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Oregon: Bills Harmful to Law-Abiding Gun Owners Move Out of Committee

Friday, April 19, 2013

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed four anti-gun bills along with harmful amendments.  All of these bills are a direct attack on law-abiding citizens seeking to exercise their rights, and none of them present viable solutions to crime.  Below are descriptions of these bills as amended in committee.  Senate Bills 347, 699, 700 and 796 will soon be sent to the Senate floor for consideration, so please contact your state Senator today and urge opposition to these measures.

Senate Bill 347 allows a school district or other entity that controls school grounds to adopt a policy that would prohibit Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders from possessing a firearm in or on school grounds, and allows them to adopt a policy that requires CHL holders to store their firearms in a locked metal safe or vault.  The school district may not prohibit a parent of a student from possessing on school grounds provided that parent is accompanying the student to or from school and does not enter a school building.  SB 347 does not allow for other family members to accompany a child from school if they are carrying concealed or allow for a person who may cross through a school ground on a weekend walk.  A person who violates this school policy will be asked to leave and if they fail to do so will be guilty of a Class A Criminal Trespass.

Senate Bill 699 modifies laws prohibiting possession of firearms in public buildings, and bans open carrying of firearms in the state Capitol building.  Further SB 699 expands the definition of “public buildings” to include buildings owned or occupied by a public body and the grounds adjacent to such buildings.  The penalty for violation is a Class C felony.  The effect of SB 699 is such that a person could become a felon for having an openly displayed firearm on land adjacent to something discrete as property rented to a local irrigation district.

Senate Bill 700 requires background checks on private firearm transfers, criminalizing otherwise lawful private transfers of firearms.  Further, the person who transfers the firearm is required to have the purchaser complete a government form and to retain a copy of that form for five years.  This vague provision leaves the door open to penalize otherwise law-abiding gun owners for accidentally losing paperwork and could be used by the state for a gun registration scheme.

Senate Bill 796 requires that CHL courses must be taught by a live instructor and the CHL applicant must attend in-person.  The instructor, however, is not required to actually teach - just be present - and could still show videos the entire time so long as they are physically there.

All four anti-gun bills are aimed at law-abiding citizens.  These bills will not make Oregon safer; instead they seek to create criminals out of law-abiding citizens.

On a positive note, the Senate Judiciary Committee also passed Senate Bill 713 , which would allow shooting ranges to be constructed in zones exclusively zoned for farming.

Please contact your state Senator and urge his or her opposition to Senate Bills 347, 699, 700 and 796, and his or her support for Senate Bill 713.  Contact information for your state Senator can be found by clicking here.

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