'Safe Gun Storage' Petition Will Vie for Oregonian Signatures

Unlike the 'Assault Weapons Ban' petition, this one only seeks to tighten up rules on storing, transporting and allowing minors the use of firearms.

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 4:12 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2018 11:36 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Another petition aimed at stricter gun laws  has been filed in Oregon state. This one, however, would only make relatively modest changes to how firearms are stored, transported, and shared with minors—according to the group Oregonians for Safe Gun Storage, who filed the petition.

“Establishing clear standards for responsible firearm storage will save lives," said chief petitioner and Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership PAC leader Jenna Yuille. "Unsafely stored firearms pose an immediate danger. People who gain unintended access often cause harm to themselves and others” 

The new petition would make the following changes to Oregon law, according to the group:

• Firearms would have to be secured with a trigger or cable lock or in a locked container when the firearm is not carried by or under the owner’s direct control.
• Firearms would have to be transferred in a locked container, or with a trigger or cable lock engaged.
• A lost or stolen firearm would have to be reported within 24 hours of the time a person knew or should have known about the loss or theft.
• Apart from firearms owned by the minor, a minor would not be able to carry or control another person’s firearm unless the use of the firearm is being directly supervised.
• Except in matters of self-defense or defense of another person, a person whose violation of this measure resulted in injury to person or property would be strictly liable for the injury.
• Each firearm owned, possessed, or transferred in violation of this measure would constitute a separate violation. Violations would range from Class C violations to Class A violations, and would carry fines from up to $500 to up to $2,000 per violation.

According to a statement from the group, the two chief petitioners—Yuille and Paul Kemp—both lost family members during the shooting at Clackamas Town Center in 2012. The individual responsible had gained unauthorized access to a gun that the owner had failed to safely store, the group said.

Initiative 44—which falls directly after Initiative 43, the 'Assault Weapons Ban'—was filed with the subject "Oregonians for Safe gun Storage and Reporting Lost/Stolen Firearms."

As a statutory initiative, 44 (like 43) requires at least 1,000 initial sponsorship signatures for the ballot drafting process to begin. After that, the petitioners will need to get a total of 88,184 signatures to have the initiative appear as a ballot measure in November.

“The majority of Oregon gun owners are responsible and already practice safe gun storage,” said Henry Wessinger, community leader and third chief petitioner. “It is past time to set standards and consequences for the minority of Oregon gun owners who create tragic situations for others because of their negligence.”

The text of the initiative can be viewed below.

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