SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Oregon sees push for strictest gun storage law in US

The initiative would require guns to be secured with a trigger or cable lock, or in a locked container. It also mandates that a lost or stolen firearm be reported within 24 hours.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 6:00 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 6:10 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Carol Manstrom says she lost her 18-year-old son when he grabbed his father's unsecured pistol and shot himself. Paul Kemp lost his brother-in-law when a man opened fire with a stolen AR-15 assault-style rifle at a shopping mall.

On Wednesday, Manstrom and Kemp helped deliver 2,000 signatures to Oregon's elections office as part of an effort to get a measure on the 2020 ballot that would create the stiffest law in America requiring the safe storage of firearms.

The initiative would require guns to be secured with a trigger or cable lock, or in a locked container. It also mandates that a lost or stolen firearm be reported within 24 hours and makes violators of the measure liable for any injury from an unsecured weapon, except in matters of self-defense or defense of another person.

Massachusetts is the only state in the country that requires all people to keep their firearms safely stored when not under their immediate control, said Allison Anderman, managing attorney at Giffords, a gun-control advocacy group. The Oregon initiative goes further because each violation can carry a fine up to $2,000.

"I do believe this would be the first law of its kind in the country to impose strict liability on a person who violates the law," Anderman said.


CONTEXT: Petitioners introduced a similar gun storage initiative last year. The push failed following a state Supreme Court challenge that delayed signature-gathering efforts.


Manstrom, with a cardboard box containing the 2,000 signatures next to her, described how she lost her son Will in 2017, just a month after he and his girlfriend split up. Teens sometimes make impulsive decisions, Manstrom said.

"In the case of my son Will, it was a decision that we'll never be able to take back," Manstrom said at a news conference in the state capitol. "If a loaded gun was not easily accessible to him that night, I believe he would be with us today."

Kemp's brother-in-law was killed by a gunman who had stolen an AR-15 from an acquaintance. The gunman also killed a woman and seriously wounded a third person at the Clackamas Town Center near Portland before killing himself.

"The legal gun owner didn't tell police his guns were missing until (the mall attack) was national news," Kemp said.

Three state lawmakers, also appearing at the news conference, vowed to push a bill in next year's legislative session that would enact the same storage requirements. If it passes, it would render any ballot initiative moot. But if the bill fails, the measure would have a second chance by going directly to voters in November.

Anderman said putting anything between a person's impulse to take their own life and a gun could give the person a moment to reconsider.

Suicides account for 85% of gun deaths in Oregon, said one of the lawmakers, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, a Portland Democrat. The national rate is around 66%, according to Anderman.

Safe storage could also reduce the number of school shootings, since most minors who commit those arracks obtain the gun from their home or the home of a family member or friend, Anderman said.

A safe-storage law "can really address a whole host of gun related harm," she said.

A firearms storage bill was packaged with other gun-control measures during Oregon's 2019 legislative session that ended in June. However, the effort was scrapped by Democrats in order to lure back Republican senators who had staged a walkout over a school funding tax.

After the news conference Wednesday, supporters delivered the signatures to the elections office. To win a place on the 2020 ballot, 112,020 valid signatures of voters must be turned in by July 2.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32581

Reported Deaths: 542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7113137
Marion465894
Washington449760
Umatilla296241
Clackamas239861
Malheur161723
Lane118517
Jackson11395
Deschutes82512
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5298
Polk52915
Linn51913
Morrow4986
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2893
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2274
Clatsop2040
Josephine1982
Columbia1651
Coos1560
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook520
Lake320
Curry310
Wallowa301
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 807451

Reported Deaths: 15583
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2669886504
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54386925
Orange530691214
San Diego46331775
Kern31865367
Fresno28199382
Sacramento22183406
Alameda21136406
Santa Clara21030311
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16469205
Stanislaus16452351
Tulare15970263
Ventura12664150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11076101
San Mateo9843150
Monterey980771
Santa Barbara9037113
Merced8872142
Kings763177
Sonoma7369122
Marin6694117
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer356745
San Luis Obispo354429
Butte281944
Yolo279555
Santa Cruz23309
Sutter170511
Napa166913
San Benito134011
Yuba11537
El Dorado11094
Mendocino90818
Shasta80617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5465
Lake53911
Nevada5337
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 85°
Brookings
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 87°
Crater Lake
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 74°
Grants Pass
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 62°
Klamath Falls
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 74°
Critical fire danger Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events