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Clackamas Joins Us, Gun Bills Start Moving

02.20.15

Yesterday, Clackamas County joined the growing list of counties with resolutions, proclamations, ordinances, or letters supporting the Second Amendment. Both the hearing room and an overflow room were filled to capacity. The overwhelming number of participants were there to support gun rights, the Second Amendment and the proposed resolution.

The fact that it was opposed by Commissioner Martha Schrader shows just how extreme some anti-rights politicians can be.  In spite of the hysteria and outright lies by groups like CeaseFire Oregon and their cronies in the “non-partisan” League of Women Voters, (see their proposed alternate resolution here) this resolution did not “enable felons to buy guns” nor was the resolution “against expanded background checks” although it should have been. The resolution did not “arm criminals.”

The resolution simply affirmed the County’s commitment to one of most important, God-given, Constitutionally protected human rights.  But Schrader could not bring herself to support such a simple resolution.  Another politician who insists she’s “not anti-gun” but proves she is, over and over.

Schrader spent an inordinate amount of time demanding to know if OFF was behind the “template” for the resolution and others around the state. Much time was taken up with Schrader’s conspiratorial ramblings insisting to “get on the record” whether OFF was the mastermind for some mythical template.

But Schrader’s already delusional statements became almost surreal when she talked about trying to get on our website to find the Unicorn Template. Here’s what she said:

“I tried to look up the Oregon Firearms Federation to see if there was a template. For the record this is what came up, the site blocked do not enter, website blocked, the website you are attempting to connect to has been blocked due to one or more of the following reasons. The website contains inappropriate content based on, based on polices as determined by the county and your department. … I’m sorry ladies and gentleman, I cannot get on this website tonight.”

You can actually see this on the archived video  starting at the 35:20 minute mark.  What made this all the more bizarre was that dozens of people in the audience were accessing the site on their mobile devices at that time, in that room. In fact, sitting next to her was Chairman John Ludlow, who quickly accessed our site on his Ipad!

As we were able to point out to Schrader, all the ordinances, resolutions and letters we are aware of are easy to find on our website and it’s painfully clear to anyone who can read, that there is no “template.”  Although there are some similarities in some of these documents, (not unusual) they are clearly the work of different people in different places acting on their own. The fact is, that many people, working independently, are responsible for the many successes Oregonians have had getting their counties to take a stand for their rights. To each of them, we are deeply grateful. But Schrader, of course, can’t see that, because she has the only known Ipad that can’t visit our site.

Schrader has made it clear that she believes the Second Amendment only protects muskets, so it is possible that she struggles with devices used for First Amendment purposes if they are not composed of parchment and a quill pen.  But even more unnerving was Schrader’s comment that a simple affirmation of the county’s support for the Constitution she took an oath to uphold would be “opening a culture war.

Schrader believes the Constitution is a “living document” which changes at the whims of whomever is holding office at the moment, so one has to wonder exactly what she thinks she took an oath to uphold if it can change at any time.

After spirited testimony from many patriots and handful of bitter nanny staters, the resolution was passed by three commissioners;  John Ludlow, Tootie Smith and Paul Savas. We applaud their courage. Ludlow and Smith were particularly strong in their defense of our rights.

Commissioner Jim Bernard was not present, but although he had expressed reservations about the resolution in a previous meeting, he was reported to have said he would have supported it if he was there. We can only speculate.  Schrader chose to “abstain” which, as Tootie Smith pointed out, was, in essence, a “no” vote.  We believe with every new exposure to Schrader, that she is clearly past her expiration date and needs to find a new line of work.  I.T. consulting will probably not be in the cards.

We want to extend our most sincere thanks to all of you who showed up and filled the room, who spoke (or clapped) on behalf of our rights or who wrote one of the 500 emails supporting this resolution.  You are the true heros in this fight.  Many came long distances to express their commitment and patriotism. We cannot thank you enough. You proved once again,(though Schrader probably did not get the message) that this is a battle being waged by true believers across the state and not some astroturf effort like the Bloomberg girls.

Yesterday was also the first hearing in Salem on a firearms related bill. The House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources heard HB 2503.  This bill vests sole authority to regulate hunting ammo in the hands of the legislature, not any locality or agency.

The reason this bill was needed and important was because our former, disgraced, Governor had made clear his intention to ban lead ammo through some kind of executive action.

While not really the point, the hearing largely became a discussion of lead ammo itself rather than the issue of who gets to regulate it.

We heard some outstanding testimony by Stan Steele of the Oregon Outdoor Council whose many years in the field and with the Oregon State Police Wildlife Division  have provided him with extraordinary insights into the reality of hunting and the use of lead ammo.  Stan’s testimony was knowledgeable and compelling but did not appear to have any impact on Representative Lew Fredricks who based his opposition to the bill and the use of lead ammo on “a quick Google search.”

The video of this hearing can be seen here. The lead ammo bill discussion starts at the 20 minute mark.

Appearing first is Senator Steiner Hayward whose astonishing ignorance is matched only be her breathtaking arrogance. (The Senator is the main mover behind a bill to force parents to accept vaccinations for their children irrespective of their personal beliefs.  The left is convinced they have a monopoly on science and no one but the state has the right to make decisions about your children.)

The opponents of the bill are basing their opposition largely on their purported concern about Condors dying of lead poisoning in California and insist that the legislature lacks the ability to make informed decisions based on expert testimony and that only their approved scientists are smart enough to decide what’s best for hunters.

The fact that lead levels in condors increased in California in places where lead ammo was banned seems to have no affect on their beliefs. The fact that studies have shown that hunters have lower levels of lead than the general population is of no importance to the folks whose “science” is driven by agendas. And anyway, it looks like California’s winged scavengers have other problems.

The committee decided to work on some amendments to the bill. We’ll keep you informed.

Finally, next Thursday there will hearings on numerous firearms related bills. In the Senate Judiciary at 8AM, Senate Bills 385 and 86 will be heard.

SB 86 “Authorizes establishment of firearms training facility on lot or parcel that is in exclusive farm zone; forest zone or mixed farm and forest zone; and that is not within city or urban growth boundary.”

We strongly support any bill that will expand the availability of much needed ranges. However this bill requires that those “facilities”:

“provide firearms-related training courses and issues firearm-related certifications that are required:
(a) For law enforcement personnel;
(b) By the State Department of Fish and Wildlife; or
(c) By nationally recognized programs that promote shooting matches, target shooting
and gun safety.”

We believe this bill would be far more useful if it simply allowed safe shooting ranges to be constructed.

SB385  “Adds justice court and municipal court to definition of court facility in which firearms and other weapons are prohibited except in specified circumstances.”

Currently, those courts are not included in the law that prohibits persons with CHL’s from being in court facilities.  However, even without a law specifically prohibiting guns, judges in Municipal Courts already have the power to ban guns based on their authority as judges.

Most “municipal” courts are rooms used occasionally as courtrooms and for other purposes such as city council hearings other times. If this bill passes, those rooms would be off limits to gun owners all the time, even when the room or building was being used for other things and there was no judge present.  We strongly oppose this bill and suggest you contact the Judiciary Committee to express your opposition as well.

On the same day, the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing two bills that extend the rights of retired police to carry concealed firearms.

Those bills are HB 2537 and HB 2348.