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02.28.14 GUN BILLS RE-PASSED IN HOUSE

Two gun bills that started in the Oregon House passed through the Senate yesterday and were heard again in the House today.

The reason they were back in the House was because some changes were made in the Senate, and the House had to agree to the changes. They did.

HB 4068 , which corrects errors in current law and addresses CHL applicants who had a single conviction for a small amount of marijuana, and HB 4035 which allows corrections officers to travel to and from work with their own firearms were both re-passed in the House.

4068 passed without a single “no” vote.

4035, the bill to protect corrections officers, got only one “no” vote. That was from House Rep Carolyn Tomei, whose single-minded hatred for gun owners has now eclipsed even Prozanski, Dembrow and Greenlick. That’s astonishing.

Representative Greenlick actually voted in favor of repassing the bill although he voted against the original passage. He spoke on the bill today, saying that it was his policy to simply vote “no” on any gun bill. (Well, any gun bill that did not call for a total ban.) So his agreement to repass the bill is quite a big deal. Remember, it was Greenlick who, last year sponsored a bill to ban virtually all modern firearms and allow warrantless searches of your home by the police. Representative Barnhart, another legislator who also defaults to “no” and had voted against this bill the first time, also changed his vote citing the addition of language that now said corrections officers would have to store their guns in lockers, if the prison provided them.  While this is far from an expression of support for gun rights, it’s good to see that they behaved with a tiny shred of common sense this time.

Make no mistake, your constant efforts were the only reason these bills passed. Many thanks to each of you who took the time to make your voice heard. It made all the difference.

That leaves us with one more piece of unfinished business. SB 1551.

This bill is a dangerous gun registration bill that has been bottled up because of your extraordinary activism.

Although its sponsor, Floyd Prozanski, promised it would pass out of his committee and even promised it would pass on the Senate floor, your actions have prevented that.

Instead he was forced to move the bill to the Rules Committee where every indication is, it will die.  But, anything can still happen. The Rules Committee (unlike other committees) does NOT close until the end of the session.  It is entirely possible that, as in years past, an effort will be made to resurrect this bill and ram it through. So don’t relax just yet.

But, so far, we have once again been victorious thanks to you. Keep your powder dry, and thanks.