Another gun regulation bill is headed for a legislative debate and vote, this time in the Oregon House.

House Bill 2510, approved Tuesday by the House Health Care Committee, would require the storage of firearms with trigger or cable locks, in a locked container or in a gun room. An offense is a Class C violation, which carries a maximum fine of $500, unless someone under age 18 obtains access, in which case it is a Class A violation with a maximum fine of $2,000. No jail time is imposed for violations.

The committee vote was 6-4. All Democrats voted for it, and all Republicans against it.

On March 25, the Oregon Senate voted 16-7 to approve a bill making state buildings — including the Capitol — off-limits to firearms carried by concealed-handgun licensees. Senate Bill 554, which went to the House, leaves it up to local governments to decide that question for their own buildings.

Oregon is among the states with no laws regulating gun storage, according to the pro-regulation Giffords Law Center. Laws in California and Washington apply to some aspects of storage.

When the House Health Care Committee heard the gun storage bill March 11, almost 400 pieces of testimony were submitted for and against House Bill 2510. Some people submitted more than one.

“We cannot gun-proof children,” Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, pediatrician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health & Science University, testified. “We must child-proof guns.”

Between 1999 and 2019, he said, Oregon averaged 3.5 deaths by firearms per 100,000 people, compared with the national average of 2.3 per 100,000. For youths under 19 during the period, he said Oregon averaged 6.3 deaths per 100,000, compared with the national average of 5 per 100,000.

“Gun violence is one of the leading causes of death for people my age,” Hope Williams, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Oregon, said in a statement after the vote. “We want to feel safe at home and in our communities and that starts with securely storing firearms to prevent gun violence.”

Students Demand Action, together with Moms Demand Action, constitute Everytown for Gun Safety.

“Even in a pandemic, our communities are continuing to endure gun violence everyday,” said Elizabeth Klein, a gun violence survivor and volunteer for the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “And, unintentional shootings and gun suicides have continued to rise over the past year. Secure storage is an effective and easy way to help prevent these tragedies.

But Oregon’s gun-rights advocates staunchly opposed the bill.

“This bill will subject hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens with potential criminal and civil liability overnight for actions that are perfectly legal today,” Paul Donheffner, legislative committee chairman for the Oregon Hunters Association, said in testimony to the committee.

Kevin Starrett is director of the Oregon Firearms Federation, which bills itself as a no-compromise group on gun rights. It even disparaged Republican lawmakers working on regulation of firearms sales at gun shows in 1999, a year after the group’s founding. The bill did not pass, but voters approved a related initiative measure in 2000 by a 62% majority.

Starrett had harsher words for lawmakers during his committee testimony.

“Gun owners in Oregon have been remarkably well-behaved,” he said. “But if you keep rewarding criminals and punishing the law-abiding, don’t expect them to stay that way.”

(7) comments

Tom Pained

“Gun owners in Oregon have been remarkably well-behaved,” he said. “But if you keep rewarding criminals and punishing the law-abiding, don’t expect them to stay that way.”

With threatening statements like that you wonder why people want to limit access to guns by bozos?

CardiacSpike

First, all Oregon lawmakers should make public announcement of whether or not they are gun owners...and if they have current concealed weapons permits.

Then, they should provide evidence those that do have installed gun safes in their homes.

Then, they should state for the record, that Oregon home owners / residents are exempt from the police having to have a warrant to enter / search their homes if this truly silly bill actually passes.

That said, more and more Oregonians are moving out of this socialist state and for many other good reasons other than this latest rant against gun ownership by legally responsible people.

Portland burns...Salem burns...Bend is near burning...yet the GOV of Oregon refuses to put these fires out. Instead..."buy a gun safe" is her mantra.

Absurd.

BuckeyeDuck

Hey Grey! Portland, Salem and supposedly Bend are or will be burning soon. I understood you were an officer of the law and an expert in diversity training. Tone down the fear mongering. It appears you're all in for everyone to own guns no questions asked and let's have the old wild wild West come back. If that's the case let's defund police because everyone is armed (no problem not being a safe owner). If anyone is absurd it's you.

Tom Pained

"First, all Oregon lawmakers should make public announcement of whether or not they are gun owners...and if they have current concealed weapons permits." First of all do you understand the purpose of a concealed carry permit? Good heavens man, think.

Thomas Who

Anyone who uses a firearm in self defense against a home invasion or car jacking would now be made a criminal.

BuckeyeDuck

Explain your conjecture in detail please. Nothing in this bill or article points towards that happening so I'll call BS. Nice fear mongering statement. Meanwhile, 8 dead in Atlanta after a purchase of a firearm only hours before. No licensing, no training to show competency, no proof of safe storage. Just eight dead. Oh wait another 10 just left our mortal coil.

Tom Pained

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.

-- Bertrand Russell.

I think Thomas Who may be evidence of the types of people Russell observed span all of man's existence. That and Q.

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