With no surprises, the Oregon Senate today passed SB 941, the universal gun owner registration bill.
Republicans made numerous motions to act on bills that would actually have a positive effect on the lives of Oregonians.
These included bills that would provide funds for improving mental health treatment, protecting the victims of sex trafficking. and aiding law enforcement in counties crushed by regulations that prevent them from generating revenue from natural resources. Every Senate Democrats voted against every single motion.
Senator Diane Rosenbaum used a procedural move to shut the Republicans down and force immediate consideration of the bill.
In the course of the floor debate it became clear that the chief sponsor of the bill, Floyd Prozanski, either had no idea what was in his bill or was willing to openly lie about it. He answered numerous questions with answers that were patently false.
The usual false statistics were trotted out by the anti-gunners. The truth about what this bill will do was hidden. The complications and contradictions contained in the bill were lied about.
Senator Elisabeth Hayward, who has admitted to an inability to function without psychiatric medication, made a bizarre rambling speech about mental health and openly lied about current law saying that now, people who conduct background checks have no protection from liability if they transfer a gun. Of course, this is false.
While Democrat Betsy Johnson voted "no" on the final bill, she did vote with the rest of the Democrats on two procedural motions to move the bill forward.
When asked what would happen if a person wanted to store his guns in a friend's safe (since this would be illegal under the bill) Prozanski said that maybe the local DA would just "choose not to prosecute."
This bill now allows you to transfer a firearm to the spouse or gay lover of a family member if you KNOW the family member is a felon, but not to a heterosexual girlfriend or boyfriend you live with.
Although Prozanski lied about it on the floor, the bill completely outlaws transfers of handguns to persons 18-21 years of age if they are not a relative. Of course, there's plenty more that makes this bill a nightmare.
The fight now moves to the House. And it will move very fast. Expect it to be assigned to the House Rules Committee instead of the Judiciary Committee where it would face opposition. And keep fighting. This is not over by a long shot.
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