The first anti-gun bill was introduced in draft form yesterday by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
The draft was introduced as a “committee bill” which means whoever requested it prefers to keep her name off it.
The draft would expand the prohibition of firearms possession to “municipal” and “justice” courts.
As you know, most courts already forbid persons, even those with concealed handgun licenses, from having firearms.
As of now, the law does not include “municipal” courts in the prohibition. This bill would add them. This is dangerous and unneeded.
First of all, the courts have held that even though municipal courts (places where you typically go to pay speeding tickets) are not included in the statute as places where guns are forbidden, the judge of such a court may forbid them through his own rule. Many already do. So why do we need this law?
Many, if not most , municipal courts are rooms in other facilities or are used for other purposes in addition to being used as courtrooms. For example, some are used for city council meetings. Some are in police stations or other buildings that are used for many purposes.
Right now, when court is in session, a municipal court judge can ban guns in his courtroom while court is in session. Under this proposed legislation, any room that was used as a municipal courtroom, regardless of what else it was used for, or what else was done in the building it was housed in, would be treated, for all intents and purposes, as if it were a courthouse!
(2) “Court facility” means a courthouse or that portion of any other building occupied by a circuit court, a justice court, a municipal court, the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court or the Oregon Tax Court or occupied by personnel related to the operations of those courts, or in which activities related to the operations of those courts take place.
By this wide definition, any building housing one of these courts would become effectively off limits to gun owners. There are countless places that gun owners will be prevented from going while armed, even when they have legitimate business that is not related to court activities.
The potential complications and ramifications of this proposed legislation are enormous. And, it’s all totally unnecessary given that any judge can make this rule for his courtroom now.
This is just the first of many foolish and dangerous bills that will be on our screen in the coming months. Get ready to help us shoot them down.
You can see the draft here.