Tomorrow, as you know, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be hearing SB 913, a bill to outlaw the sale of ivory. This does not outlaw the sale of new ivory, it outlaws the sale of almost all ivory no matter how old.
An amendment to the bill limits the definition of “ivory” to mean the tusk or tooth of elephants or mammoths and allows you to sell a gun or knife if it is less than 20% ivory by volume, and it has to be over 100 years old!
This is borderline crackpot stuff. How does a police officer trying to decide if you have broken the law, by selling grandpa’s old single action with ivory grips, go about determining the “volume” of a gun?
The proponents of this bill say they want to save elephants. How in the world do you save an elephant by rendering valueless an item that has ivory that’s 99 years old in it? And what could they possibly be thinking by including “mammoths” in this legislation? Mammoths are, well…extinct. Really. It was in all the papers.
Oddly, the bill still allows you to give ivory away. So, if you want to sell that old gun with the ivory grips, make sure you take the grips off when you sell the gun and give the grips away. Don’t even ask about determining the volume of a piano.
If you have not already done so, please contact the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Floyd Prozanski and tell him this bill makes no sense.Sen.FloydProzanski@state.or.us .
On Wednesday a very dangerous bill will be heard in the same committee. SB 525, in its current form, is one more effort to find a way to ban guns from as many people as possible. As you know, it is now illegal for a person who has been convicted of a “domestic violence misdemeanor” to own a firearm or a single round of ammunition. This bill wants to expand what “domestic violence” means.
The bill, on page 2, line 7, expands “qualifying misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence committed against a family or household member” to any other misdemeanor “that involves as an element of the crime the use of physical force.”
Included in the definition of “household members” are “adult persons related by blood, marriage or adoption. “ So, if you get into a shoving match with your obnoxious brother in law, now you will be treated like a wife beater and a judge will have unlimited discretion to forbid you from having firearms.
Several amendments have been offered to this bill. One simply corrects a numbering error in the original bill. The two others are real improvements.
The “dash 3” amendment removes the language that expands the definition of domestic violence.
That is important. The “dash 1” amendment removes the arbitrary ability of judges to take away gun rights.
Judges now have the power to take firearms away from people who have not been accused of, let alone convicted of a crime . This is a power too often abused. The “dash 1” amendment will go a long way towards correcting this lack of due process.
Please contact the Judiciary Committee and tell them you oppose SB 525 unless it is amended with the “dash 1” and “dash 3” amendments.
A sample message follows, please feel free to alter it.
To the Judiciary Committee,
SB 525 expands the definition of “domestic violence” well beyond what any reasonable person would determine it to be. This is dangerous and counterproductive. Please remove this provision.
Right now, judges have virtually unlimited discretion to take away firearm’s rights from people who have not been accused of, let alone convicted of, any crime. The proposed “dash 1” amendment would correct this often abused activity and allow an accused person to seek due process. I urge you to support this amendment if you move this bill forward.
Finally, Ceasefire Oregon, citing an “internal miscommunication,” has retracted an earlier email telling their supporter that Representative Jeff Barker was in favor of universal gun owner registration in the guise of “universal background checks.” As we told you previously, this was simply false.