Update on 3 main Oregon gun bills


by NW Spotlight

The House has been receiving thousands of emails and phone calls opposing SB941, and it’s making a difference! Please continue emailing and calling your representative to help stop this bad bill.

There are three main gun bills that are still actively moving through the Oregon Legislature.

1) SB 941 – “Universal” Background Checks

The most broadly impactful bill, and the one that has received the most media attention, is SB 941 – the “universal background check” bill that unnecessarily expands background checks to almost all sales and transfers of guns by private individuals.

As reported Tuesday in Oregon Catalyst, after passing the Senate, SB 941 passed out of the House Rules committee in a party-line vote (by anti-gun Dems) last Thursday after 7.5 hours of public hearings and now anti-gun supporters are trying to line up enough votes to pass SB 941 in a House floor vote.

Multiple sources are reporting that passing this bill through the House is not a sure thing, and that this is most likely the reason for the continued delay for scheduling the floor vote. Originally set for Wednesday, the floor vote has now been pushed back to Friday, or more likely to next Monday.

The House has been receiving thousands of emails and phone calls opposing this bill, and this is making a difference. Please continue emailing and calling your representative to help stop this bad bill.

Other helpful links on SB 941 can be found on Tuesday’s Oregon Catalyst article.

New updates on SB 941 can be found in an interview with Oregon’s NRA liaison, Dan Reid on NRA News here and from Oregon Firearms Federation here.

2) SB 525 – Expanded “Domestic Violence” Gun Bill

Another gun related bill still active in the legislature is SB 525, a bill that seeks to create an Oregon law to match federal laws already in place to prevent domestic abusers from possessing firearms or ammunition.

On the face of it, this sounds like a good idea. But SB 525 goes beyond federal law. A recent Associated Press article states that “the federal law applies only to current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends. The Oregon proposal would also include siblings, parents, children and intimate partners who may not have lived together.”

As it is currently written, SB 525 dangerously broadens the definition of domestic violence. Oregon Firearms Federation’s executive director, Kevin Starrett said, “So if a person gets into a shoving match with an obnoxious brother-in-law, under this bill they’ll be treated like a wife-beater. We believe this demeans real acts of domestic violence.”

SB 525 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party line vote (by anti-gun Dems) and is expected to pass when it reaches the Senate floor. Amendments have been introduced to pare it back so that it does not exceed federal law. If these amendments are adopted, it’s more likely to receive bipartisan support.

3) SB 913 – Ivory Ban Bill

On Tuesday, the Senate passed SB 913, a bill sponsored by Senator Mark Hass intended to help prevent the trafficking of animal parts from endangered species by banning the sale of ivory. This includes banning the sale of items already produced and owned that contain ivory, including guns and knives.

After public testimony, the bill was amended to allow for the sale of musical instruments containing ivory that were made before 1990. But covered guns and knives must have been manufactured no later than 1976. Because amendments were made post testimony, little is known as to the reason for this 14 year difference. The NRA’s Dan Reid pointed out that ivory from the same animal could ostensibly be used for both a musical instrument and a gun or knife, and so it’s hard to explain the 14 year difference in the amendments.

Other odd quirks of the bill include the protection of “endangered” wooly mammoths, as parodied earlier in Oregon Catalyst.

SB 913 is expected to head over to the Oregon House soon.

[UPDATE: NRA-ILA] Oregon: “Universal” Background Check Bill Scheduled for Final Vote on Monday – includes updates on SB 941 & SB 913