by Rep. Gail Whitsett
Editor’s note: A Lake Oswego pastor spent $3,000 of church funds to buy tickets for an AR-15 raffle in support of a girls’ softball tournament – with the intent of destroying it if he won. He did win, and after passing a background check at a local gun shop and taking possession of his AR-15, the pastor then transferred it to a parishioner, a “responsible gun owner,” to store in his gun safe. That transfer without an additional background check with both parties present violated the law created by SB 941 in 2015. In an interview on KGW on Tuesday evening, Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), one of the chief sponsors of SB 941, tried to say the allegations go against the spirit of the new law. She told KGW “[the pastor] was trying to do the right thing. He was trying to protect his own family by making sure the gun was safely secured – and that is not the same thing as somebody going into a store, buying a gun and then immediately giving it to a convicted felon.”
I gave a lengthy speech on the House floor regarding this EXACT issue. I asked if military men and women from our National Guard Base in Klamath (Kingsley Field) were to entrust their guns to friends (without a background check on each gun) while being deployed overseas, would they be breaking the law and in direct violation of SB 941?
The answer was an unequivocal “Yes” by the Democrat Majority leader.
I will post my speech so everyone can see just what the penalties are for ANY violation of this law.
It is not sufficient for the Democrats to now say giving a gun to someone for safe keeping without a background check is NOT a violation of THE LAW, SB 941. Either we abide by SB 941, or change the law.
The House and Senate Republicans spoke REPEATEDLY of the unintended consequences of this law, but the Democrats voted en masse to pass it anyhow.
Representative Gail Whitsett is the Republican state representative representing House District 56 – Klamath Falls