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The unimaginable debacle that this legislative session has been is not quite over.

After a 6 week protest that brought the left’s extremist agenda to a halt and gave hope to thousands of Oregonians, the Senate Republican Leader and a few of his more despicable cronies, declared unconditional surrender and helped pass HB 2005.

Under the current version of this bill, gun owners in Oregon could face 5 years in prison and $125,000.00 fines for the crime of having built their own firearms.

For centuries Americans have been responsible for some of the greatest innovations in firearm’s technology while building and modifying firearms at home.

Personally manufactured firearms have always been legal and never required bowing to the state and applying government regulated serial numbers for personal firearms that were not being sold. This kind of legislation has already been declared unconstitutional in other states.

The Senate Republican leader, Tim Knopp, has now crushed that personal liberty, placed gun owners in the cross hairs, and claimed it’s a massive “victory.”

Senator Lynn Findley said “These are major victories for accountability, accessibility, and civil rights.” He then went on to attack the very bill he helped pass by showing up on the floor.  You can view his comments here.

Only in the Alice in Wonderland fantasy world of politicians do people who rolled over and sold out the folks who hired them claim success when they gave up someone else’s rights.

(If you don’t feel abused enough, you can still throw away money on Oregon’s 13″ tee shirts and other crap.  Though they should change the name to  “Sell Out Swag”.)

But what makes the entire display all the more absurd and inexcusable is the fact that Knopp, and whoever else voted to go along with this deal, did so after the damage had been done to most Republican Senators and Independent Brian Boquist. (Senators Boquist, Robinson, Bonham, Hayden, Linthicum and Thatcher refused to go along with this sell out. Senator Girod as been excused for months for medical reasons.)

Now the best Republican Senators are no longer eligible to hold office in the future and the Democrats got virtually everything they wanted. For most people, the deal simply made no sense.  After Republicans reached 10 unexcused absences, the Democrats had zero leverage. Nothing.  There was not a single rational reason for Republican leadership to fold.

(Well there was not a single reason that benefited voters.  How the “players” benefitted may not be known for a while.)

This strategy seemed to be designed to guarantee the worst possible outcome for Oregon gun owners. It is impossible to imagine how this could have been a miscalculation.

But, it’s not over yet.  Since the language of HB 2005 was changed, it now has to go back to the House to be voted on again. The House has now scheduled the vote for June 21st. 

Keep in mind, none of the House members boycotted the floor sessions. They showed up every day and help the Democrats rush through bill after bill after bill.  They never put themselves or their political futures at risk for you.

The session must end on June 25th.  There is no way the members of the House could accumulate 10 unexcused absences between the 21st and the 25th.

The Republican House members now have the power to stop this atrocity at NO RISK to themselves at all. All they have to do is refuse to participate.

Given that House Republican Leader Vikki Iverson has been as rudderless and ineffectual as her predecessor Christine Drazan, and given, by her approving comments, she was clearly part of the “deal” that was cut to screw gun owners, it’s highly unlikely that she would take a courageous stand.

But it was not that long ago that the Republican members of the House promised to contribute $25,000.00 to mount a legal challenge to HB 2005.  And while that would barely be a downpayment on a real lawsuit, the House Republicans could save a few bucks by simply not showing up for the vote on this terrible attack on gun rights.

Since it is very likely that most Republican Senators will not be able to serve in the future (only Anderson and Brock Smith stayed on the floor to protect their jobs) there are going to be a bunch of Senate seats opening up. And you can bet that the House reps (who say they supported the walk out) are eyeing those seats and making plans to move up.

The Republican House Reps have a unique and cost free way to save gun rights and demonstrate that they actually stand for something. We think the chances of that happening are damn slim. One “Republican,” Kevin Mannix, (who we warned about from the beginning) is already on record opposing the walkout. But it is possible.

And for once, the Republicans who regularly complain that nothing is their fault because the voters don’t elect enough of them, might actually give voters a reason to elect more.

Is it a long shot?  Yes. The longest.  But it ain’t over till the last Republican caves. 

Call or email Iverson.  Remind her that Republicans inspired a lot of admiration while they were standing up. Remind her that you matter and you are furious that she would allow you to become a felon for exercising your rights. Remind her that walking out on clearly unconstitutional legislation is not an option, it’s a duty. And remind her that doing the right thing is a lot cheaper than a lawsuit.

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1455