Will Covid Kill Gun Rights?
In the wake of earlier shut downs and unchecked urban rioting, followed by wildfires that devastated much of the state, Kate Brown has imposed extreme new restrictions on your liberty and right to assemble.
Not only has she threatened arrest and jail time for people whose churches include 26 or more people should they have the audacity to meet, she has promised those same punishments for meeting in your own home.
Brown has now imposed a restriction on “social gatherings” limiting them to 6 people from “no more than two households.” It is unclear how this applies to families with more than 6 members, but what is clear is they better not invite even one more person to their home. (Homeless shelters are not bound by these rules.)
Brown has also reinstituted an end to visiting the elderly in care facilities.
Irrespective of your position on these measures, there is no doubt that they have caused unimagined damage to businesses, cost countless jobs, vastly increased the rates of suicide, substance abuse and domestic violence and guaranteed that a vast number of older Oregonians will die alone, forbidden from feeling a last hug from a child or grandchild.
And while many thousands of Oregonians have lost their jobs, an untold number of them are still not receiving the unemployment benefits they are entitled to. (The state has generously provided Federal money to select Oregonians however.)
Whether or not these restrictions are lawful and constitutional is doubtful. House Rep Werner Reschke published a newsletter on Nov 15th stating “It is important to note that many of her orders are unconstitutional from both a Federal and State perspective. It does not matter what her reasons are, what she claims, or what statues she may cite.”
He then referenced the US Constitution’s 4th Amendment and the Oregon Constitution’s sections 9,22, and 30 in Article 1.
Senator Brian Boquist sent a plainly worded letter to the Superintendent of the State Police asking “Does the Oregon State Police intend to conduct extrajudicial raids against private citizens on their private property without a warrant signed by a judge from a legal court of law? Yes or no? Not asking or interested in rhetoric, propaganda or any attempts for justifications…. Simple yes or no.”
While Oregon law prohibits confiscation of firearms during emergencies, Brown’s belief that she has unlimited powers could well put you in jail for sharing a Thanksgiving meal with your loved ones or attempting to visit an aging parent. And a misdemeanor arrest will almost certainly lead to a loss of a concealed handgun license and any firearm in your possession at the time of your arrest. So there is no question that these draconian and arbitrary rules could well lead to a loss of your gun rights in addition to your freedom.
While the Governor has used Covid as a justification for imposing these totalitarian measures, her own underlings have provided little but double talk and evasive responses to questions about the reasons for these lockdowns.
According to a recent story in the Oregonian:
“A staple of previous reports, the state used new software this week and calculated but then decided not to include information about those severe cases because it didn’t appear to “give us the right numbers,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state’s epidemiologist.
Asked if the number of severe cases appeared too high or too low, he said he didn’t have details but “would look into it.”
That’s a vague and unacceptable response when you have imposed new laws, approved by no legislature, that curtail Oregonian’s freedom and put their gun rights at risk.
Other Republican legislators are questioning Brown’s new edicts though none as forcefully as Boquist.
Brown has called on local law enforcement to help enforce her mandates. At this point there is no way to know how many will agree to arrest people in their churches and homes but the risk is real.
As of now Brown has been able to impose her will virtually unchecked and her new restrictions are the most severe and dangerous yet. There is little reason to believe that her ever extended emergencies are going to end soon when they have given her unlimited control. She is an avowed opponent of gun rights and it’s safe to assume she would not hesitate to use her power to clamp down on gun owners.
For months the Oregon State Police have been providing only limited service approving gun sales with some people sailing through while others waited weeks just to have the approval process begin.
We believe these extreme restrictions are simply a down payment on what to expect under a Biden presidency, if for no other reason than that’s what he has promised. We strongly recommend you reach out to your county sheriff, and if you live outside of a large city, your local police, and request that they inform you of their intentions in regard to the Governor’s new dictates.
Freedom is lost one right at a time, and in Oregon the dominos are clearly falling.