STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Oregon passes bill to keep guns from stalkers and abusers

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature pushed through a gun control bill Thursday after they sacrificed a more sweeping one — to the ire of student activists — in a deal with minority Republicans.

Posted: May 24, 2019 10:03 AM
Updated: May 24, 2019 10:14 AM

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Democrats in the Oregon Legislature pushed through a gun control bill Thursday after they sacrificed a more sweeping one — to the ire of student activists — in a deal with minority Republicans.

The bill senators passed 25-3 on Thursday is aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers.

Gov. Kate Brown told reporters earlier Thursday she looks forward to signing what she called "the domestic violence bill" that earlier passed the House.

"We have been able to make incremental progress as I have been governor, and we will continue to do so in a strategic and thoughtful manner," Brown said.

Brown was behind an agreement to drop legislation that would have allowed businesses to raise firearms purchasing age from 18 to as high as 21, and require safe storage of firearms.

That deal was struck to get the minority Republican senators, who were boycotting the Senate to freeze its activities, back into the chamber to allow passage of an education tax bill. Democrats also ditched a bill that would have limited exemptions for children receiving immunizations as part of the agreement.

Students complained that lawmakers "used our safety like a bargaining chip." Concern about school shootings were heightened after a student walked into a Portland high school classroom with a shotgun on Friday. The school's football coach wrestled the weapon away as students fled.

Brown on Thursday commended coach Keanon Lowe, a former University of Oregon star wide receiver, for "his very selfless act last week preventing what I think could have been a very horrible situation."

Several student protesters came to the Oregon State Capitol on Thursday, but Brown said she would not be meeting with them.

"But I'm absolutely thrilled that they're here in the building," she told reporters. "I think it's so critical, if we're going to continue to make progress around firearm safety, that students remain engaged."

The bill closes a loophole that allowed domestic abusers to hold on to their firearms. House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, who sponsored the measure, said a 2015 bill didn't lay out exactly how courts would take away firearms. Some domestic abusers were able to hold on to their weapons by avoiding court hearings.

The new bill prohibits a person subject to certain court protective orders from possessing firearms if the person didn't request a hearing, failed to appear for one or withdrew a hearing request.

On average, over 45 women in the United States are shot and killed by intimate partners each month, according to testimony from Trish Garner of the American Association of University Women of Oregon. Roughly 4.5 million women say an intimate partner has threatened them with a gun, she said.

Lift Every Voice Oregon, an interfaith group that backs gun control, presented to lawmakers on May 15 a letter signed by over 150 faith leaders in Oregon supporting gun control measures, including the one that was killed.

"Youth have cried out for an end to gun violence; in some recent cases, youth have even felt compelled to sacrifice their lives to save their classmates," the group wrote. "We as adults must do more to protect them."

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, who sponsored the gun measure that was sacrificed, has vowed to work on gun reform in the future.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9294

Reported Deaths: 209
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah230169
Marion156447
Washington144620
Clackamas77324
Umatilla6204
Union3471
Lincoln3272
Deschutes1920
Lane1803
Linn1549
Polk14912
Malheur1401
Jackson1310
Yamhill1318
Jefferson1260
Klamath1231
Hood River880
Benton835
Wasco751
Morrow721
Clatsop490
Douglas440
Coos410
Josephine411
Columbia310
Lake190
Tillamook120
Crook110
Wallowa100
Curry70
Baker40
Grant10
Harney10
Sherman10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 246550

Reported Deaths: 6265
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1077923457
Riverside18720465
San Diego15207377
Orange15065354
San Bernardino13152265
Imperial6824100
Alameda6384138
Fresno562677
Kern493977
Santa Clara4750159
Tulare4521133
San Joaquin429855
San Francisco371950
Sacramento355969
San Mateo3376108
Contra Costa332678
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Kings258332
Marin244619
Stanislaus239144
Monterey174815
Solano147625
Sonoma12299
Merced120811
Placer75411
San Luis Obispo6752
Yolo58324
Madera5665
Santa Cruz4103
Napa3444
San Benito2572
Lassen2340
Butte2063
El Dorado2060
Sutter2063
Humboldt1384
Shasta1354
Nevada1231
Glenn1220
Yuba1031
Tehama881
Lake850
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Calaveras530
Del Norte511
Tuolumne430
Mono411
Inyo321
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Amador260
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 83°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 62°
Crater Lake
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 76°
Grants Pass
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 79°
Klamath Falls
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 76°
Beautiful 4th of July Weekend Ahead
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events