduled. After opening it, click on the link for “Senate Judiciary” to see if the bill appears.

SB 956 is another attempt to disarm adults who work in or visit public schools. As you know, armed civilians have ended many school massacres. This bill would create a guarantee of helpless victims for psychopaths.

UPDATE ON SB 793.

Many of you have contacted Senator Peter Courtney to ask why he refuses to hear SB 793, a bill that would allow active duty military to renew concealed handgun licenses by mail if they were deployed far from home.

Well, your calls, cards and e-mails are having an effect. Courtney is now telling people that “the Chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary committees are working together to find the best solution for bringing this bill forward.”

BUT WATCH OUT!!!!

There are plans to stuff all kinds of other things in this bill.

Sheriffs from across the state are seeking changes in the concealed handgun law that will NOT be good for gun owners.

If the bill comes out of the House first, when it gets to Burdick’s committee in the Senate, it can be butchered beyond recognition. It is very possible that really bad things will be added to the bill in the hopes that gun owners won’t oppose it if has the military renewal language in it.

Rest assured, we will oppose any bill that contains new restrictions for gun owners, whether it includes the changes we have asked for or not.

We have also been informed that an attempt will be made to change the provision we are seeking from “renew by mail” to an “extension of expiration dates.”

This is an entirely unworkable idea that will put returning servicemen and women in great jeopardy since their CHL’s will still have expired dates on them.

We DON’T need a bill from the House loaded down with bad provisions. We need a straight vote on a clean bill, SB 793, without extraneous junk that has no place in the measure.

Please, take one more moment to contact Courtney and tell him you want a straight up or down vote on SB 793 with no games.

Also please contact House Judiciary Chair Wayne Krieger and ask that he reject any deal that contains anti-gun language.

Contact info and suggested messages follow.

Senator Courtney
900 Court St. NE
S-203
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1600
FAX: 503-986-1004

Dear Senator Courtney,
I have been informed that the Senate is holding up hearings on SB 793 in hopes of getting a bill from the House which can be amended with other issues.
Please stop the games and simply have an up or down vote on a clean bill.

Very truly yours,
+++++++++++++++++++++++

Representative Wayne Krieger
900 Court St. NE
H-378
Salem, OR 97301
503-986-1401

Dear Representative Krieger,
Senator Courtney is reporting that you are “working” with Senator Ginny Burdick on a bill that would allow military personnel to renew concealed handgun licenses by mail.
Please don’t allow this good bill to become a vehicle for unrelated issues. Please insist that this bill start in the Senate so you can control any negative amendments that are added when the bill gets to your committee in the House.
All we need is a simple up or down vote on the bill with no amendments.
Thank you.
 

OFF ALERT 04/14/05

 

WARNING FOR CLACKAMAS CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSEES.

It has just been brought to our attention that the Sheriff of Clackamas County is no longer sending out renewal notices for concealed handgun licenses

In the past, the Clackamas Sheriff sent out large lime green postcards alerting you (in a very public fashion) that your CHL was up for renewal. This new policy is even worse.

In the past, well meaning gun owners in Multnomah County were arrested at gun point after failing to renew their CHL’s when that county quietly instituted the same policy.

If your license expires you must start the entire application process again.

It makes no sense to change a policy like this without alerting people who are affected by it.

You can confirm this change here.

If you know of other issues of this kind in other counties, please let us know so we can keep our website updated.

Sheriff Craig Roberts can be reached at 2223 S. Kaen Rd Oregon City, OR 97045
Phone: (503) 655-8218

OFF ALERT 04/08/05

 

SENATE LEADERS TRY TO KILL BILL THAT BENEFITS ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY.

OFF members have, by now, received the mid session report explaining where we are at with gun bills in the Oregon legislature.
Here is a further update.

At our request, Senate Bill 793 was introduced. We’ve told you about this bill before. It allows Oregon members of the military, who are deployed out of the state, to renew their concealed handgun licenses by mail.

It’s just that simple. It DOES NOT reduce the requirements for a renewal. It DOES NOT create a single new handgun license. It simply recognizes that when you are serving your country in a duty station far from home, you cannot visit the sheriff’s department for a license renewal. Without this bill, members of the military face expiration of their licenses and have to start the entire process all over again when they return home. We think it’s a safe bet that they will have other things on their minds at that time.

But, the Senate Democrats have refused to allow this bill to even have a hearing. Senate President Peter Courtney has assigned the bill to the committee chaired by notorious gun hater, Ginny Burdick, knowing that she won’t hear the bill.

The irony is that the both the Democratic Governor, and the Democratic Senate leadership have given endless lip service to our fellow Oregonians who serve in the military. They’ve suggested countless expensive benefits for them. Yet this measure, which would cost virtually nothing, has been held hostage because the Democrats refuse to deal with any bill that is, in any way, a benefit for gun owners.

This is a disgrace.

The window for hearing Senate Bills is closing. Many Senate committees have already stopped hearing new bills. The Judiciary Committee (where SB793 has been languishing) is still hearing bills, but time is running out.

While many of you have already made your voices heard (for which we thank you) it seems that Senate President Courtney has still not gotten the message. Please call, fax or e-mail Courtney one more time and tell him to make sure SB 793 gets a fair hearing.

This is no time to be allow the Senate leadership’s animosity towards gun owners to be used against the brave men and women in our armed forces.

Contact information and a suggested message follow:
Senator Courtney
900 Court St. NE
S-203
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1600
FAX: 503-986-1004

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dear Senator Courtney,
Your party has been quite vocal about supporting the men and women who serve in our armed forces. Yet you refuse to take action on a simple, no cost bill that would benefit many of them.
Your refusal to hold a hearing on SB 793 tells me that you consider politics more important than people.
Governor Kulongoski has indicated that he supports the intention of this bill, yet it sits in committee with time running out.
Please instruct Senator Ginny Burdick to hold timely hearings on this bill and do all you can to guarantee that it moves out of committee in a clean, unamended form.
Very truly yours,

________________________________________________

OFF ALERT 3/28/05

DANGEROUS GUN BILL PULLED FROM HEARING SCHEDULE.

If you received our last alert, you know that a bill we had serious concerns about was scheduled for a hearing on April 5th.
House Bill 3417 would have created mandatory minimum sentences for persons who used or “possessed” a firearm during the commission of a crime.

As we said in our last alert, we support tough sentencing for anyone who uses a gun in a crime. But we were very concerned that this law could be used against law abiding gun owners in the future.

As you probably know, Senator Ginny Burdick would like to make you a felon if you have your legal self-defense handgun with you and you step onto school property.

If HB 3417 were enacted, there could be grave consequences for lawful gun owners if they did just that.

We explained our problems with this bill to its sponsor ( House Rep. Derrick Kitts) while it was still in draft form. Unfortunately he chose to introduce the bill without correcting its inherent flaws.

However, your voices are being heard. The bill has been removed from the hearing schedule.
It’s not dead yet, but this is a good sign.

We’ll let you know if it reappears.
Keep up the good work.

OFF ALERT 3/26/05

Gun Bills In House Get Hearings.

There are a number of bills coming up in a subcommittee of House Judiciary.

They are scheduled to be heard on April 5th at 8:30 am.

Three of them involve firearms and two are of special interest to gun owners.

HB 2803 defines “unloaded” for the purpose of operating snowmobiles and atv’s.

Currently, carrying a loaded firearm on a snowmobile or atv is a traffic violation. (There are no exemptions for CHL holders.)

If you use snowmobiles or atv’s this bill will be important to you. This bill will allow you to carry a firearm on these vehicles if there is not a round in the chamber. This is good legislation and we support it.

HB 3417 will be heard at the same time.

This bill “establishes mandatory minimum sentences for possession of a firearm during commission of felony.”

We have serious concerns about this bill and have expressed them to the sponsors. While we support tough sentencing for people who use guns in crimes, keep in mind that if Ginny Burdick has her way, you will be a felon if you happen to be on school property with your licensed handgun. We think there is a real danger unless the bill is amended to just deal with “USE” of a firearm instead of simple possession.

The Chair of the Subcommittee is Jeff Barker (503-986-1428)

Barker has a pro-gun history and should hear from people who have concerns about HB 3417 and support HB 2803.

Keep in mind, schedules change rapidly. If you are interested in going to these hearings and testifying, check here for last minute updates.

Judiciary Subcommittee On Criminal Law
April 5th Time:  8:30 A.M. Room: 357

HB 2803
Defines “unloaded for purposes of offense of operating snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle while carrying firearm or bow.

HB 3417 
Establishes mandatory minimum sentences for possession and discharge of firearm during commission of felony.

HB 2969 
Modifies provisions relating to mandatory sentencing for crimes involving use or threatened use of firearm.

OFF ALERT 3/4/05

Six new gun bills were introduced today.

All were of the “pro-gun” variety and all were introduced in the House.

They are House Bills 2768,2791, 2799, 2801 ,2802 and 2803.

They include bills to end background checks on concealed handgun licensees(when handguns are purchased), another bill to recognize out of state handgun licenses and a bill that allows you to have a loaded firearm while operating a snowmobile or ATV, if there is no round in the chamber. Currently, having a loaded firearm on a snowmobile or ATV is a traffic violation.

You can see a list of all current gun bills, with links to the actual bills and their status, here.

If you prefer to view the bills as PDF’s you can do so at this link:

It is safe to assume that most of these bills will be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. The Chairman, Wayne Krieger is very supportive of gun rights, but with the Senate being under the control of anti-gun extremists, all these bills face an uphill battle.

Not only can Senate Judiciary Chair, Ginny Burdick , simply refuse to hear any of these bills (if they pass in the House and move over to the Senate), she can also butcher any one of them and turn them into anti-gun bills that their sponsors would never recognize.

As long as Senate President Peter Courtney continues to allow Burdick to control the Senate Judiciary Committee, paralysis may be the most positive outcome

Capitol sources have informed us that Burdick is (not surprisingly) opposed to Senate Bill 793, the bill that would allow active duty military personnel to renew handgun licenses by mail.

As of now, Senate President Peter Courtney has not responded to our request that he take action on this needed and simple legislation.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Senate Democrats talk about trying to help our men and women in the armed forces is more political whitewash.

This bill, which does not create a single new handgun licensee, is being stalled simply because Burdick and Courtney oppose gun rights.

If they refuse to take action on the bill, men and women who are risking their lives far from home, will have their handgun licenses become void because they could not renew them in person.

Courtney’s contact info follows:
Senator Peter Courtney
900 Court St. NE
S-203
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1600
FAX: 503-986-1004
sen.petercourtney@state.or.us

Feb. 28th 2005

A Message from Kevin Starrett
Executive Director Oregon Firearms Federation

Dear Friend of Gun Rights,

Please forgive the length of this message, but it’s important and I hope you will read it and take action.

As of right now, your efforts have stalled every anti-gun bill so far introduced.

I know many of you have taken the time to express your outrage at the numerous anti gun-rights bills that have surfaced in the Oregon Legislature. I can assure you, your voices are being heard.

While we still have a long way to go, I know for a fact that your calls and e-mails are having an impact. We have a long battle ahead of us, but as always, you have been relentless in your fight to protect our rights.

But while the defensive fight goes on, I hope you’ll take a moment to be part of a new offense.

As you know, at our request, Senate Bill 793 has been introduced. .

It’s a short, commonsense bill that simply says Oregonians who are active duty military can renew concealed handgun licenses by mail. That’s it.

As you know, those licenses must now be renewed in person. Not an easy thing to do if you are deployed in Iraq.

We think it’s ridiculous that men and women who are serving in the armed forces far from home are being denied a license renewal because it’s impossible for them to personally visit the local sheriff.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the legislature, and the Governor, have recently made the news by promoting new laws to benefit Oregon National Guardsmen deployed overseas.

So why has Senate President Peter Courtney sent this simple bill to the graveyard of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by his appointee, gun hater Ginny Burdick?

Is all the talk of appreciating our soldiers political smoke and mirrors? It would seem so.

That’s why I’d like you to take a moment to urge Senate President Courtney guarantee that SB 793 become law.

Courtney has told many of you that he does not sit on the committee that hears these bills. What he neglects to tell you is that he appoints the committee members, chooses which bills to send to which committees and can remove any member (even for one vote) any time he wants.

We all know Ginny Burdick is viciously hostile to gun rights. That’s why it’s up to Courtney to take action on this bill.

Please contact Courtney and remind him to safeguard ALL the rights of the men and women of Oregon who serve in our military. If you can, please contact the Governor as well.

In the past, Governor Kulongoski has called Oregon’s concealed handgun law “crazy,” “frightening” and “infamous.” We hope that he will not allow that unfounded bias to cloud his judgment on this bill.

Below, we have included contact information for Courtney and Kulongoski.

And please, forward this e-mail to everyone you know who cares about the rights of all the Oregon citizens who are far from home and being denied the simple ability to renew a license that they shouldn’t even need in the first place.

Thank you for all your efforts,
Kevin Starrett
Oregon Firearms Federation
.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Senator Courtney
900 Court St. NE S-203
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1600
FAX: 503-986-1004


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Governor Kulongoski
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047
PHONE 503-378-4582
FAX 503-378-6827


OFF ALERT 2/22/05
ANTI-GUN BILLS FINALLY ARRIVE.

Some of the many Ginny Burdick anti-gun bills we have been waiting for have finally been introduced.

Included in them are the long anticipated “assault weapons” bill and others that seek to attack your rights to own and use firearms.
Burdick’s promised “assault weapon” ban is SB 927.

(Ginny Burdick Phone: 503-986-1718 Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-317, Salem, OR, 97301 Email.)

SB 927 can be viewed here.

It is a massive list of banned guns. It also outlaws magazines larger than ten rounds and requires a police issued “permit” to continue to possess the semi-auto rifles and shotguns you already own and bans “transfer” of the listed firearms even to your children. Others new anti- gun bills are listed below:

(Note: All these bills are available in either HTML or PDF format here.)

SB 937 Outlaws magazines of over 10 rounds.

SB 942
This is a “lock up your guns law” and makes it a crime to have your self defense firearms accessible to anyone under 16. It was a similar law in California that caused the pitchfork murders of the Carpenter children a few years ago. Now Burdick would like to see your children equally defenseless.

SB 956
This is another “no self defense in school bill” very similar to SB 335 which was heard at the Multnomah County Court House to make the hearing as inaccessible as possible to gun owners.

SB 957
This bill ends our pre-emption law and allows any locality to restrict concealed carry any way they want.

SB 954
Increase fees for gun purchase background checks and handgun license fingerprints.

SB 960
This bill adds “domestic violence” convictions to the list of reasons you may not obtain a concealed handgun license.

In addition, Senate Bill 793 was introduced at our request. It is also in the House as HB 2623

This bill relieves active duty military of the ridiculous burden of renewing handgun licenses in person, while they are deployed away from home.

Clearly, members of the military who are deployed far from home should not lose their handgun licenses just because they cannot get to a sheriff’s office to renew in person. But that’s what’s happening now.

In fact, some have been told they cannot renew because they don’t “live” in Oregon, even though the reason they “don’t live in Oregon” is because the US Government has deployed them elsewhere, like Iraq.

We consider this an outrage and are pleased that Senator Gary George has introduced this bill in the Senate for us. Representative Brian Boquist has sponsored the same bill in the House and we expect to see that in bill form soon.
This would be a good time to contact Senate President Peter Courtney and express your feelings about the unconscionable waste of time Burdick’s bills represent. Courtney is the man who is ultimately responsible for whether or not these attacks on law-abiding gun owners move forward. His phone is 503-986-1600.

 

 

OFF ALERT 02/16/05

FIRST PRO GUN BILL HEARD TODAY. MORE TO FOLLOW.

Today the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Law heard testimony on House Bill 2373.

This bill would end frivolous lawsuits against sellers and manufacturers of firearms and ammunition.

This legislation is extremely important. As you no doubt know, there has been a rash of lawsuits against gun makers and dealers in the last few years. It is clear that this is simply a case of greed intersecting with the agenda of anti-gun extremists, and in most cases, these baseless suits have been dismissed.

However, it is still hugely expensive to fight them. In that respect, they are taking a toll even when they fail. Without a doubt, that is the intention of the people who initiate these suits.

If they continue, fewer and fewer manufacturers will be able to stay in business. Fewer and fewer dealers will be willing to shoulder the risk of keeping their doors open.

The long term implications are obvious. Even now, insurance for persons legally engaged in the firearms business is astronomical.

The bill’s next stop will be the full House Judiciary Committee chaired by Representative Wayne Krieger who has been very supportive of gun rights. A note of encouragement to him would be welcomed.

On March 3 at 8:30 am,the House Judiciary Subcommittee On Criminal Law will be hearing HB 2456.

This bill will allow persons with concealed handgun licenses from other states to carry their self defense firearms in Oregon. This committee is chaired by Representative Jeff Barker. Barker has consistently expressed support for gun owners’ rights.

Contact information for the members of the Criminal Law Subcommittee follows:

Representative Jeff Barker 503-986-1428   rep.jeffbarker@state.or.us (Chair)

Representative  Greg Macpherson 503-986-1438   rep.gregmacpherson@state.or.us

Representative  Andy Olson 503-986-1415   rep.andyolson@state.or.us

Representative  Kim Thatcher 503-986-1425   rep.kimthatcher@state.or.us

Letting them know you support allowing our friends from other states to be able to add to the pool of responsible gun owners while traveling in Oregon would be helpful.

On another topic, we are still waiting for the release of Ginny Burdick’s semi-auto ban bill.

This proposed legislation, which she promised before the beginning of the session, has been floating around in draft form but has not yet appeared as an actual bill.

We have been told it is essentially a laundry list of guns which will be prohibited in Oregon. As soon as it is available we will inform you.

Many of you are asking what the status of Burdick’s guns in schools bill is. As of the time of this e-mail, no further action has been taken since the one public hearing in the Multnomah County Courthouse.

There are numerous theories explaining why the bill has not been voted on in the Committee she controls. (Our philosophy is to never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.)

It could be that Burdick is holding out on a vote hoping that there will be a crime committed in a school that she can use to promote her anti-gun agenda.
It could be that the excellent showing of gun owners at the hearing has eroded the support she assumed she had.
It could be that the Senate Leadership has thrown a net over her after hearing from so many of you.

While we certainly see the delay as a sign that Burdick is not as confident about her pet project as she was in the past, she may well be preparing a surprise rush of gun bills for later in the session.

We should know soon since the deadline for introducing most new Senate Bills has passed. We suggest you remain vigilant.

You can track gun bills here.

OFF ALERT
01/28/05

GUN BAN HEARING A SIDESHOW.

In our last alert, we told you what to expect at today’s hearing for Ginny Burdick’s anti gun bill.

Even we could not have predicted the shenanigans that the Democrats had in store.

The supporters of the gun ban were treated to reserved seating, something we’ve never seen in a public hearing before. Gun owners were forced to wait outside the courtroom while proponents of the gun ban were ushered in.

In a room with approximately 40 seats, about a third had been reserved for the anti-gun crowd.

In apparent violation of Committee Rules, the substance of the bill had been altered without any action on the part of the committee. In fact, Republican legislators saw the “amended” bill for the first time when they arrived at the hearing.

Bills can only be “amended” by a vote of the committee, but not this time.

To no one’s surprise, representatives of the teacher’s unions came to support the bill, a bill which will effectively disarm their members.

The Oregon Education Association released an e-mail today which included the following comments:
” Legislation Seeks to Ban Guns in Schools
Tigard-Tualatin Education Association President Al Spencer testified this week on a bill that would enable school districts to prohibit persons with concealed handgun permits from carrying firearms onto school property. Championed for two sessions by Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), this bill would enable schools to assert a zero-tolerance policy on guns. This is the second session in which OEA has offered its support of the bill, which is sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

If this bill becomes law, a female teacher with an abusive ex husband will be a sitting duck should he ever decide to attack her, knowing exactly where he can find her at any given time and knowing the OEA helped guarantee that she could not protect herself.

We are perplexed that the members of the Oregon Education Association would sit still for this attack on their safety by their own lobbyists. But it’s not new.

Their president, Kristian Kain can be contacted here:

The lobbyists for the Oregon School Boards were also there to promote this attack on your liberty and safety. Jim Green, who represents the school boards, (1-800-578-OSBA) came to lend support to the bill after admitting that many members of the association he works for OPPOSED it.

Green and others acknowledged that many schools in rural districts are miles from the nearest law enforcement and response times to an emergency could be quite lengthy, yet they still supported a bill that would disarm any trained and equipped adults present at those schools.

But what was particularly disturbing was the revelation by Senator Roger Beyer, that the school boards newsletter announced this hearing days before the Republican members of the committee were told about it.

So, Burdick, with the help of Senate Leadership, started marshaling the anti-gun forces to come to the hearing even before other legislators knew the hearing was going to take place.

The usual players came out to push the bill, including Susan Castillo, Oregon’s school superintendent and Ron Naso from the North Clackamas school district. (503) 653-3601

Naso has testified in the past for this bill.

Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto was there in support of the bill as well.

Giusto misrepresented the requirements for obtaining a CHL unil challenged by Senator Roger Beyer. He admitted that he could not really point out instances of license holders breaking the law, but he supported the bill in spite of his total lack of justification.

The gun owners who came to oppose the bill were uniformly articulate and well prepared. We were well represented and gun owners across the state can be proud of the people who spoke on their behalf in the face of the stacked deck created by anti-gun Democrats.

The supporters of the bill were just as uniformly hysterical and delusional. All admitted that there have been no instances of CHL holders causing problems.

Almost all referred to Columbine and Thurston while refusing to acknowledge that those events had no relevance to this bill at all.

In short, our side presented themselves intelligently and professionally and the anti-gun nuts rehashed the same old tired, anorexic nonsense for which they have become famous. They presented not a single cogent argument for this ridiculous bill.

We fully expect it to pass out of committee.

If today is any indication, we also expect future anti-gun hearings to be held with the same disregard for the rules and the truth as was this one.
We will keep you informed.
OFF ALERT 1/26/05
Hearing information.

We have received many e-mails and phone calls asking what to expect at Friday’s anti gun-rights hearing.

For any who are planning to attend, what follows is some basic information you should have.

Burdick and the anti-gun Democrats have scheduled this meeting at the Multnomah County Courthouse for one reason. To discourage gun owners from attending.

If you have a concealed handgun license, DO NOT come to the courthouse with your self defense firearm. You face arrest.

If you are traveling with a firearm, you will need to leave it unattended in your car.

Treat entering the courthouse as you would getting on a plane. No firearms, no knives, no nail clippers. The minute you step through the courthouse doors, you leave your rights behind you on the street.

There WILL be a large police presence at this hearing. The entire point of having this hearing where they are having it, is to intimidate gun owners.

If you plan to give testimony at this “hearing” be sure to look for a sign up sheet when you arrive. Place your name on it.

Understand that Burdick has complete control over the proceedings at this event. So, you may or may not be allowed to speak.
You may be given a time limit.
It is likely that the supporters of the bill will be invited to speak first. It is also likely that they will be given as much time as they want. Do NOT expect the same courtesy.

Burdick would NOT hold hearings on this bill unless she had received assurances from the other Democrats on the committee that they would vote to pass the bill out of committee onto the full Senate.

There are four Democrats on the committee. ALL are vocally anti-gun and they are the majority.

If you are planning to come and “educate” the anti-gun members of the committee about how dangerous and counterproductive this bill is, understand this. THEY ALREADY KNOW.

The four Democrats on the committee know very well that CHL holders pose no threat. They are supporting this bill in spite of the facts, not because they don’t know them.

Your time would better be spent simply telling the committee, that as a law abiding, gun owning Oregonian, you will work to defeat anyone who votes for this bill.

None of the Democrats on this committee have the slightest interest in any facts you can present to demonstrate the danger of this bill. Their agenda is to take your gun rights away and you may as well try to explain to a mugger why crime is bad for people.

Senate President Peter Courtney arranged to have this hearing in a place that was guaranteed to be hostile to gun owners. DO NOT expect to be treated fairly.

Remember, this hearing is being held ONLY for the benefit of the media.
OFF ALERT 1/25/05

GUN BAN HEARING SCHEDULED
As we predicted, Ginny Burdick has scheduled hearings on her gun ban bill at the Multnomah County Courthouse.
As you know, this bill (Senate Bill 335) would make you a criminal if you happened to show up at the same place where school children had gathered for a “field trip.”
The hearing is scheduled to start at 8:30 on Friday Jan. 28th.
The exact location is listed below.
The hearing will be held at the courthouse to dissuade as many CHL holders as possible from coming, since they will be prohibited from entering the building if they are in possession of their legally carried firearms.
We fully expect this to be a dog and pony show for the media, with the supporters of the bill getting the most favorable treatment.
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Date:  Friday-January 28
Time:  8:30 A.M.
Location: Multnomah County Courthouse Room #602 1021 SW 4th Avenue Portland, Oregon
Public Hearing and Possible Work Session
SB 335
Allows school district boards to prohibit persons with concealed handgun licenses from carrying firearms on school property.
________________________________________________________________________________________
For regular updates on times and meeting locations click here .
In this case the committee you will want to watch is “Judiciary.”
If you intend to go to the hearing and testify, make sure you look for a sign up sheet when you enter the room.
Also, be advised that Burdick would almost certainly NOT have scheduled the hearing unless she had a promise from the other Democrats on the committee that the bill would pass out of committee. So any testimony you plan to give will be for the benefit of the media only.
Once again, the members of the committee are:

Ginny Burdick, Chair (The sponsor of the bill, although it will appear as “Sponsored By the Judiciary Committee) 503-986-1718

Charles Starr, Vice-Chair (A reliable pro-gun vote) 503-986-1713

Roger Beyer (A strong supporter of gun rights.) 503-986-1709

Floyd Prozanski (A militant anti-gun extremist) 503-986-1704

Charlie Ringo (A regular anti-gun voter) 503-986-1717

Vicki L Walker (A militant anti-gun extremist) 503-986-1707

Doug Whitsett
(A newly elected Republican who answered our survey 100%) 503-986-1728

They can all be contacted here.

 

OFF ALERT 1/19/05
FIRST ANTI GUN-OWNER BILL ARRIVES
.


Senator Ginny Burdick has introduced the first of what we are sure will be many anti-gun bills.

This one is a re-hash of a bill she’s been pushing for the last several sessions. Thanks to you, it’s gone nowhere, but with the gun haters in charge of the Senate, this bill could very well move through that chamber.

The bill would allow schools to bar you from their property if you were in possession of a handgun even though you had a concealed handgun license.

Furthermore, it would allow the school to extend their power to deprive you of your rights, anywhere school children assembled.

We’ve seen this before.

If a school decided to take their kids on a field trip, you could be arrested if you were in the same location. Lunacy? You bet. But exactly what we expected. Frankly, we’re surprised it took so long.

As of the time of this e-mail, the bill was not available in printed form. However, OFF has obtained a copy of the draft.
You can see it here in PDF format.

The bill will start in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee members are:

Ginny Burdick, Chair (The sponsor of the bill, although it will appear as “Sponsored By the Judiciary Committee) 503-986-1718

Charles Starr, Vice-Chair (A reliable pro-gun vote) 503-986-1713

Roger Beyer (A strong supporter of gun rights.) 503-986-1709

Floyd Prozanski (A militant anti-gun extremist) 503-986-1704

Charlie Ringo (A regular anti-gun voter) 503-986-1717

Vicki L Walker (A militant anti-gun extremist) 503-986-1707

Doug Whitsett
(A newly elected Republican who answered our survey 100%) 503-986-1728

They can all be contacted here.

It’s not too early to contact your own legislator and remind them to protect your gun rights. If you don’t know who your legislators are, you can find them easily here:

We have been informed that hearings on this bill will be probably held in Portland rather than Salem. This would be done to assure the biggest possible anti-gun turn-out possible. We have been told that the hearing could be in the Multnomah County Courthouse. Although this has not been confirmed, if it is accurate, it would be done to guarantee that handgun license holders would be turned away should they be in possession of their legal self-defense firearms.

We will keep you informed as events unfold.

OFF ALERT 12/09/04

The Oregon Appeals Court dealt a major blow to the rights of Oregon gun owners yesterday.

As you probably know, The Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation has been involved in a lawsuit against the City of Portland since 2001.

In December of 2001, the city sponsored a tax-payer funded “New Year’s” Party at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.
They spent over $49,000.00 of tax-payer money to hire “Entercom Radio” to provide “production” help with things like sound and lighting.

Persons with concealed handgun licenses were forbidden from coming to this free public event if they were in possession of their lawful concealed firearms.

On New Year’s Eve, we sought a temporary restraining order to stop the city from enforcing this rule, which was clearly in violation of Oregon’s pre-emption statute.

The Court refused to grant it and we sued.

The case finally reached the Appeals Court and they have rendered their decision.

The short version is this: While the Court reaffirmed that the city may NOT restrict licensed, concealed carry, they MAY hire others to restrict it.

There is NO QUESTION that this ruling is faulty and wrong. No person or entity can give a right to someone else that they don’t have.

We will be working on a detailed analysis of this decision, but two main points were discussed that should be mentioned here.
First, was this a public event, or a private event?

The City paid for the event, it was held on public property, advertised as “City” sponsored and open, at no charge, to everyone (except license holders exercising their rights.)

The Court decided that they would not address this issue, based on the novel notion that it didn’t matter because the event was over.

The second issue was whether or not the city could allow someone who “leased” their property to restrict the rights of the public.

This issue may be even more nonsensical. If you “lease” property, you pay for it. In this case, the City was claiming that “Entercom” “leased” the property. However, the CITY paid ENTERCOM, not the other way around. So the discussion of whether a party that leases property can deny the public civil rights has no bearing on this case.

Clearly “Entercom” was in no way a traditional lease holder.

The Court however, found that a lease holder COULD deny civil rights to the public. There are plenty of Federal Court decisions that flatly contradict this.

Using the Court’s logic, the City of Portland could pay “Basic RIghts Oregon” to hold a gay pride parade. Basic Rights could then forbid heterosexuals from being on the streets where the parade was being held.

There are instances in this decision where the Appeals Court flatly misinterpreted cases quoted, particularly where they discuss (in a footnote) the Gathwright case.

Here they get the decision exactly backwards and interpret the Gathwright decision to mean the exact opposite of what it did.

We will follow up with a more detailed analysis soon, including our future plans, but for now you can read this latest slam on your rights here.

OFF ALERT 12/6/04

Follow-up on Police “Roll Call Memo”

After repeated efforts to learn if a memo we received, purporting to be a Portland Police Bureau roll call memo, was genuine, we have received the following e-mail from Sgt. Brian Schmautz. (See our alert dated 12/3/04 below.)

Schmautz is the public information officer for the Portland Police.

While it remains unclear if the memo was distributed at any Police roll call, we submit Sgt. Schmautz’s response. You can make of it what you will:


“I will again attempt to explain the situation. I received a faxed copy of
some information about Concealed Handgun Licenses. It is titled “Roll Call
Information/Reminder.” It is not dated but has a stamp and the hand written
date 11/6. You have asked if the memo was distributed at a roll call and I
will attempt to explain why I have repeatedly written that the Police Bureau
has not authorized the distribution of any information about seizing
ConcealedHandgun Licences.
The Police Bureau has a procedure in place if a bureau members desires to
puttraining or information related material in roll call boxes. Officers
submitinformation to the Training Division where is vetted to determine if it is
true, legal, and best practice. If it is determined that the information
should be released it will be printed on Police Bureau letterhead and
distributed to all officers.
Officers or civilian employees can place information that is not related to
training, policy, or procedure directly in precinct “all boxes.” That
information is typically related to ongoing criminal activity or wanted
subjects.
The information in question was not sent to the Training Division or vetted
for accuracy. It does not bear the name of the author and there is no
evidence that it was written by an officer. If it had been submitted to
Training it would not have been distributed because it is not accurate
information.
What I have been able to learn is that someone placed in North Precinct’s
allbox sometime around November 6th. That it was apparently pulled from the
allbox either because it was not appropriate information or because no one knew
how it got there. North Precinct is attempting to determine if it may have
been read by a sergeant at one of the roll calls but the command staff over
atNorth don’t think so. I have been told that there is often to much
information in the all boxes and typically sergeants only read information
that is related to officers safety or ongoing criminal activity. What can
never be determined with certainty is if an officer picked up the all box
andjust started reading it’s contents. Because officers frequently pick up the
all box before roll call that is a much more likely scenario than the
information being read at roll call. It is clear that the memo was in the
box for a maximum of 24 hours.
Just to make sure there is not any lingering confusion about the issue,
Commander Madison did ask his Day Shift Lt. to attempt to determine who
placed the memo in the box and remind them of the policy regarding training
related information. Cmdr. Madison also asked the Lt. to obtain accurate
concealed weapons related information from Multnomah County and place it in
the all box in the event that an officer did see the information.
I will once again repeat, there is no conspiracy, plan, or ongoing policy
discussion concerning Concealed Weapons Licenses. I just checked with the
Training Division and one in the Police Bureau has requested or suggested
sending out any information concerning the potential methods of taking
licences away from anyone other that those people involved in criminal
activity or individuals who become mentally unstable.
I will also state that I am a Sergeant and not a policy maker for the Police
Bureau. If the Police Bureau was attempting to make policy I would tell
youand forward individuals to the appropriate source. In this case, the Bureau
is not attempting to write or change policy. At best there is a misinformed
officer or civilian employee who thought for whatever reason that they were
being helpful by preparing information that was ultimately wrong. All I can
do is tell people that this situation is an unfortunate misunderstanding
thathas been corrected. If you have the ability to share that information and
you desire to do so that would be appreciated.
I have no further information on this issue. I will not be directly
involvedin North Precinct’s efforts to look into this matter. I am taking them at
their word that the problem has been resolved.
There is a check and balance for everything. The fact that the information
was quickly removed and that correct information will be given to officers
inthe event they received inaccurate information is the best I can offer at
thistime.
Hopefully I have answered your question this time and no further
correspondence is needed.”



OFF ALERT 12/03/04

Oregon Firearms has received a copy of a memo reported to have been distributed at at least one Portland Police Department roll call.

The memo encourages police officers to seek to have concealed handgun licenses revoked for actions such as failing to report that you have a license and a handgun during routine traffic stops.

It also suggests that a handgun license can be revoked or “reconsidered” because of out of date vehicle registration information.

BE ADVISED, THERE IS NOTHING IN OREGON LAW THAT REQUIRES YOU TO VOLUNTEER THE INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVE A LICENSE OR A LEGALLY POSSESSED HANDGUN DURING A ROUTINE TRAFFIC STOP.

Furthermore, vehicle registration information is not tied to your CHL, only a current address.

We have made numerous attempts to determine if this memo is authentic. All requests for verification have been ignored.

(Since this alert was sent, we received an e-mail from Sgt Brian Schmautz. In it he states:

“I am a Public Information Officer not a policy maker for the bureau. Our
Policy and Procedure Manuel is available on our web site. I have NO
information that the Police Bureau has any desire to deprive anyone of their
right to carry a concealed weapon if they are not mentally unstable or
engaging in illegal activity. Feel free to read all the policies and
procedures of the bureau.
All police officer carry guns and many are collectors. I don’t know what
additional assurance you require but hope this puts you at ease.
Sgt. Brian Schmautz “

Nowhere in his e-mail has he denied that the memo was circulated.)

We noted that the memo refers to “CWP’s” or “concealed weapons permits.” But, Oregon issues “concealed handgun licenses” not “concealed weapons permits.”

However, in a phone call to the Portland Police Department, we spoke to a staffer who also used this incorrect term, which would indicate it is commonly used within the department.

As such, OFF believes it is prudent to assume that this is, in fact, a policy of the Portland Police, until and unless they inform us to the contrary.

The contact information for the Portland Police Public Information Officerfollows

:PIO Contact Name: Brian Schmautz
Email Address: bschmautz@police.ci.portland.or.us
Phone Number: 503-823-0010
Pager Number: 503-790-1779

If you possess a CHL and are in the Portland area, exercise extreme caution during any contact you have with police officers.
OFF ALERT11/04/04

Oregon bucked national trends and moved to the left this election.

In addition to returning all 4 Democrat Congress members, the Dems kept all the state wide seats.

Two Congressional races that some predicted would be close, the 1st and the 5th CD’s were comfortably won by the incumbent anti-gunners who held them, David Wu and Darlene Hooley. Neither of their opponents were pro-gun however.

The Oregon Senate, currently split 15 to 15 will be solidly in the hands of the Democrats who picked up three seats.

This means that all committees will be picked by the Democratic Senate President. So, it’s a safe bet that we will be facing an avalanche of anti-gun bills starting from day one in January.

Currently the two people seeking the Senate President’s job are Peter Courtney , who currently holds the position, and Kate Brown, who wants it.

Both are committed anti-gunners. Brown, however, is a militant leftist and probably the more dangerous of the two. (You may recall she once invited a witch to give the opening “prayer” on the Senate floor.)

In the House, the Republicans lost three seats, but picked up one for a net loss of two.

One of those seats had been held by Max Williams before he left to take a job offered by the Governor.

That seat was won by anti-gun Democrat Larry Galizio who made a major campaign issue of attacking gun owners. Williams was anti-gun however, so that loss is not that big a change.

The House is now split 33 to 27, for a slight Republican edge. However, not all Republicans are friends of gun owners, so the margin is even tighter than it appears.

For example, Jerry Krummel has voted against gun rights, Derrick Kitts was the sponsor of anti-gun legislation in 2003 and Speaker Karen Minnis torpedoed all pro-gun bills in 2003 while allowing hearings on anti-gun bills
.
Clearly we will have our work cut out for us in the coming session. Your activism has paid off in the past and we’re counting on it in the future.

If you’re receiving this message and you are an OFF member, thanks. You’ll be getting a more in depth analysis in the mail soon.

If you’re not a member and would like to become one, there has been no better time. Your support will be essential in the months ahead.
You can ute easily on line .

You can also make a ution to our PAC .

In either case, a form is available if you prefer to make your ution through the regular mail
You can keep track of all election results here.

ONE MORE ANTI-GUN NUT OUT OF OUR HAIR.

The bizarre world of Oregon politics took another interesting turn yesterday.

Neil Goldschmidt understudy, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, appointed Marion County DA, Dale Penn, to be the new boss of Oregon’s troubled lottery system.

This may be good news. Penn has been an outspoken opponent of gun rights. Getting him out of the DA’s office is a definite plus.
Penn spent so much time in the Capitol lobbying against the rights of Oregon gun owners it was hard to imagine when he found time to prosecute cases.

He did find time to prosecute Bruce Thayer however. Bruce was a retired Sacramento Police Chief who used a gun to defend himself against a convicted drug dealer who attacked him on a lonely road in Silverton in the early 90’s.

Penn did everything in his power to go after Thayer, who was on his way to church choir practice when he was attacked.

In spite of all Penn did, Thayer was finally acquitted, but not before losing his life savings and being threatened by friends of the criminal against whom he defended himself .

It’s interesting to note that Republican Party head, anti-gun crusader Kevin Mannix, considered this a great appointment. Mannix felt that Penn was perfectly qualified for the job except for one thing. Penn is a white male. Yes, that was the one complaint from the head of the Republican Party.

With people like this running things, it’s never been more important to exercise your right to vote. October 12th is the last day to register. If you haven’t done so, please make sure you do it right away.

In other news, Willamette Week, Portland’s “alternative” newspaper, has published part of an e-mail OFF Director Kevin Starrett sent to an employee of “FuturePac.” This is the group we told you was lying about Suzanne Gallagher, who is running for a House seat in Oregon.
Apparently “Futurepac,” being unable to respond to Starrett themselves, took the matter to the press in hopes of attacking pro-gun activists.

You decide if they succeeded.

OFF ALERT 9/21/04

CAMPAIGN SEASON STARTS… LET THE LIES BEGIN.

House Democrat Committee Sends False Mailers.
City Councilman Calls For Semi-Auto Ban.

The anti-gun nuts, stung by the end of the Clinton gun ban, have begun to hyper-ventilate. And as you know, when their lips are moving, they’re lying.

In a hit piece intended to discredit a Republican running for the Oregon House, “FuturePac,” the mouthpiece for the House Democrats, has sent a mailing attacking Republican candidate Suzanne Gallagher.

Gallagher is running for House District 35 (Tigard) against Democrat Larry Galizio.

“Quoting” our candidate survey they claim “Suzanne Gallagher told a right wing gun group that she would oppose any reasonable restrictions on where unlicensed, concealed weapons could be carried—even in schools.”

As far as we’re concerned that’s a great idea, but Gallagher never said anything of the kind. “FuturePAC” is , to no one’s surprise, lying.

Our candidate survey, does not even contain a question about guns in schools, and unlicensed carry in schools is prohibited by Federal law. So the desperation on the part of the freedom haters is becoming more and more pronounced.

Rachel Albers (503-646-0441) who handles press for Galizio, attempted to explain the lies by saying that Gallagher had answered the survey opposing extending new restrictions on concealed carry. But as we said, this has nothing to do with schools, where unlicensed carry is forbidden under Federal law.

Galizio’s website contains the following quote “It’s unfortunate that our opponent doesn’t value open, accountable campaigns that are focused on the issues,”   We think it’s unfortunate that Galizio stands behind the lies told by “FuturePAC.”
The liars at Future PAC can be reached at 503-249-0457.
Larry Galizio,  who was the beneficiary of the lies, can be reached at (503)516-1101 or (503)646-0441.

Anti-gun Portland City Councilman Jim Francesconi, trying to deflect attention from the beating he’s been taking in the Portland Mayor’s race, (from anti-gun ex-police chief Tom Potter) has issued a resolution requesting that semi-automatic firearms be banned in Oregon.
A portion of the text appears below.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Portland City Council calls on the Oregon Legislature to ban assault weapons from the State of Oregon.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, should the State Legislature prove unable to pass a statewide assault-weapons ban, the Portland City Council calls on them to create a law allowing local governments to enact their own such ban within their local boundaries.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Francesconi was a major utor to Ginny Burdick’s 2000 anti-gun show ballot measure .Remember, utions to our PAC can earn you a tax credit. What better time?

OFF ALERT 09/10/04

Clinton Gun Ban Dead.

The US House of Representatives has adjourned. Their next scheduled meeting is Sept 13, 2004.

At that point, the mindless joke that was the Clinton “Assault Weapon Ban” will be dead.

While it’s important to keep in mind that this insane legislation can rear its ugly little head at any time, it’s also appropriate for you to give yourself a much deserved pat on the back.

In spite of 10 years worth of lies from Brady, Burdick, Schumer and the press, your hard work has paid off.

While the talking head sock-puppets and the drones in the print media repeated the lie that this bill was “overwhelmingly supported” by the American public, your calls, letters and e-mails spoke the truth. For that you should be proud.

As you know, we will soon face an attempt at a similar ban in Oregon. But, your willingness to fight means we will defeat that as well.
Of course, there is much left to be done.

The hysteria of the anti-gun nuts have convinced many that our streets will soon be flooded with Uzi’s and AK-47’s, two firearms that will still be illegal thanks to George Bush Sr. So we know what our next job is.

Meanwhile, Oregon Firearms Federation will keep you informed.

We thank all of you who have supported our efforts and promise you, that in January, we’ll be in Salem, and with your help, we’ll stand in the way of every freedom hating scheme the gun grabbers can dream up.

Congratulations on a battle well fought.

OFF ALERT9/9/04

LOCAL SEMI-AUTO BAN ANNOUNCED. TIME TO RETIRE GINNY BURDICK.

As we predicted, Ginny Burdick has announced plans to introduce a ban on semi-automatic firearms in Oregon as soon as the next session begins.

In a “e-newsletter” Burdick listed her priorities for 2005;

“Allowing local school boards to ban all guns from school grounds and school buses even if someone has a concealed handgun license.
Preparing legislation to impose a statewide ban on assault weapons if Congress fails to renew the national ban by the deadline later this month. “

If you saw last night’s “Nightline” you know that the anti-gun forces (including Ted Koppel and LA Police Chief William Bratton) are still willing to tell any lie and fabricate any statistic to promote their agenda. Burdick is no different.

So we have two choices. We can wait until January, when Burdick may very well be the Chair of the Senate committee that hears gun control bills, or we can do everything in our power to make Burdick go away.

As you know, Burdick is up for re-election. Her opponent is John Wight. John is smart, experienced and supports gun owners’ rights.

OFF members have already uted generously to John’s campaign, but we need to do more. Getting rid of Burdick will be the single best thing we can do to protect our rights when the Oregon Legislature convenes in January.

Please consider making the most generous ution you can to John’s campaign. This may be one of the best investments in gun rights you could ever make.

Please visit John’s website . You can ute to John’s campaign directly through his web page using Pay Pal.

You can also make a donation with no Pay Pal account by using our secure website. Be sure to write “Wight” in the comments section so we can forward your donation to John.

This is , without doubt, the most crucial election we face this year. Please consider doing all you can to help John get elected and send Burdick back to private life.

 

OFF ALERT 10/08/04

ONE MORE ANTI-GUN NUT OUT OF OUR HAIR.

The bizarre world of Oregon politics took another interesting turn yesterday.

Neil Goldschmidt understudy, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, appointed Marion County DA, Dale Penn, to be the new boss of Oregon’s troubled lottery system.

This may be good news. Penn has been an outspoken opponent of gun rights. Getting him out of the DA’s office is a definite plus.
Penn spent so much time in the Capitol lobbying against the rights of Oregon gun owners it was hard to imagine when he found time to prosecute cases.

He did find time to prosecute Bruce Thayer however. Bruce was a retired Sacramento Police Chief who used a gun to defend himself against a convicted drug dealer who attacked him on a lonely road in Silverton in the early 90’s.

Penn did everything in his power to go after Thayer, who was on his way to church choir practice when he was attacked.

In spite of all Penn did, Thayer was finally acquitted, but not before losing his life savings and being threatened by friends of the criminal against whom he defended himself .

It’s interesting to note that Republican Party head, anti-gun crusader Kevin Mannix, considered this a great appointment. Mannix felt that Penn was perfectly qualified for the job except for one thing. Penn is a white male. Yes, that was the one complaint from the head of the Republican Party.

With people like this running things, it’s never been more important to exercise your right to vote. October 12th is the last day to register. If you haven’t done so, please make sure you do it right away.

In other news, Willamette Week, Portland’s “alternative” newspaper, has published part of an e-mail OFF Director Kevin Starrett sent to an employee of “FuturePac.” This is the group we told you was lying about Suzanne Gallagher, who is running for a House seat in Oregon.
Apparently “Futurepac,” being unable to respond to Starrett themselves, took the matter to the press in hopes of attacking pro-gun activists.

You decide if they succeeded.

OFF ALERT 9/21/04

CAMPAIGN SEASON STARTS… LET THE LIES BEGIN.

House Democrat Committee Sends False Mailers.
City Councilman Calls For Semi-Auto Ban.

The anti-gun nuts, stung by the end of the Clinton gun ban, have begun to hyper-ventilate. And as you know, when their lips are moving, they’re lying.

In a hit piece intended to discredit a Republican running for the Oregon House, “FuturePac,” the mouthpiece for the House Democrats, has sent a mailing attacking Republican candidate Suzanne Gallagher.

Gallagher is running for House District 35 (Tigard) against Democrat Larry Galizio.

“Quoting” our candidate survey they claim “Suzanne Gallagher told a right wing gun group that she would oppose any reasonable restrictions on where unlicensed, concealed weapons could be carried—even in schools.”

As far as we’re concerned that’s a great idea, but Gallagher never said anything of the kind. “FuturePAC” is , to no one’s surprise, lying.

Our candidate survey, does not even contain a question about guns in schools, and unlicensed carry in schools is prohibited by Federal law. So the desperation on the part of the freedom haters is becoming more and more pronounced.

Rachel Albers (503-646-0441) who handles press for Galizio, attempted to explain the lies by saying that Gallagher had answered the survey opposing extending new restrictions on concealed carry. But as we said, this has nothing to do with schools, where unlicensed carry is forbidden under Federal law.

Galizio’s website contains the following quote “It’s unfortunate that our opponent doesn’t value open, accountable campaigns that are focused on the issues,”   We think it’s unfortunate that Galizio stands behind the lies told by “FuturePAC.”
The liars at Future PAC can be reached at 503-249-0457.
Larry Galizio,  who was the beneficiary of the lies, can be reached at (503)516-1101 or (503)646-0441.

Anti-gun Portland City Councilman Jim Francesconi, trying to deflect attention from the beating he’s been taking in the Portland Mayor’s race, (from anti-gun ex-police chief Tom Potter) has issued a resolution requesting that semi-automatic firearms be banned in Oregon.
A portion of the text appears below.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Portland City Council calls on the Oregon Legislature to ban assault weapons from the State of Oregon.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, should the State Legislature prove unable to pass a statewide assault-weapons ban, the Portland City Council calls on them to create a law allowing local governments to enact their own such ban within their local boundaries.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Francesconi was a major utor to Ginny Burdick’s 2000 anti-gun show ballot measure .Remember, utions to our PAC can earn you a tax credit. What better time?

OFF ALERT 09/10/04

Clinton Gun Ban Dead.

The US House of Representatives has adjourned. Their next scheduled meeting is Sept 13, 2004.

At that point, the mindless joke that was the Clinton “Assault Weapon Ban” will be dead.

While it’s important to keep in mind that this insane legislation can rear its ugly little head at any time, it’s also appropriate for you to give yourself a much deserved pat on the back.

In spite of 10 years worth of lies from Brady, Burdick, Schumer and the press, your hard work has paid off.

While the talking head sock-puppets and the drones in the print media repeated the lie that this bill was “overwhelmingly supported” by the American public, your calls, letters and e-mails spoke the truth. For that you should be proud.

As you know, we will soon face an attempt at a similar ban in Oregon. But, your willingness to fight means we will defeat that as well.
Of course, there is much left to be done.

The hysteria of the anti-gun nuts have convinced many that our streets will soon be flooded with Uzi’s and AK-47’s, two firearms that will still be illegal thanks to George Bush Sr. So we know what our next job is.

Meanwhile, Oregon Firearms Federation will keep you informed.

We thank all of you who have supported our efforts and promise you, that in January, we’ll be in Salem, and with your help, we’ll stand in the way of every freedom hating scheme the gun grabbers can dream up.

Congratulations on a battle well fought.

OFF ALERT9/9/04

LOCAL SEMI-AUTO BAN ANNOUNCED. TIME TO RETIRE GINNY BURDICK.

As we predicted, Ginny Burdick has announced plans to introduce a ban on semi-automatic firearms in Oregon as soon as the next session begins.

In a “e-newsletter” Burdick listed her priorities for 2005;

“Allowing local school boards to ban all guns from school grounds and school buses even if someone has a concealed handgun license.
Preparing legislation to impose a statewide ban on assault weapons if Congress fails to renew the national ban by the deadline later this month. “

If you saw last night’s “Nightline” you know that the anti-gun forces (including Ted Koppel and LA Police Chief William Bratton) are still willing to tell any lie and fabricate any statistic to promote their agenda. Burdick is no different.

So we have two choices. We can wait until January, when Burdick may very well be the Chair of the Senate committee that hears gun control bills, or we can do everything in our power to make Burdick go away.

As you know, Burdick is up for re-election. Her opponent is John Wight. John is smart, experienced and supports gun owners’ rights.

OFF members have already uted generously to John’s campaign, but we need to do more. Getting rid of Burdick will be the single best thing we can do to protect our rights when the Oregon Legislature convenes in January.

Please consider making the most generous ution you can to John’s campaign. This may be one of the best investments in gun rights you could ever make.

Please visit John’s website . You can ute to John’s campaign directly through his web page using Pay Pal.

You can also make a donation with no Pay Pal account by using our secure website. Be sure to write “Wight” in the comments section so we can forward your donation to John.

This is , without doubt, the most crucial election we face this year. Please consider doing all you can to help John get elected and send Burdick back to private life.

OFF ALERT 9/8/04

With just days before the expiration of the unconstitutional semi-auto ban, the anti-gun nuts have reach new levels of hysteria, and your action is needed today.

Here is some sample text from a letter from the International Association of Chiefs of Police:

“While most rifles are designed to be fired from the shoulder and depend upon the accuracy of a precisely aimed projectile, semi-automatic assault weapons are designed to maximize lethal effects through a rapid rate of fire. Assault weapons are designed to be spray-fired from the hip, and because of their design, a shooter can maintain control of the weapon even while firing many rounds in rapid succession.”

The entire letter can be viewed here.

The letter goes on to make its case by using statistics invented by the anti-rights front group Violence Policy Center.”

The letter is intended to be signed by police chiefs.

It is truly disturbing to think that the people who are running our police departments can be this ignorant. But, unfortunately for us, some people actually listen to these guys.

So now is NOT the time to let our guard down.

The Brady Bunch is running full page ads in Washington DC-area newspapers spreading more of this stupidity and, as you know, lots of people think if it’s in the paper it must be true.

Let’s keep up the pressure on the White House and Congress.

Contact info for your legislators is available here.

Note, many legislators only allow e-mail through their web pages. Sometimes “cut and paste” type does not format correctly.
We suggest you write this simple message in an e-mail to President Bush, both Senators Wyden and Smith and your House Rep:
“NO SEMI-AUTO BAN RENEWAL.”

Of course, you can elaborate if you like, but it’s not necessary.

OFF ALERT 9/7/04

Dear Oregon Gun Rights Supporter,
We are coming down to the wire on the expiration of the Clinton semi-auto ban.

There are only a few business days left for Congress to reenact this senseless and unconstitutional attack on gun owners’ rights.
Needless to say, we are watching very carefully to make sure that Schumer and friends don’t attempt a last minute drive for renewal.

The anti-gun groups around the country are growing increasingly shrill in their demands that the gun ban be renewed.An e-mail from “The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence” sent today, urges their supporters to call the White House on Thursday and ask George Bush to renew the ban.

Gun rights supporters should be making calls on the same day, at the same time ,Thursday, September 9th, 2004, between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm EST at 202-456-1111.

If you are an OFF member, you should have received our last letter explaining our expectations about this bill. It is our belief that if the ban sunsets, there will almost certainly be a push to enact similar legislation statewide.

If the Democrats take control of the Oregon Senate, and Ginny Burdick is re-elected, she will almost surely become chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Since gun control is all Burdick does, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see an avalanche of new gun grab bills in 2005. We are counting on your help and support to block them.

Your ution to our political action committee can make the difference between success and failure when the legislature convenes in January. To make an on-line ution, please click here.

Remember, utions to PACs may qualify for a tax credit of up to $100.00. That means your support could very well cost you nothing.

Now we have some really good news. Since OFF first started working to safeguard your gun rights, Eric Dickman has served on our board of directors.

Eric is a long time competitive shooter and has been an activist for gun rights for many years. You can imagine that an OFF board member is not likely to be a fence sitter on gun rights, and Eric is as solid and principled as any person I’ve ever met.That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that Eric has decided to run for Oregon’s House of Representatives in the 46th District.

Neither of the other two candidates in the race responded to OFF’s candidate survey, which is a good indication of where they stand on your rights. I needn’t tell you that Eric’s survey was 100%.(If you want a copy send us a note and we’ll e-mail it to you.)

That’s why I’m asking that you consider making a ution to Eric’s campaign. Whether you live in his district or not, Eric will be an uncompromising voice for gun rights. This is one election where we’ll have no questions about who to endorse, and we hope you will help Eric as well.

If you’d like to donate to Eric’s campaign on line, you may do so at the OFF website at the address given above. Please make a note that your ution is for Eric. Checks can be sent to:
Friends of Eric Dickman
3111 SE 53RD
PORTLAND, OR 97206

Remember, if your ution is OVER $50.00 you need to provide your employer or your occupation. Thanks for your ongoing support for gun rights.

Kevin Starrett

OFF ALERT 7/17/04

CONCEALED HANDGUNS IN STATE PARKS

We recently received a copy of an e-mail sent by the Oregon State Parks Department concerning the legality of concealed handguns in Oregon State Parks.
It was forwarded to us by talk show host Lars Larson from KXL Radio in Portland.
It stated that concealed handgun license holders COULD NOT legally carry in state parks.
We immediately called the author of the e-mail, Mr Kevin Price and informed him what the actual law was. He asked for a day or two to clarify the policy.
Yesterday we received a copy of his updated response. Both e-mails are reproduced below. The Parks Department website, which did clearly state that firearms were prohibited, has been changed and no longer makes that statement.
Thanks to Lars Larson for bringing this to our attention.

_First E-Mail_________________________________________________________________________
July 14, 2004
Mr. XXXX,
Jo is right, there are no exceptions, as I interpret our rule, for loaded firearms in Oregon State Parks. Firearms are allowed as long as they are not loaded in our parks. We sometimes have hunters who access other properties through our parks. They are asked to unload their weapons untilthey reach their destination.
If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.
Kevin W. Price
Assistant Area Manager
Columbia River Gorge State Parks

_Second E-Mail_______________________________________________________________________
July 15, 2004
Dear XXXX
Thank you for your most recent e-mails.
I’m very sorry for any misunderstanding in our communication concerning firearms in Oregon State Parks.
You were right, individual(s) with a concealed weapon permit can legally carry firearms in Oregon State Parks.
We’re in the process of reviewing our rules and regulations in this area.
We will take the proposed changes to the Oregon State Parks Commission for consideration.
I’d also like to apologize for any misunderstanding concerning our web page. As you noted, our rules concerning firearms were indeed posted on our
web page. Our contractor inadvertently re-posted the rules while doing maintenance on the system. That was a mistake. The rules have since been removed.
Again, thank you for writing us and for giving us a chance to correct the matter.
Sincerely,

Kevin W. Price
Community Outreach Manager
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department


OFF ALERT 7/14/04
Department of Human Services Changes Gun Policy.

As you know, the Federal Court chose not to rule on our complaint that the Oregon University System was imposing illegal policies by banning CHL holders from having firearms on campus.

We maintain that the law is clear on this issue, but we still await a resolution.

We are also still waiting to hear from the Oregon Appeals Court on our lawsuit against the City of Portland for its illegal policies concerning CHL’s.

But we think our efforts, though not yet complete, are having an effect.

We have been informed that the Oregon Department of Human Services has changed part of its policy on concealed carry in their offices.
While they continue to discriminate against their own employees (lunacy in this time of work place shootings) they have CHANGED their policy for non-employees with CHL’s.

Their previous policy included the following:
“a. When a visitor brings a weapon into a DHS worksite, law enforcement shall be notified, even if the visitor indicates that they have a permit to carry a concealed handgun.”
That policy can be found here.

Their new policy follows state law, at least for non employees. A copy is available in PDF format here.

This is a small step forward, but we are sure it would not have happened without the support we have received from folks like you, which allowed us to pursue these legal matters.

 

OFF ALERT 6/30/04
Court Opinion in School Gun Case.

As many of you know, the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation, was in court recently against the Oregon University System.
The facts of the case are unambiguous.

Across the state, schools are violating state law by imposing restrictions and prohibitions on concealed handgun carry.

Oregon law is uncharacteristically clear on this issue. No government agency, no city, no municipality, no district or bureaucrat may legally impose a restriction on concealed handgun carry, EXCEPT the state legislature.

Yet, as we know, it happens daily. From the Port of Portland to the Oregon University System, bureaucrats are making up their own rules.
The law, in this case, is absolutely on the side of gun owners, so there would seem to be little in the way of a legislative remedy for the kinds of abuses which gun owners face state wide.

That’s why we sued the City of Portland for their violations (that case is ongoing) and why we took on the University System.
For a variety of reasons we took our suit against the University System to Federal Court. We received their opinion today.
A copy of the opinion is available on our website. Opening it requires Adobe Acrobat.

Brian Stubbs, the student who was the plaintiff in this case, did everything in his power to challenge the University’s illegal anti-gun policies prior to taking it to court. But Brian did not violate the school’s policies, even though it’s clear they are illegal.

As a result, the court found, that in the absence of Brian openly breaking the rules, and suffering the inevitable repercussions, both academic and professional, he had suffered “no harm.”

In essence what the court decided was, that unless and until, a license holder subjects himself to possible arrest and penalties, they have no standing to seek protection for their rights in Federal Court.

As you can imagine, we are disappointed by the position the Court has taken. Essentially, they have taken no real position at all.
We are assessing our options for our next step and can assure you that every possible avenue is being explored in our efforts to force the bureaucrats to be held accountable.

We are grateful for all who have supported these efforts. With your help we will continue to fight these battles in every way we can. You can help here.


OFF ALERT 6/03/04

OFF IN COURT ONE MORE TIME.

We have just received word that oral arguments in our lawsuit against the Oregon University System have been scheduled.

The date and time are June 14th at 10 AM in the Federal Courthouse in Portland, room 13 B.

As you know, the Oregon University System has continued to enforce an illegal policy of banning persons with concealed handgun licenses from their campuses.

Because of your generosity our foundation has been able to initiate legal action against the system, just as we did against the City of Portland for similar illegal policies. (See alert below.)

While we prefer to take our battles to the legislature, there is no alternative in this case. The law is already on our side. The hard part is getting the taxpayer-funded bureaucrats to obey the laws they demand we obey.

If you’re in the Portland area on that day, feel free to come and witness the court system in action.

 

OFF ALERT 6/2/04

RENEWED ATTEMPTS AT SEMI-AUTO BAN ON THE HORIZON. OFF IN COURT TODAY.

Although we were successful in beating back the last attempt to reauthorize the Clinton semi-auto ban, we anticipated more attempts to renew it.

Gun Owners of America has just notified us that it expects that attempt to be made soon.

In an e-mail alert sent today GOA said:
“GOA has been warning gun owners that Democrat Senator Dianne
Feinstein of California would be looking for an avenue to attach her
gun ban to unrelated legislation sometime this year.
According to Senate sources, Feinstein will be making her move quite
soon.
While she reportedly has her eyes on a number of different bills as
possible vehicles for her amendment, it seems certain that she will
try to piggy-back her anti-gun language onto a legal reform bill
(such as S. 2062) within the next few weeks.
While a switch of only three Senators would be enough to kill the
amendment, it seems that the easiest way to defeat Feinstein will be
through a filibuster. Our side only needs 41 Senators to kill her
amendment through the art of filibuster, and it would appear that we
definitely have that many votes… BUT ONLY IF THE 47 SENATORS WHO
VOTED RIGHT LAST TIME CONTINUE TO HOLD THE LINE!
That’s why we need another barrage of phone calls and e-mails going
into Senate offices.”

Please contact Gordon Smith and remind him that after his recent sell out of gun owners on Senate Bill S1805, we are watching him. Smith’s contact info.

On another note, OFF was in the Court of Appeals today in our long running lawsuit against the City of Portland. As you may know, we sued the City several years ago when they prohibited Oregonians with concealed handgun licenses from the City sponsored New Years Party, if they were in possession of their lawfully carried firearms.

Portland has since backed off that illegal policy thanks to our efforts, but we have continued the legal action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The wheels of justice grind very slowly for gun owners in this state, but we are getting closer to a resolution.
Our attorneys did a fine job and we are optimistic about the outcome. But no matter what, we have already had a victory because of Portland’s change of policy.

Thanks to all who made this possible.

 

OFF-PAC Endorsement 5/10/04.
A Message From OFF PAC.

OFF PAC is pleased to endorse Betsy Close for Secretary of State.

In the time Betsy spent in the legislature, she was a dedicated and consistent supporter of Second Amendment rights.
Few people have demonstrated the kind of courage that Betsy has on issues important to gun owners.
Secretary of State is an extremely important position. We believe Betsy Close is the best person for the job.

OFF-PAC Endorsement 5/3/04

If you are familiar with the method by which Judges are chosen in Oregon, you know the deck is mainly stacked.

A Judge will “retire” short of the end of his term and his replacement will be chosen by the Governor. He or she is then an incumbent and for all intents and purposes is a mortal lock to retain the seat, until he or she “retires” and cycle begins again.

Because of our experience in various courts in Oregon, we can assure you that the system is haywire. More then once we have sat through the ramblings of a seated Judge who had no clue what the law was, and could not have cared less.

Oregon’s Judges often make no pretense about their biases, and make no mistake, those biases are more often than not AGAINST gun owners.

That’s why it’s our pleasure to be able to recommend James Leuenberger for Oregon’s Supreme Court Position 4.

Jim is a friend and true believer in the Constitution, the Second Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights. Predictably, all the usual anti-rights groups are lining up to oppose him.

Leuenberger is not just talk either. We’ve been in court with him while he defended (successfully) gun owner’s rights. Jim is a man of commitment and integrity and would be a welcome change from the current makeup of the Oregon Courts.

OFFPAC strongly recommends James Leuenberger for Oregon Supreme Court.

OFF Alert 4/24/04
Candidate Surveys On Line

The Oregon Firearms Candidate Surveys are on line and available. We hope you will find them useful as a starting point for deciding which candidates are most willing to stand up for your rights.

You’ll see, that as always, we have posted the questions we asked and the answers we received and allow you to make your own decisions.

If you are an NRA member, you know that you are forbidden from seeing the responses (if any) that politicians gave in THEIR survey. This is especially troubling in light of their most recent e-mail alert dated April 23rd 2004 which contains the following quote:

“ILA`s Executive Director Chris Cox forcefully noted, “I will never, never sell out your rights for political compromise!” He then cautioned voters to beware of the “freedom BUTS”—those anti-gun politicians who profess to support the Second Amendment, BUT then cloak that support with a series of caveats and conditions on our freedom, e.g., “I believe in Second Amendment freedom, but we should ban semi-automatic firearms.”

It is amazing that Cox can continue to ignore the fact that George Bush and Gordon Smith (who has received thousands of dollars from NRA) support the very ban on semi-automatic firearms that Cox condemns. If ever there were a case of ignoring the elephant in your living room, this is it.

We have no quarrel with the many NRA members who have worked so hard for so long to protect gun rights. We are proud to count many NRA members as OFF supporters. But, there is an astonishing disconnect at the top levels of NRA leadership. The very programs they claim to be fighting without “political compromise” are vocally promoted by the candidates they send money to and endorse. We think this is a very dangerous game.

The NRA alert continued:

“And of course, Cox spared no ammunition in highlighting Senator Kerry`s support for gun control… informing the bodyassembled (sic) that John Kerry “has voted against your gun rights more than 50 times.” Cox then issued Senator Kerry this invitation, “stop dreaming about Hillary hunting ducks with a rifle and go back to Boston for you (sic) hair dye and Botox treatments, because…you will never be the candidate of the NRA!”

Again, Cox never mentions the Bush administration’s animosity towards gun owners based on their support for the Clinton gun ban and their position in the notorious Bean vs US case.

We have no illusions that John Kerry would be a friend to gun owners, but we think it’s important that gun owners have no illusions about Bush or his supporters like Gordon Smith.

If you are an OFF member and would like an e-mail copy of any candidate survey please let us know.

OFF ALERT 3/22/04

GOOD NEWS.

It’s a pleasure to be able to bring you some good news. (There seems to be so little of it for gun owners these days.)

As you know, OFF’s sister organization, the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation is funding a lawsuit against the Oregon University System because of their illegal policy of banning persons with concealed handgun licenses from their campuses if they are in possession of their self defense firearms.

Many of you have been very generous, and your generosity has allowed us to finance this action.

Recently we received an opinion from Legislative Counsel that affirmed our position that the Oregon University System had no authority to implement a rule of this kind.

Legislative Counsel is the committee that serves as the lawyers for the Oregon Legislature. They are the people who actually write the laws requested by legislators. As such, they are in a unique position to speak with authority about what a particular law means. And they have agreed with us that the law means what we said it means. Only the state legislature can make rules that restrict concealed carry by license holders.

We want to say right here that we still believe the entire system of requiring a “license” to exercise a right is not legitimate. However, as long as we are saddled by this misguided law, we are determined to make sure that the bureaucrats obey the same laws we are compelled to obey.

Today we received even more good news.

As you may know, the Port of Portland, the body that runs the Portland Airport (and others) has an ordinance outlawing licensed concealed carry in the non secure areas of the Portland Airport terminal.

In numerous communications we have had with the Port of Portland police and the lawyers for the Port of Portland, we have pointed out that they have no authority to make or enforce a rule of this kind. They have responded by insisting they do, and letting us know that they have “given our name to the Department of Homeland Security. ”

Today we received yet another opinion from Legislative Counsel saying once again that, just like the University System, the Port of Portland has no authority to prohibit license holders from carrying handguns within the non secured areas of the terminal.

While it is important to recognize that these opinions are just that, opinions, and not court decisions, we are confident that they carry significant weight because of their source.

We believe they will have a powerful effect on the outcome of our suit against the Oregon University System and we are quite hopeful that the Port of Portland will see the light.

Thank you for all you have done to allow us to pursue these actions.

We will keep you informed as these matters progress.

 

OFF ALERT 3/2/04

CONGRATULATIONS. WE WON.

Senate Bill 1805 is dead. And you killed it. Thank you for all your hard work.

This has been a trying few days, but for all of you who worked so hard in the face of so much frustration, be very, very proud.

S. 1805, as we warned, morphed from a bill to protect gun dealers and manufacturers into what could have been the most devastating anti-gun bill in many years. Your relentless efforts have really paid off.

In the end, the bill went down to overwhelming defeat after the sponsor of the bill, NRA board member Larry Craig, realized what it had become and asked that it be killed.

There is NO question that your communications with the NRA and Senators helped them “see the light.” This is truly a victory for grass roots activists.

As we also predicted, NRA-endorsed Gordon Smith, voted to attack you with one of the most onerous and nonsensical amendments attached to this bill. We are truly sorry to have been right about Smith’s plan to vote to extend a ban on modern rifles and shotguns. We seriously hope the NRA will reconsider their support for Smith.

In 1999 we communicated our fears about Smith to NRA staffers, but the support continued. In fact, the first time Smith ran and lost, Gun Owners of America asked Smith to go on the record concerning his position on firearms and he refused. Since then NRA has declined to release any candidate surveys from Smith (or anyone else) and we have been informed that when Smith ran the second time the NRA agreed to support him without a survey. Their kindness has certainly been paid back.

This battle was won by you and all our friends from no compromise gun organizations across the country.

While we are assessing the votes and the outcomes, and planning what happens next, please give yourselves a big pat on the back for a job well done.

 

OFF ALERT 3/1/04

Debate continued today on S 1805, the “gun liability bill.” As expected, amendments were offered, but not voted on, to renew the ban on self loading firearms and create new restrictions on gun shows.

Also, as expected, the proponents of the “assault weapon ban” dragged out their cavalcade of cliches about semi-auto firearms. The well worn blow-ups of AK’s and Uzi’s were dragged out along with the now hideously worn out commentary, which simultaneously claimed that these firearms were “extremely efficient killing machines” while at the same time saying they were “inaccurate.”

Senators Feinstein and Schumer subjected us to their endless litany of ignorance.

Schumer reacted with horror to the idea that some shotguns actually fired… “shotgun shells.” SHOTGUN SHELLS instead of “regular bullets.” As you all know, shotgun shells “spread widely,” indiscriminately killing innocent people miles from their intended targets.

For anyone who has followed this debate over the last 30 or so years, the charges and counter charges were enough to make you beg for some new accusations.

Semi-auto’s are “easily” converted to machine guns.
These guns are designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.
These guns are incredibly deadly but also terribly inaccurate.
No one needs these guns to hunt. They are useless for self defense.

In short, today’s debate was a real yawner with some very dangerous lies thrown in for the benefit of ignorant, fear driven, social busybodies everywhere.

Not surprisingly, no one stood up to say “who cares whether they’re good for hunting?

These amendments and the bill are scheduled for a vote tomorrow. If you can stand it, the proceedings will be, as always on C-Span. C-Span is also available on the internet .

Gordon Smith’s staff is telling callers that he has“not made up his mind” yet about the semi-auto ban. Imagine that. One of the most contentious issues in the last 40 years, due to be voted on tomorrow and Smith hasn’t “made up his mind” yet. This is a far cry from a letter we received from him dated Jan 13th, 2004 where he made it quite clear that he HAD made up his mind. So your calls and e-mails are having an affect. Please don’t stop now.

Gordon Smith can be reached at:
Senator Gordon Smith
Washington, DC Office
404 Russell Building
Washington, DC 20510-3704
Phone: (202)224-3753
Fax:(202)228-3997
Portland Phone Number (503)-326-3386
<http://gsmith.senate.gov/webform.htm>

OFF ALERT 2/29/04

A LONG BUT IMPORTANT ALERT.

More and more it’s looking like S 1805 is a turkey that can’t be saved.

We are already facing the ridiculous reality that the “gun liability” bill, which was supposed to PROTECT dealers and manufacturers from baseless lawsuits, now has a brand new liability built into it; penalties if handguns are not provided with gun locks.

As you know, we have fought and defeated similar proposals that would require that you render your guns useless, here in Oregon.

Now with the help of NRA-endorsed Gordon Smith, we are having this irrational requirement shoved down our throats by the Feds. What’s worse, it seems like the NRA has bought off on this crackpot scheme.

In an alert dated Feb 27 ’04 the NRA describes the Kohl amendment, which mandates this new intrusion into your rights this way:
“The Kohl amendment is much less restrictive and also provides liability protection for gun owners.
But that “protection” is only for people who lock up their guns and render them useless!

Later in the alert the NRA states :

“The Senate then debated and voted upon two amendments seeking to gut S.
1805. The first related to the D.C. sniper case, but the proposal by Sen.
Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) was defeated, 56-40. A so-called “law
enforcement” exemption offered by Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) was soundly
defeated, 56 to 38.
NRA strongly opposed both amendments
.”

Why then, we must wonder, didn’t the NRA oppose the horrible Kohl amendment? Is it because the two amendments “seeking to gut
S 1805” were defeated and the Kohl amendment, which they don’t even criticize, passed? Is this the strategy of the NRA, to claim, after the fact, opposition to bad amendments that fail, while giving tacit approval to bad amendments that pass?

Many of you have no doubt seen the internet traffic where some have accused the NRA of having cut a deal going into this bill. You may have also seen the strongly worded denials from NRA. But now we must say our concern is greater than ever. If there is no deal, as NRA has repeatedly stated, why the approval of Kohl’s gun lock-up amendment? What are they wiling to compromise next?

In the NRA alert described above, the NRA states :

“NRA-ILA stands committed to enacting into law, a “clean” (without any
anti-gun amendments) S. 1805. And, as we have from Day One, we will
continue to vigorously oppose any anti-gun amendments to S. 1805,
specifically, reauthorization of the 1994 Clinton gun ban in any way,
shape, or form, and imposing restrictions on gun shows.”

But the bill ALREADY HAS AN ANTI-GUN AMENDMENT AND THE NRA HAS NOT OPPOSED IT!!!

We know that an attempt will be made to renew the Clinton semi-auto ban by amending S 1805. We have a letter from NRA-endorsed Gordon Smith making it clear he intends to support that renewal.

We also know that NRA endorsed- and- supported George Bush has promised he would sign a renewal of the semi-auto ban. Yet not one word has been written by NRA distancing themselves from Smith and in same alert referenced above they state:

“Using the bully pulpit of the White House, President Bush offered the
following statement highlighting his support for the lawsuit bill without
any anti-gun amendments: The Administration strongly supports Senate
passage of S. 1805. The Administration urges the Senate to pass a clean
bill, in order to ensure enactment of the legislation this year. Any
amendment that would delay enactment of the bill beyond this year is
unacceptable”.

But Bush NEVER says he won’t sign it. And why would a new semi-auto ban “delay enactment” if he’s already promised to sign it?

As we said, the bill already contains anti-gun language and the worst is yet to come.

Much has been made of the promise that this bill will be “fixed” when it goes back to a conference committee with the House. That is pure speculation and wishful thinking. We were made similar promises about other bills like “campaign finance reform” and now we face penalties if we dare discuss candidates in the months before an election!

Now more then ever, it’s clear that S1805 has become a tremendous liability.

It’s likely that Ron Wyden may in fact, vote no, simply because there may be one or two provisions that he sees as being good for gun owners. Wyden will not vote for anything that is good for gun owners.

Gordon Smith however, will most likely try to play both sides of the fence. Since he has already stated his intention to renew the semi-auto ban, Smith needs to hear from you and be told NO. NO. NO.

No more anti-gun legislation no matter what it’s called.

Please also contact the NRA and tell them that they cannot allow more anti-gun laws to be enacted just so they can take credit for passing their pet bill. Tell them to STOP approving anti-gun amendments like Kohl’s gun lock-up law.

NRA can be reached at:
Federal-Affairs@nrahq.org
1800-392-8683

Gordon Smith can be reached at:
Senator Gordon Smith
Washington, DC Office
404 Russell Building
Washington, DC 20510-3704
Phone: (202)224-3753
Fax:(202)228-3997
Portland Phone Number (503)-326-3386
http://gsmith.senate.gov/webform.htm

Please contact him with the simple message ” NO GUN LOCK-UP LAW, NO NEW GUN CONTROL.”
This bill is due for more debates Monday with a possible vote Tuesday. There is not much time, please contact NRA and Smith as soon as possible.