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Oregon Senate to vote on bill that could limit concealed carry in public buildings

SB 554 would let local jurisdictions decide whether to allow guns in airports, schools, and other public buildings — legally concealed or not.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 11:07 AM
Updated: Feb 25, 2021 11:16 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon state Senate will soon vote on a bill that could limit whether concealed handguns are allowed in public buildings. Senate Bill 554 would let local jurisdictions decide whether to allow guns in airports, schools, and other public spaces — legally concealed or not.

SB 554 was introduced by several leading Democratic Senators, including Senator Ginny Burdick and Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner. Thursday morning, the Senate Committee on Judiciary approved the bill for a vote on the Senate floor.

“As a father of teenagers, the conversations around safety in schools and the risk of gun violence are all too frequent. Guns have no place in schools. Senate Bill 554 takes a reasonable and commonsense step to improve the safety of our kids. I’m proud to support this bill,” said Senator Wagner.

As written, the bill would allow city and county governments, school districts, colleges and universities, metropolitan service districts, or airport authorities to adopt an ordinance "limiting or precluding the use of the affirmative defense" by people licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

Buildings that could be covered by the bill include airport passenger terminals, hospitals, capitol buildings, public or private schools and universities, a city hall, or the residence of any state official — including the adjoining grounds.

The bill requires that any entity that adopts this kind of ordinance post visible signs showing where these limits are in place. Violations of these ordinances would have a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, a fine of up to $125,000, or both.

The fee due to a county sheriff's office for initial issuance of a concealed handgun license would also increase from $50 to $100, and renewal would cost $75.

“As former military, and a former law enforcement and corrections officer, I am proud to Chief Sponsor Senate Bill 554. In those roles, I saw time and again that the presence of firearms among civilians did not prevent violence, but made the situation more dangerous,” said Senator James Manning Jr. “Even if it is a ‘good guy’ with a gun, that gun can be misused, or used against the ‘good guy.’ Limiting the places and buildings where we allow firearms is a commonsense measure which will improve Oregonians’ safety, especially the safety of government employees who work on behalf of Oregonians in every corner of this great state.”

The bill saw opposition from Republican lawmakers who spoke at Thursday's hearing, including Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod and Senator Kim Thatcher.

“Thanks to our rigorous concealed carry licensing program in Oregon, CHL holders are the good guys with guns,” said Senator Girod in a statement. “This bill is a 'solution' in search of a problem. The sponsors have failed to bring forth any evidence that this bill would make anyone safer. It would do the opposite. With violent crime on the rise, we can’t afford to severely curtail Oregonians’ right to self-defense.”

Senate Republicans cited FBI statistics that almost 3.2 percent of active shooting situations in the US have been "stopped with someone with a CHL." Other research they cited found that Oregon CHL holders are relatively unlikely to commit felonies.

“Concealed carry license holders are some of the most upstanding people in our state,” said Senator Thatcher, who is the Vice-Chair of the Committee. “These people are the ones you would want to be your neighbors and friends because they protect their families and others around them. The last thing we should be doing is discouraging people from helping keep our communities safe by creating an inconsistent standard of laws across the state.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 357526

Reported Deaths: 4284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55810707
Washington38782324
Marion36837455
Clackamas29779309
Lane27744302
Jackson23059310
Deschutes20336125
Umatilla14492150
Linn12911131
Douglas12118243
Josephine9384196
Yamhill8715113
Klamath8020119
Polk737381
Malheur563677
Benton549431
Coos503794
Columbia382644
Jefferson376052
Lincoln319939
Union319549
Crook291846
Wasco288841
Clatsop244328
Baker203529
Tillamook196932
Hood River192837
Morrow185023
Curry180625
Harney113927
Grant100013
Lake93912
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1523
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4848946

Reported Deaths: 71328
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148303126527
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3666614183
San Bernardino3586775692
Orange3242885562
Sacramento1596362309
Kern1463481648
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921400
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus862991335
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924352
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766787
Lassen754347
San Benito744972
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa133916
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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