OREGON--- A new Oregon gun safety law passed in the 2021 session has a target date this weekend.
Senate Bill 554 takes effect Saturday, September 25, 2021, as the 91st day after the session’s adjournment, signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown. The law allows the state capitol, airports, schools and universities to prohibit firearms and require firearms be securely stored when not in use to avoid unintentional shootings and gun suicides.
The original measure, “Authorizes city, county, metropolitan service district, port operating commercial airport, school
district, college or university to adopt ordinance or policy limiting or precluding affirmative defense for possession of firearms in public buildings by concealed handgun licensees.” It modifies the definition of “public building,” for purposes of crime of possession of a weapon in a public building to include certain airport areas, buildings owned or controlled by public bodies and real property owned by college or university.
Gun safety advocates, such as Everytown, highlight that SB 554 “will require that firearms be securely stored and locked when not in use: Research shows secure storage legislation can prevent unintentional shootings and gun suicides. Right now, over 80 percent of gun deaths are gun suicides in Oregon. September marks Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.”
Everytown also says, “Armed extremism in democracy is not new for Oregon. During the December 2020 special session, armed extremists descended on the Oregon State Capitol. Security footage shows Rep. Mike Nearman opening the door to let extremists into the building. In January, the Oregon legislature decided to delay the start of session due to threats of violence in Salem. A recent Everytown for Gun Safety report in partnership with the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), details that Oregon had the highest number of armed protests between January 2020 and the end of June 2021.”
The act’s first page is a list of people who’ve died by gun violence or statistics about gun violence in Oregon, concluding with the rationale, “Whereas everyone has the right to be free from gun violence; now, therefore,” Senate Bill 554 was proposed and passed in to law in 2021.