Oregon House Republican Office
Salem, OR – In response to the rushing of Senate Bill 941 through the Senate, House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) Thursday called for a thorough and extended discussion of the bill in the House to ensure that Oregonians from across the state could participate in the legislative process and share their opinions.
Senate Bill 941, which would expand background checks to the private sales of firearms, received a single public hearing lasting just two hours in the Senate Judiciary Committee, despite multiple overflow rooms that were filled with Oregonians wishing to testify on the bill.
“The unprecedented rushing through of SB 941 in the Senate is troubling and should concern all Oregonians, no matter where they stand on the issue,” said Rep. McLane. “There is no justification for the rushing of any piece of legislation in this building. Just as the Legislature opened up multiple hearings for paid sick leave, including an evening one, I’m today requesting the same courtesies be extended for any House discussion of SB 941.”
Wednesday’s public hearing for SB 941 in the Senate Judiciary Committee drew enough Oregonians to the Capitol to fill several overflow rooms. Dozens of Oregonians that both support and oppose the bill were denied the opportunity to testify in front of the committee due to the strict time limits put in place by Senate Judiciary Chair Floyd Prozanski. The public hearing lasted for just two hours and individual testimony was strictly limited to two minutes, with Oregonians being cut off in the middle of their remarks.
In contrast to SB 941, the Legislature provided numerous opportunities for lengthy discussion of legislation to mandate paid sick leave in Oregon, according to a February 19th article from The Oregonian:
“On Monday, when government offices and many businesses closed for Presidents’ Day, legislators listened to nearly eight hours of testimony during three committee hearings that began at 8 a.m. and ended past 8 p.m…During an evening hearing, it was the public’s turn to have their say as ordinary Oregonians came forward in cowboy hats and jeans, business suits and brightly colored T-shirts to praise or pick apart the two bills.”
“It’s clear that Oregonians are passionate and concerned about their 2nd Amendment rights,” continued Rep. McLane. “Assuming SB 941 reaches the House, we have an opportunity to get right what the Senate didn’t by providing various opportunities for constituents to be heard on this issue, including allowing an evening public hearing to make it easier for working Oregonians to testify. Should SB 941 come to the House, I look forward to working with the Speaker to make this evening public hearing a reality for Oregonians.”
Chief sponsored by Senator Prozanki, Senator Ginny Burdick, and Representatives Jennifer Williamson and Val Hoyle, all Democrats, SB 941 would require a private person to complete transfer of firearm by appearing with transferee before gun dealer to request criminal background check.