SALEM, Ore. (KGW) — On Tuesday, the Oregon House passed HB 2005, or the “gun violence prevention bill.” It aims to crack down on so-called ghost guns, would raise the age to purchase certain firearms, and would allow municipalities to make their own decisions on whether guns should be outlawed on public property.
Supporters and sponsors call the bill modest but meaningful, while opponents see it as flawed and extreme, and believe it will not increase public safety.
After an hours-long debate on the House floor on Tuesday, representatives opposed to House Bill 2005 voted, shouting, “a constitutional no.” However, with the Democratic majority voting in favor, 35-24, the measure passed. The bill now moves to the Senate for approval.
“Overall, it reflects a common sense approach to a problem that we all wish – and I think I can speak for everybody – we all wish we did not have to try and solve,” said Democratic Rep. Paul Evans.
“As a responsible gun owner myself, I understand that we must respect people’s right to bear arms, as well as people’s right to live happy, and fulfilling lives,” said Democratic Rep. Dacia Grayber.
Democratic Rep. Lisa Reynolds agreed with her colleagues.
“This offers an Oregon solution to an urgent, nationwide problem,” Rep. Reynolds said, “And will make our communities safer while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners and giving high regard to Oregon’s inherited culture of hunting and recreation.”
Rep. Reynolds, a chief sponsor, said lawmakers have worked on this bill for nearly a year.
“I do think this is a modest, but meaningful and very practical common sense bill,” she said. “Those are words we throw around a lot, but I I do really feel that. I have to be perfectly honest, there’s times I wish it were bolder, but I’m really proud of the work that that we’ve done.”
In general, the bill covers three areas. First and foremost, it bans undetectable and untraceable firearms, what are known as ghost guns. This topic in particular has been spearheaded by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
“I call it the fourth times the charm because I’ve brought it forward to four sessions,” she explained Tuesday. “For those who don’t know what ghost guns are, they are [not serialized], which means untraceable guns. Think about what that means if a gun is used in a crime. And it turns out many of these are. They can’t be traced, that’s why they’re used in crimes.
Attorney General Rosenblum added that ghost guns are made out of plastic on 3D printers, and they are untraceable and undetectable.
The legislation also raises the age to purchase and possess firearms from 18 to 21, with some exceptions.
Finally, the bill gives local control to municipalities to decide whether they want to prohibit all firearms in public buildings and on public grounds.
House Republicans expressed their ongoing concerns about the bill ahead of the vote.
“Colleagues, we keep passing more gun laws and expected gun violence to decline. Gun violence is not declining,” said Republican Rep. Mark Owens.
“In classic Oregon fashion as of late, we deny the rights of honest, law-abiding citizens without actually tackling the real problems. This bill feels good and does nothing,” said Republican Rep. Ed Diehl.
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