Two gun bills were filed this week that we think you should know about.
While there are quite a few gun related bills in play in the legislature, these two are especially perplexing.
The first is SB 993. This bill is from Senator Brian Boquist, formerly a Republican and now an independent.
Boquist was also the author of Oregon’s gun- confiscation-with-no-due-process “red flag law”.
This bill is a straight up attack on core gun rights. It makes it a crime to carry an “unholstered” handgun. That means a gun in your car, in a purse, or in your pocket will be a felony.
It also makes “trespass with a firearm” a felony. That means that if a hunter accidentally strays onto private property they are felons and lose their gun rights.
The bill also requires a public database of all persons convicted of a crime “involving a firearm”.
That would include the lost hunter or a woman who carried in her purse.
It is impossible to fathom what Boquist hopes to gain from this bill which is a Democrat’s fantasy. Boquist has donated to the fight against 114, so this bill, like his red flag law, is incomprehensible.
The other bill, HB 3445 is the source of some confusion.
While some who have seen it think it’s a pro-gun bill, and undoubtedly the sponsors intended it to be, it has the potential to make things even worse for gun owners.
In our exchanges with three of the bills sponsors (most would not respond at all) it was clear none of them had read it. They all believed it was a bill that would allow counties to “opt out” of Mz 114. As you know, Mz 114 is still being held up by a court injunction and has not taken effect.
Under this bill counties could pass ordinances to remove their sheriffs and chiefs of police as “permitting agents” under 114.
The ordinances would also allow counties to bypass the need for permits-to-purchase if a county resident bought a gun in the county they lived in.
The problem is, while it removes sheriffs and chiefs of police as permitting agents, it replaces them with… nothing.
The permit system would still be in effect, but there would be no permitting agents. That would be fine for people who lived in one of those counties if they could buy what they wanted in their own county. But if they could not (some counties have NO gun stores) they would be prevented from buying a gun anywhere.
Their own sheriffs and police chiefs would not be permitting agents, and those people would have no other options to get a permit.
The bill leaves all the other onerous elements of 114 in place. It does not remove the magazine ban, the shotgun ban or the doxing list of people attempting to buy firearms that the state police are required to maintain.
We cannot understand how this is an improvement.
Two of the sponsors indicated that they did not believe the bill had any chance of moving forward. One called it “virtue signaling” and another said it had no chance of passing but Republicans had to “do something.”
It’s unclear how doing “something” that you think has no chance of success is worth the time and money spent. But there is another problem. While the Republicans believe their bill is purely symbolic, they have, once again, handed the Democrats a perfect vehicle to “gut and stuff” and use this bill against gun owners. And that IS something.