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Criminalization of Firearm Possession Bill Moves Forward
Creates a plethora of “gun-free” zones

The Senate Committee on Judiciary voted to send SB 554, which allows local jurisdictions to decide whether to ban otherwise legally carried guns in public buildings, to the floor of the Oregon Senate for a vote.

“In light of increasing violence and threats of harm by extremists, we cannot wait any longer to pass Senate Bill 554. The growing number of firearm purchases and applications for Concealed Handgun Licenses is concerning,” said Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) who introduced Senate Bill 554. “This bill will allow local entities to determine if they should allow or disallow loaded firearms in their buildings or on their property. That way, the decision is made at the local level, and local leaders can choose what’s best for their own community.”

As was pointed out in an earlier article on HB 3268 which would ban guns in the Capitol the claim of "extremists" is starting to become a little threadbare as an excuse for banning guns and boarding up the Capitol building while the Legislature is in session. This is especially true in light of the fact that there are few incidents and even fewer arrests. This is no small deal either. The legislation proposes five years in prison and $125,000 in fines.

Under current Oregon law, concealed handgun license holders have an affirmative defense for the crime of possessing a firearm in airports and public buildings – including schools. SB 554 allows school districts and local governments to criminalize the possession of firearms on their premises.

Many have noted that those who are citing safety as a reason to take away citizens' right to bear arms, were the same lawmakers who looked the other way -- or even supported -- at Portland riots. Many have also voted for legislation in special session last summer which put restrictions on police and their ability to enforce safety. SB 554 would create a spate of "gun-free" zones, which are the very places that shooters seem to prefer, knowing that they will have prolonged access to unarmed targets.

The measure passed out of committee on a party line vote, and now moves to the Senate Floor for consideration.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-26 09:25:48Last Update: 2021-02-25 17:50:14



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