Anti-gun politicians in Portland, Oregon are pushing a measure that would require firearms be kept under lock and key unless they’re being carried by gun owners, even in their own homes, and according to The Oregonian, the legislators feel confident that they’ll be able to approve the bill, despite objections from both gun owners and gun control advocates.
“Kids are dying,” said Hillsboro Democrat Janeen Sollman, one of House Bill 4005’s main sponsors. “And we need to make sure we’re putting public peace, health and safety above all.”..
The bill is sufficiently moderate, Sollman said, that one of Oregon’s particularly vocal gun control groups doesn’t support it, while at the same time it’s sufficiently strong that Oregon gun rights groups are against it.
“I feel like we’re in a very good place,” said co-sponsor Rep. Rachel Prusak, D-West Linn, touting the fact that neither the Oregon Firearms Federation nor Ceasefire Oregon support the bill. “To me, that’s saying we have good policy.”
The “nobody likes it, which is why we know it’s a good bill” seems like a rather odd attiude to take.
Gun control groups and Second Amendment organizations have very different reasons for their opposition, of course. Ceasefire Oregon doesn’t think the bill goes far enough, and wants the civil penalties in the legislation replaced with criminal penalties. Gun rights groups, on the other hand, say the bill is fundamentally flawed and will infringe on the right of self-defense.
The storage bill isn’t the only piece of legislation that should concern the state’s gun owners.
Two other gun control bills this session could be controversial but so far are garnering far less attention.
One would allow schools, cities, counties and other local jurisdictions to set their own rules on where people can carry guns.
Now, people with concealed handgun licenses are allowed to take their guns into public buildings. Under Senate Bill 1538, local government agencies could forbid that. The core principle behind the bill, chief sponsor Sen. Ginny Burdick said, is to respect the different needs of different communities.
“The gun enthusiasts think it’s very dangerous to have a gun-free environment. And people like me – the more guns, the more dangerous,” the Portland Democrat said. “Under this bill, neither side would prevail.”
House Bill 4036 would designate Portland International Airport’s passenger terminal as a public building, adding it to the state’s shortlist of places where people need to have a concealed handgun license to bring a gun.
That’s a cute argument from Burdick, but it’s simply not true. Under her bill, anti-gun activists would surely prevail in the state’s biggest cities, while more rural jurisdictions would likely stick with the status quo. The problem is that our right to keep and bear arms isn’t a right established through local ordinances or even state statute. It’s a right that pre-dates our Constitution, and it’s a right that shouldn’t expand or contract based on your ZIP code or the population density of your town.
The same holds true for HB4036. If it were to pass along with SB1538, the pre-security area of the Portland International Airport would almost certainly become a gun-free zone for no other reason than to appease the fears of anti-gun lawmakers and activists.
Oregon has several major problems to deal with at the moment, including a rising homeless rate and an increasing crime rate that’s driven by drug and gang violence, not the state’s legal gun owners. Targeting those citizens who are simply exercising their constitutional rights while ignoring the real cause of the increase in violent crime won’t make anyone safer, but it most certainly will put their constitutional rights in jeopardy.
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