Oregon House of Representatives. (Sam Stites/Oregon Capital Bureau).
The Oregon House passed a bill that takes up two gun safety measures that were scuttled in the 2019 legislative session.
THE ISSUE: Gun owners in Oregon aren’t required to secure or lock up their firearms. Local governments, including schools and city halls, don’t have the legal authority to ban people from carrying guns inside.
THE BILL: Senate Bill 554
WHAT IT DOES: Requires gun owners to safely store their firearms with a cable lock, locked storage container or safe. Those that fail to do so could see a $500 fine, which would increase to $2,000 if a minor gets their hands on the firearm.
Additionally, the bill would allow school boards, city councils, public university boards and others to make their buildings “gun-free zones.” The legislation would also designate the state Capitol as a gun free zone.
WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: Proponents of the bill say too many unsecured firearms have been used to commit crimes or have fallen into the hands of children. They also say school districts should be allowed to ban firearms to make classrooms safer, and the Capitol should be a gun-free zone after it saw a violent protest in December.
HOW THE MARION/POLK DELEGATION VOTED:
State Rep. Teresa Alonso León, D-Woodburn: yes
State Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem: Yes
State Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth: No
State Rep. Raquel Moore-Green, R-Salem: No
State Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence: Excused
Sate Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer: No
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: After passing the House on a 34-24 vote, it now returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote. The bill passed the Oregon Senate last month and needs to head back to the chamber after it was substantially amended.