On Friday, January 15, the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee met during legislative days and introduced committee bills for the upcoming short session to convene on February 1st. As expected, anti-gun Senators introduced an egregious measure that is set to further restrict your right to Keep and Bear arms.
Temporarily assigned “LC 250,” this legislation strips away a person’s ability to purchase a firearm based solely on an allegation without affording due process of the law. An anonymous phone call or internet submission, alleging that a person is experiencing a “mental health emergency,” will place a 30 day hold on all firearm purchases unless the accused petitions the court for relief. The accused will be saddled with the burden of proving their mental competency by “clear and convincing evidence.”
LC 250 allows a wide array of persons to report, including health care providers, physicians, educators, principals and immediate family members. The legislation directs the Department of State Police to provide the accusers with more protections than the accused, which include:
- The accuser is to remain anonymous
- The accuser is protected from civil liability for reports made in good faith
- The accuser is only subject to criminal liability for knowingly making false reports
- The accuser has no burden of proof or criteria to fulfill other than the accused is experiencing a mental health emergency and is a danger to themselves or others
LC 250 has no regard for the accused and their constitutional rights because:
- The accused may not be notified unless they attempt to purchase a firearm
- May not be notified of who the accuser is
- May not be notified when the purchase restriction is to expire
- Is not subject to limits on how many times the hold may be renewed
- If the accused proves their competency, they may not know whether they are subject to future reports
- Places the burden on the accused to show by clear and convincing evidence they are not a “danger to themselves or others”.
- May require documentation from a mental health professional to help prove their competency
- Requires the accused to pay all filing fees if they chose to petition for relief
LC 250 will not improve public safety, instead this is a direct assault on your rights. In some instances an accused may never know that their rights have been taken because no notice is required. As seen in 2015 with the passage of Senate Bill 941, anti-gun legislators have no regard for your Second Amendment rights and have their sights set on placing unreasonable burdens and restrictions on gun owners in any way possible.
As we approach the upcoming session in just a few short weeks it’s imperative that your Senator hears from you. Please contact your Senator and politely urge him or her to strongly oppose LC 250 and any similar anti-gun legislation.