SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon House of Representatives passed a gun control bill on Thursday, sending it back to the Senate for a final vote. Senate Bill 554 combines two previous bills — one allowing local jurisdictions to limit concealed carry, and another requiring gun owners to securely store firearms.
The bill passed largely along party lines, with House Democrats carrying it 33 to 24. Republicans representatives were either opposed or did not vote, and three Democrats voted against.
“SB 554 is a public health approach to the public health crisis of gun violence,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Smith Warner. “As someone who has introduced and fought for safe storage and other gun violence prevention legislation since I joined the legislature, I am proud of the work the House Democrats have done to finally pass this landmark achievement that will protect every Oregonians from gun violence.”
One aspect of the bill requires that guns be stored either with a cable lock, in a locked storage container, or in a gun safe. Failure to do so could result in a $500 fine, and the fine increases to $2,000 if the gun ends up in the hands of a minor. Guns would have to be likewise secured when transferred.
The bill would also require that the owner of a lost or stolen gun report it within 72 hours from when they "reasonably should have known" it was missing, House Democrats said.
SB 554 would also allow local jurisdictions and organizations that govern public spaces — such as colleges, school districts, and airports — to ban licensed concealed carry as part of a designated gun-free zone. It would remove the "affirmative defense" for people carrying a concealed weapon within a posted zone.
The state Capitol in Salem would be automatically designated as a gun-free zone, prohibiting the kinds of armed protests that occur periodically on the Capitol grounds.
The bill now heads back to the Oregon Senate for a concurrence vote.