CLOSE OUT SALE IS COMPLETED. WE HAVE OFFICIALLY CLOSED OUR BUSINESS IN OREGON.
Activists have their say on Oregon Legislature's major gun control bill
By Connor Radnovich , Salem Statesman Journal on February 7, 2020
Activists on all sides of the gun control debate testified Friday at the first public hearing on a bill that would create a series of gun storage requirements and hold gun owners liable if their gun is not properly stored, then stolen and used in a crime.
Proponents of House Bill 4005 said it would help lower the state's suicide rate, particularly among children, and keep guns out of hands of people who might use them in mass shootings.
"The firearm is a deadly weapon. It makes sense to require people who own them to take simple measures that reflect that reality," said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. "We are all safer when guns are stored safely."
Opponents said the bill is an overly broad approach that would hamper a gun owner's ability to defend themselves and unfairly expose them to repercussions if a crime is committed with their firearm.
"Firearm owners should and do store their firearms in a manner that's appropriate to their situation to prevent unauthorized access. But every person's situation is different," said Keely Hopkins, Oregon director of the National Rifle Association. "A household full of children will have different storage needs than a single woman living alone in Portland or a ranching family in Eastern Oregon."
HB 4005 is the main piece of gun legislation being considered at the Oregon Legislature this session.
It is also known as the Cindy Yuille and Steven Forsyth Act, named for the two people killed in the 2012 Clackamas Town Center shooting. The semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting was stolen by the shooter after it was kept unsecured in a friend's home.
The bill would require that when a gun is not being carried, it is secured with either a trigger or cable lock, or in a locked container.
Firearms could only be transferred while similarly secured.
If a gun is not stored in the manner described and later taken and used to injure a person or property within two years, the gun owner is held liable for that injury.
However, the gun owner is exempt from liability if an unsecured firearm is taken by someone who breaks into their home. There are a number of other liability exemptions written into the bill.
A gun owner would be required to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 72 hours of when they learned or should have learned of its absence. If a report is not made, the gun owner would be held liable for any injury inflicted by that firearm from after that 72 hours is up until a report is made or two years have passed.
Violators of any provisions in the bill would face a fine.
Petitioners are advancing an initiative with similar storage requirements and are hoping to get it on the November 2020 ballot. It was appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court and is awaiting a ruling, according to the Secretary of State's website.
Opponents of the bill have a variety of concerns.
Chief among them is how HB 4005 might impact a person's ability to defend themselves with a gun. In a stressful situation, such as a home invasion, they said it would be very difficult to quickly unlock a gun stored under these guidelines.
In addition to being cumbersome under pressure, firearms experts have said that trigger locks are not an effective secure storage device.
There was also worry about the strict liability the bill applies to gun owners who have a firearm stolen. Some testified that a gun owner might need to prove they had a gun secured properly when it was taken, which could be difficult after it's gone.
"HB 4005 is, I'm afraid, a one-size-fits-all approach that could impose some real barriers to the rights of Oregonians to own and use guns for legitimate purposes," said Dan Cushing, a lobbyist representing the nonprofit Oregon Gun Owners.
Those in support of the proposal compared safe gun storage to driving with a seat belt: It's a common-sense provision that would prevent needless deaths. Moreover, most gun owners in the state already abide by these provisions.
Proponents testified that other states have seen a decline in their youth suicide rate after enacting similar legislation, which is one of the goals with HB 4005.
Oregon's suicide rate is far above the national rate. In 2019, about 18 per 100,000 people killed themselves in Oregon, whereas the national rate was 13 per 100,000.
Safe storage could also keep guns out of the hands of those who would use them to commit mass shootings.
Paul Kemp, Forsyth's brother-in-law, testified that most handguns and long guns sold from retail outlets already come with locking devices.
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"There is no excuse to not use a locking device on a firearm. You've already bought it, in most cases," Kemp said. "It's a conscious choice to leave firearms unsecured. This careless act could lead to tragic results."
The other gun bill this session is Senate Bill 1538, which would grant local authorities the power to regulate firearm access in public buildings. An initial public hearing for that bill had not been scheduled as of Friday afternoon.
Both provisions were a part of last year's SB 978, a multifaceted proposal that included several other gun control measures.
The bill was a casualty of the deal that got Senate Republicans to end a four-day walkout over public employee pension reform and a multi-billion-dollar education revenue bill.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.
March 20, 2020
NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and its partners urge gun owners to keep firearm safety a top priority and are making safety resources widely available as gun and ammunition sales increase, especially among first-time firearm purchasers.
“During this stressful time and with children spending more time at home, the firearm industry reminds gun owners that protecting yourself and your family includes making sure your firearms are stored securely when not in use,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “The last thing any firearm owner wants is to have their gun fall into the wrong hands, particularly those of a child or someone at risk of harming themselves.”
NSSF is working with firearm retailers nationwide to ensure they discuss safe storage options with their customers, whether they are new to gun ownership or experienced. Although safety is something firearm retailers regularly talk about with their patrons, the reminder by NSSF comes at a time when retailers across the country are extremely busy due to rising interest in firearm ownership.
For anyone considering buying a gun, Project ChildSafe®’s “Road To Responsible Firearm Ownership” tool discusses the basic safety steps a gun owner can take to ensure responsible ownership. Project ChildSafe’s “Many Paths to Firearm Safety” video series can also help gun owners understand how to determine the best safe storage device for their lifestyle, as can this Safe Storage Options infographic.
NSSF encourages gun owners and non-gun owners to use the library of firearm safety resources available on its Project ChildSafe website. These include the McGruff Gun Safety videos for young children and an educational video for parents on how to discuss gun safety with children of all ages.
“More parents are assuming the role of educators in their homes, so it’s a good to time have a talk with your kids about gun safety, even if you don’t own a gun,” Bartozzi said. “If you do own a firearm, be sure your family understands the safety rules regarding firearms in your home, and always store guns responsibly when not in use.”
Although the number of fatal firearm accidents is at historic lows, such accidents are almost always preventable. Proper firearm storage is the #1 way to help prevent accidents, as well as deter thefts. Secure storage can also play a role in helping to prevent access by persons going through a difficult time.
Since 2017, NSSF has partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to educate gun owners about mental wellness and suicide prevention. In this recent blog post, AFSP discusses taking care of one’s mental health during times of uncertainty.
In addition, AFSP and NSSF have developed a Suicide Prevention toolkit to help firearm retailers, shooting range operators and their customers understand risk factors and warning signs related to suicide, know where to find help and encourage secure firearm storage.
Anyone needing help for themselves or others can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or contact the crisis text line by texting TALK to 741741.
For more information on firearm safety, please visit ProjectChildSafe.org.
March 20, 2020
The National Shooting Sports Foundation® represents 9,000 firearms and ammunition manufacturers, retailers and ranges. Our members are committed to following the law and promoting the safe, legal transfer of firearms.
FEDERALLY LICENSED RETAILERS are required to run a background check through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) i when transferring a firearm to an individual. Firearms retailers rely on NICS to ensure the lawful transfer of firearms to law-abiding citizens. About 323 million NICS background checks have been conducted from Nov. 30, 1998 through Aug. 31, 2019; about 18 million have been conducted through August 2019 alone. However, a background check is only as good as the records in the database. That is why the firearms industry supports improving the current NICS system by increasing the number of prohibiting records states submit to the FBI databases, helping to prevent illegal transfers of firearms to those who are prohibited from owning firearms under current law. Including these missing records will help ensure more accurate and complete background checks. States must improve the NICS database by submitting any and all records establishing an individual is a prohibited person, such as mental health records showing someone is an “adjudicated mental defective” or involuntarily committed to a mental institute, as well as official government records showing someone is the subject of a domestic violence protective order, a drug addict or subject to another prohibited category. The firearms industry has a long record of supporting background checks. The NSSF-supported background checks prior to the passage in 1993 of the Brady Act that created a point of retailer sale background check system and NICS in 1998. The existing background check system must be fixed, however, before Congress even considers whether to expand background checks, otherwise we’ll just have more incomplete and inaccurate checks.
Oregon Ban on Assault Weapons Initiative (2020)
Proponents initially filed Initiative 16, but then filed a second, updated version, Initiative 17.
The measure would define assault weapons and make it a crime to own one.
Greg Wasson is the sponsor of the measure.
AmmoLand and the Oregon Firearms Federation oppose the initiative, saying "it's a full frontal assault."
In Oregon, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated state statute for the ballot is equal to 6 percent of the votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. Signatures for Oregon initiatives must be submitted four months prior to the next regular general election. State law also requires paid signature gatherers to submit any signatures they gather every month.
Moreover, Oregon is one of several states that require a certain number of signatures to accompany an initiative petition application. The signatures of at least 1,000 electors are required to trigger a review by state officials, a period of public commentary, and the drafting of a ballot title. Prior to gathering these initial 1,000 signatures, petitioners must submit the text of the measure, a form disclosing their planned use of paid circulators, and a form designating up to three chief petitioners. The 1,000 preliminary signatures count toward the final total required.
The requirements to get an initiated state statute certified for the 2020 ballot:
In Oregon, signatures are verified using a random sample method. If a first round of signatures is submitted at least 165 days before an election and contains raw, unverified signatures at least equal to the minimum requirement, but verification shows that not enough of the submitted signatures are valid, additional signatures can be submitted prior to the final deadline.
THE NATIONAL POLITICAL debate surrounding mass shootings in the U.S. has become so predictable in recent years that a frustrating, familiar pattern emerges when one inevitably happens.
Decrying the bloodshed, irate Democrats in Congress demand tougher gun laws. Obstinate Republicans point to the Second Amendment and perhaps a self-defense shooting. Deadlock on Capitol Hill ensues, time passes, nothing changes and the nation moves on.
Then the next multiple-casualty shooting erupts somewhere in America, starting the cycle again.
But shocking, back-to-back massacres in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio in August and another at month's end in Odessa, Texas, has stoked public anger. Coming amid the Democrats' ongoing 2020 presidential primary campaign, internal scandal roiling the powerful National Rifle Association and the rise in influence of nonprofit gun-safety groups like Never Again, the bloodshed-as-usual dynamic may have been altered.
As a result, all of the major Democratic presidential candidates have built gun control policies into their platforms or have staked out their positions on the stump.
Most of the Democratic contenders have a few gun-control positions in common: support for universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and so-called "red flag" laws that would allow police to confiscate guns from persons deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
Nine of the candidates own guns, and Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur, is the only one who doesn't favor an assault weapons ban. All but two – Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock – support a government program that would compensate legal owners if those weapons are banned.
Along with universal background checks, Biden favors an assault weapons ban, and "smart guns" – technology that blocks a gun from firing unless the owner's finger is on the trigger. Opposes gun licensing as ineffective.
Jonathan Metzl, director of Vanderbilt University Center for Medicine, Health, and Society and an expert on gun violence, says the gun debate is getting people to the polls because public anger is at a boiling point because of school shootings and other mass shootings. Leaders have to engage on the issue, he says, or pay the price at the ballot box in November 2020.
"I do feel like things are different," says Metzl, a psychiatrist and author of "Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America's Heartland." In this election cycle, he says, "it's just impossible for Democrats not to articulate a way out of this horrible situation – it's increasingly untenable" to ignore.
Currently under federal law, before a licensed gun dealer can sell someone a firearm they must run a government check on the buyer, looking at factors like his or her criminal background and mental health history. But sellers who aren't licensed, such as an internet merchant, an owner selling to a relative or a vendor at a gun show, don't have to; universal background checks would close those loopholes.
Banning military-inspired rifles like the AR-15 is a back-to-the-future idea: In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a law prohibiting the sale of those weapons, but the ban expired in 2004.
There's no question that gun violence has become a centerpiece issue for Democrats, Daniel Webster, director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins University says. He believes it could in fact become a major factor in deciding the party's nominee.
"I just think that, in particular, Democrats see this as a very important issue that is not being addressed and they want to present various proposals to address it," he says. Still, "how far that goes (if they defeat Trump) really depends upon what happens in the 2020 (congressional) elections."
And, the issue is unlikely to go away: a Gallup poll found nearly two-thirds of the public favors stricter gun laws, a number that has been ticking up steadily since 2015. Mourners at a vigil shortly after the Dayton shooting heckled Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine, a Republican, with chants of "Do something!" as he spoke. And Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, an El Paso native who represented the city in Congress, temporarily suspended his campaign not long after the shooting there.
And student activists, who survived the mass shooting last year at their high school in Parkland, Fla. – and led nationwide demonstrations they called March for Our Lives, including a protest in Washington, D.C., to demand government action – continue to push for new gun laws.
At the same time, Shannon Watts, co-founder of the gun safety nonprofit Moms Demand Action, says Republicans who ignore public anger at the bloodshed, and Democrats who put out timid gun-control plans, do so at their peril.
"This is the number-one issue for suburban women voters," Watts says. "If the (GOP-controlled) Senate thinks they can slow-walk (House-approved gun) legislation and this issue will go away and momentum will dissipate, they've got another thing coming. This will be the most important issue in 2019 and 2020."
President Donald Trump – who said he favored background checks in the days after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton – has sent mixed signals since then, after a conversation with Wayne LaPierre, a top NRA official.
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, most often referred to as the Pittman“Robertson Act for its sponsors, Nevada Senator Key Pittman and Absalom Willis Robertson, was signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 2, 1937 and became effective on July 1 of the following year. It has been amended many times with several of the major ones taking place during the 1970s and the most recent taking place in 2000. Prior to the creation of the "Pittman-Robertson Act", many species of wildlife were driven to or near extinction by commercial/market hunting pressure and/or habitat degradation from humans. The Act created an excise tax that provides funds to each state to manage such animals and their habitats. Notable species that have come back from the brink since the implementation of this act include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and wood ducks.
President Trump voices his support for national right to carry, reforming our mental health system, ending gun-free zones on military bases and recruitment centers, and fixing the background check system. He also called magazine and assault weapons bans "total failures." On background checks, Trump noted that we should do more to incorporate criminal and mental health records. The majority of states already provide mental health information to the National Instant Background Check System. The issue regarding expanding background checks to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining firearms is navigating through due process, the right to privacy, patient-doctor confidentiality, and constitutional rights to make sure this process is fair, legal, and effective. Not every person with mental illness commits a mass shooting, though the mentally ill tend to make up the lion share of mass shooters. Moreover, not every mental illness or disorder should prohibit a person from owning firearms. I don't think Asperger syndrome is something that should prevent someone from exercising his or her Second Amendment rights. This is a huge part of the debate that the pro-gun control seems to view as anathema.
For information please see:
The Eddie Eagle GunSafe program teaches children in pre-K through third grade four important steps to take if they find a gun. These steps are presented by the program's mascot, Eddie Eagle, in an easy-to-remember format consisting of the following simple rules: STOP! Don’t touch. Run Away. Tell a Grown-up. At this kid-friendly website, children can watch the Eddie Eagle video, read through storybooks, join in sing-alongs, download coloring sheets and enjoy plenty of other fun activities reinforcing the gun safety message.
For more information see: https://eddieeagle.nra.org/