Living in a state controlled by anti-gun militants can be frustrating, but your hard work is clearly having a positive effect. But don't relax just yet, there is more to do.
On March 5th we asked you to contact the House Judiciary Chairman and ask that he remove dangerous language from HB 2628.
That language in the bill would allow a judge to seize firearms from a person who was the recipient of a "stalking order." The problem, of course, is that being on the receiving end of a "stalking order" may mean no more than someone is trying to harass you. It does not mean you've been accused of, let alone convicted of, a crime.
Well your voices were heard. An amendment to the bill to remove the language that threatened gun owners has been introduced. The bill is due to be heard again tomorrow and we expect it to pass in its amended form. We will, of course, keep you updated.
On March 12th we told you about Deschutes County's continued refusal to take a stand for your rights in spite of overwhelming support for that position among residents. County Chair Tony DeBone was sending a message to voters saying "When there is a specific bill number then we may take a position in support or opposition."
This has been the position of commissioners of several other counties. They wanted to take no action until "they saw a bill." The obvious problem with this approach is that it waits until things are being rammed through before taking a stand. In other words, doing nothing until it's too late. It's also odd that elected officials would act as though the offending bill was merely a "possibility." The Democrat leadership has promised a gun owner registration bill and they control both houses. It's no secret the bill is coming.
Now as a result of your continued activism, Deschutes County has somewhat changed its tune, but it's clearly intended to get gun rights activists to leave them alone while really doing nothing.
On March 16, after saying "At this time I am not proceeding with a resolution from Deschutes county." and "The commissioners have determined that the most effective path at this time is to focus on specific legislation. We have directed staff to research any bills that involve firearms and the second amendment in Oregon's current legislative session." Chairman Tony Debone and the other two county commissioners did in fact sign a resolution. The resolution was proposed by Commissioner Tammy Baney, according to an email she is sending to voters, and contains the following statement:
"WHEREAS, Commissioners Tammy Baney, Alan Unger and Anthony DeBone are unwilling to single out any one section, Amendment or provision of the Constitution based on their concern that doing so will create the perception that one Amendment is more important than any otheror the Constitution as a whole..."
But of course, the fact is, that there is one Amendment to the Constitution that is under direct attack by the anti-gun leaders in Salem, and it is the Second.
This resolution is nothing more than an attempt to give the appearance of doing "something" while accomplishing nothing. We suggest you continue to contact the commissioners until they have taken an unequivocal stand in defense of your rights. Maybe Deschutes will have to follow the lead of Coos County where residents who, tired of the inaction of their commission, are taking matters into their own hands. Maybe the residents of Lane County will have to do the same. In spite of concentrated efforts to get Lane County to take a stand, their commissioners have stonewalled with the same tired excuses about "waiting for a bill." Well time is running out. And with every passing day, counties like Deschutes and Lane are looking like places in need of some real representation.
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