Yesterday, the Oregon Legislature adjourned sine die from its 2017 Legislative Session. This was a busy session for gun owners as many bills impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage saw movement this year.
In a last minute push by anti-gun legislators, SB 719a passed the House with a 31-28 vote. Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member in an ex parte hearing to deprive someone of their Second Amendment rights without due process of the law. This bill now heads to the Governor’s office for her signature. Please contact Governor Kate Brown and urge her to veto this bill!
Thanks to the active involvement of members and Second Amendment supporters, anti-gun SB 1065 did not see any further movement this session. SB 1065 was an omnibus gun bill that was introduced late in the session in an effort to revive two previously dead anti-gun bills, Senate Bill 764 and Senate Bill 797, which had received public hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This anti-gun bill would have required a firearm transfer delay of 14 days when the Oregon State Police are unable to determine eligibility, and would have added additional requirements to obtain a CHL license in Oregon that would have made it much more difficult for law-abiding Oregonians to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Additionally, several bills impacting hunting in Oregon passed the legislature and have been signed by Governor Brown:
House Bill 2566, sponsored by state Representative Brad Witt (D-31) will increase the maximum age limit for youth participating in the existing hunter mentoring program from 14 to 16 years of age. This expands opportunities for licensed hunters that are 21 years or older to mentor youth in order to introduce them to hunting.
House Bill 2883, sponsored by state Representative Ken Helm (D-34), authorizes courts to order the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to revoke all licenses, tags, and permits issued under wildlife laws and held by a person convicted of violating wildlife laws for unlawfully taking wildlife with culpable mental state, if the violation occurred while the person was acting or offering to act as an outfitter or guide.
House Bill 3158A, sponsored by state Representative Mike McLane (R-55), directs the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to expand a program which encourages people to report violations of wildlife laws. Under current law, a cash reward is offered when information leads to citations or arrests for the unlawful taking, possession or waste of antelope, bear, cougar, deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, mountain sheep, or wolf. HB 3158A will expand this program to include an option of receiving preference points towards future hunting tags.
Senate Bill 327A modifies the definition of “owner” for the purposes of civil liability related to land used by the public for recreational purposes, including outdoor activities such as hunting and angling. The Oregon Public Use of Lands Act was passed in 1995 with a goal of encouraging public and private landowners to allow use of their land by the public for recreational activities; however, a recent Oregon Supreme Court decision narrowed the immunity guaranteed to only include the actual landowner, but not employees or agents acting on behalf of the landowner. SB 327 expands the definition to include employees, agents, and volunteers of landowners that are acting within their official scope of duty.
Thank you to those NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their legislators this session, and also to all of the legislators that stood strong on protecting Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in Oregon. Your NRA-ILA will be back at the Capitol for the 2018 session, and in the meantime please stay tuned to your email inbox and www.nraila.org for further updates.