“This Is Not A Gun Bill.”
In its original form the bill was dangerously vague and a serious threat to Oregonians. The very people who drafted it admitted it could be applied to prosecute private security guards.
An opinion from “Legislative Counsel,” the lawyers who write bills, stated:
“In section 2 of HB 2572, the definition of “private paramilitary organization” is quite broad and could in fact apply to a private security company, since a private security company would not fall within the law enforcement exception in subsection (3).”
But the proposed amendment made the bill far worse and any doubts one would have about that evaporated after a hearing was held on the bill yesterday.
Grayber is a vocal proponent of gun control, so when she says “This is not a gun bill” you can rest assured… it’s a gun bill.
She went on to say:
“This bill is not tied to any one political or partisan ideology. The policy applies to all incidences that meet the definition of paramilitary activity EQUALLY. Any claims to the contrary are at best misguided rhetoric and at worst attempting to play and feed people’s fears with misinformation.”
As is always the case, Grayber did not quote a single “claim to the contrary” that she falsely labeled as “misguided rhetoric” and “misinformation.”
OFF’s testimony is published and available online. We invite Grayber to cite a single word of it that is “misinformation.”
But Grayber’s claims that the proposed policy applies equally are plainly absurd.
As we have pointed out numerous times (including to the Republicans who sat on the committee that heard this) the bill and the amendment repeatedly refer to organizations “under a command structure”. In fact, over and over during the hearing the proponents of the bill emphasized that element.
And as we all know, the most dangerous and violent political actors in Oregon today are described regularly by the leftists in power as a mere “idea” with no command structure.
Who was named as a potential target of this legislation? Not antifa, which was never mentioned one time in the hearing. Instead the proponents mentioned… “Three Percenters”.
While we challenge anyone to show us examples of “Three Percenters” burning buildings or looting, they certainly could be guilty of “publicly patrolling” while armed. An activity that has become necessary in many places due to the unprecedented violence by left wing rioters at a time when police cannot or will not respond. And it’s that very act of protecting private property this legislation seeks to criminalize.
Here is what the legislation outlaws:
Section 1:A person commits the crime of unlawful paramilitary activity if the person knowingly, while acting as part of a private paramilitary organization or on behalf of or in furtherance of any objective of a private paramilitary organization, and while armed with a firearm, explosive or other dangerous weapon: “(a) Publicly patrols, drills or engages in techniques capable of causing physical injury or death
Here is what they define as a “paramilitary organization:”
‘Private paramilitary organization’ means any group of three or more persons associating under a command structure for the purpose of functioning in public or training to function in public as a combat, combat support, law enforcement or security services unit.
Maybe Grayber and the other sponsors would like to explain how that differs from the average small church security team.
But if Grayber and her cohorts want to continue to hide behind the nonsensical pretense that this bill applies equally to all political ideologies let’s take a look at who the supporters of the legislation are.
The anti-gun League of Women Voters
The Multnomah County DA, and friend of left wing rioters, Mike Schmidt.
And their star witness, Mary McCord of the “Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection”
Much as we are fans of the protection of the Constitution, a brief trip around their website will make it immediately clear that they have little interest in the protection of the Constitution.
For example, they are vocal supporters of crushing the Second Amendment having filed briefs in support of banning modern firearms and magazines.
Mary McCord, who was the main mouthpiece for this legislation, has written about dangers of “right wing” militias while never mentioning the actual violence caused by left wing radicals.
The “right wingers” she condemns “… have endangered public safety — with fatal results — by self-deploying to “protect” property from what have been largely false rumors of antifa violence during racial justice demonstrations.”
She also writes : “Private militia organizations routinely urge their members to acquire semi-automatic assault rifles and military gear.”
She claims : “Six men involved with a private militia have been charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and try her for treason.” Conveniently neglecting to mention that the “kidnapping” was almost totally the product of Federal informants.
She attacks constitutional sheriffs saying : “But another likely reason is that local law enforcement officials are usually elected, and in jurisdictions where the local community is largely supportive of both Trump and private militias — often rural communities where strong anti-government and pro-gun-rights views predominate — there’s little incentive, and a lot of disincentive, to use the tools they have available.”
Her ridiculous claims that the legislation she is pushing will be applied equally is at odds with her complete refusal to even acknowledge that the violence our country and state have been rocked by is coming from the very groups this legislation exempts from prosecution.
(On a chilling side note, the legislation also carves out an exception for “Troops of a foreign government operating under the authorization or consent of the United States government.”)
Make no mistake. The people pushing this legislation are determined to create tools to entrap and prosecute anyone who is prepared to defend people and property against attack. They can dress it down any way they like but if one simply reads the language they have created it cannot be doubted what their intentions are.
While we have made several attempts to get the attention of the Republicans who sit on the House Judiciary Committee which heard this bill, they seem committed to ignoring the very real dangers it creates. Not one of them made even the slightest attempt to question the most obvious and egregious elements of the bill and amendment.
The Democrats have made no secret of their agenda to disarm law abiding civilians while emboldening and protecting criminals. The Republicans are asleep at the wheel.
If yesterday’s hearing is any indication of what we can expect from Republicans as the Democrats ram through more restrictions on our rights, we are in serious trouble.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee:
Representative Charlie Conrad
Representative Rick Lewis
District 18 – Silverton
Representative Lily Morgan
District 3 – Grants Pass
Representative Kim Wallan
District 6 – Medford