While other states continue to reduce restrictions on gun owners, Oregon presses forward to tighten the noose around them.
(The Senate recently passed a bill making the display of a noose a crime, so we won’t illustrate this post. “Noose” means a tied loop in the end of a length of rope or cord. We are not making this up.)
Today after multiple delays and backroom deals so secret even Burdick and Prozanski were apparently excluded, the House Rules Committee amended and passed out SB554.
The final version was made public only hours before the work session and after the public could comment on it. That’s transparency at work.
The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.
If the bill is brought to the floor as expected, it will pass. Bills like this do not get to the floor unless Kotek knows she has the votes. So if it makes it to the floor the only thing the House Republicans can do is walk out and deny a quorum, something most Senate Republicans refused to do when the bill was in the Senate.
Having only one bill to screw gun owners, while rewarding criminals. is less time consuming than having to run both bills and saves the Senate the hassle of dealing with a House bill.
Under the new version you will still need to lock up your guns and you will still be responsible for crimes committed with stolen guns. Because in Oregon, we don’t punish criminals, only gun owners.
There were some changes made in the prohibitions on public buildings. Now instead of all public buildings being off limits, you only face prison time and a loss of gun rights if you visit our (your) capitol, a school, or an airport terminal. We have no doubts many Republicans will consider this a massive victory.
The amended bill contains this language:
“(3) ‘Control’ means, in relation to a firearm:
“(a) That the owner or possessor of the firearm is close enough to the firearm to prevent another person who is not an authorized person from obtaining the firearm; or
“(b) That the owner or possessor of the firearm is in the person’s own residence, either alone or with only authorized persons who also live in the residence and who are not minors, and the residence is secure.
The drafter of this bill insists that this means that a minor can be an “authorized person.” The committee accepted that explanation. We simply cannot see how they can reach that conclusion.
Because of delays in the House caused by a report that someone, somewhere, was exposed to covid, (or maybe exposed to someone who was exposed) we cannot tell you when this bill will reach the floor.
If it passes out of the House it will need to go back to the Senate because of the changes.
So, at this point both the House and Senate Republican leaders STILL have the power to kill this bill. The ball is in their court.
The Senate and House leader’s contact info follow:
Senator Fred Girod
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1709
Representative Christine Drazan
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1439