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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.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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