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: 173626

Reported Deaths: 2457
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34641566
Washington23309229
Marion20037299
Clackamas15216204
Lane11478144
Jackson9846127
Umatilla795383
Deschutes698772
Linn410763
Yamhill407074
Malheur342558
Polk341752
Klamath340859
Josephine304262
Douglas302765
Benton272518
Jefferson205932
Coos196631
Columbia153326
Union141124
Lincoln129720
Wasco128628
Hood River112429
Morrow107815
Clatsop8838
Crook86819
Baker85114
Curry5919
Tillamook5763
Lake4137
Grant4044
Harney3046
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam551
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3714587

Reported Deaths: 60922
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122811823601
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2944644544
San Diego2745663662
Orange2687624886
Santa Clara1167722013
Kern1077641317
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1004311642
Alameda850891475
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66839781
Stanislaus603061028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43260352
San Mateo41050560
San Francisco35947517
Santa Barbara33830446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29632311
Imperial27920718
Kings22755245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16234239
Santa Cruz15554203
Marin13851226
Yolo13547199
Shasta11677217
Butte11529196
El Dorado9688109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito596963
Lassen566624
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador361646
Humboldt358737
Lake339943
Glenn235425
Colusa219216
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4197
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
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