State legislators weigh in on controversial gun bill – SB 554

Senate Bill 554 appears on its way to becoming law, but it doesn’t come without controversy.

Ashland Democratic State Senator Jeff Golden said the goal of the bill is to reduce gun violence.

“My plea to people if they’re upset is to find out what’s actually in the bill. I get so many emails that are describing something that is not this bill and that I wouldn’t have voted for,” said State Senator Jeff Golden.

If Gov. Kate Brown signs SB 554, guns will be banned in the Oregon State Capitol and Portland International Airport terminals. It also allows local entities, like school boards, the option to ban guns on their properties. But that’s not all. If a gun is stolen, the gun owner has 72 hours to report it to law enforcement, or risk being fined.

The bill would also require guns to be stored safely with either a cable lock, a locked storage container, or in a gun safe if there is a child or guest is in the home. Regardless if a gun owner lives alone or not, under this bill they must have control of the weapon.

“If someone who is not authorized comes into your home, you have to be closer to the gun than that person,” said State Senator Golden.

The bill’s Democratic sponsors said more than 22,000 guns have been stolen in Oregon over the past 10 years. Josephine Co. Republican State Senator Art Robinson is against the bill.

“There’s a lot of push back from Oregon Firearms Federation and other gun groups since the bill has passed. It really was a terrible grab at gun rights,” said State Senator Robinson.

He believes the Senate bill is unconstitutional.

“The constitution said that the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed. Well, this bill sharply infringes to keep and bear arms,” said State Senator Robinson.

He said he and some other Senate Republicans didn’t show up for quorum because it would only help the bill pass. However, not every Senate Republican walked out, therefore, legislators were able to conduct business as usual.

“This is a one-day walk-out, I’ll be on the Senate floor tomorrow. It was a one-day walkout on that bill. The district in which I’m elected would be better off if I walked out today,” State Senator Robinson.

Gov. Brown has not publicly indicated whether or not she plans to sign Senate Bill 554. Click HERE for more information on the bill.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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