Filed by a newly formed group, Oregonians for Safe Gun Storage, Initiative Petition 44 would require gun owners to use safety devices to store and transfer firearms as well as report lost or stolen guns within 24 hours.
Gun owners who fail to safely store or transfer firearms as designated in the initiative could face a Class C violation. That violation could be bumped up to a Class A if the owner knew a minor could gain unauthorized access to the the firearm.
The law also requires gun owners directly supervise minors using their gun.
A gun owner could face a Class B violation if they fail to report a missing firearm and could be liable if the firearm is used to injure a person or property over the next five years. This would not apply to cases of self defense.
Oregonians for Safe Gun Storage filed this petition because “Oregon has no clear standard for how firearms should be safely stored,” according to their website. “That is why citizens are coming together to file a ballot initiative to make standards for how all residents should responsibly secure and store firearms.”
However, not everyone is behind the initiative. Phil Grammatica, a firearm safety instructor for White City Gun Club, says the legislation has good intentions but there are some red flags he sees.
“One of the issues I have when reading this is somebody’s liability for someone else’s actions,” he said. “How in fact should I be liable if they break through and use it for some terrible purpose?”
Grammatica agrees with safe gun storage but worries what problems this could raise for people trying to protect themselves in their own home.
“I keep the majority of my firearms locked in a safe,” he said. “But those firearms I’m going to use for personal protection, whether in my home or outside, are not locked because I need to have access to them.”
Petitioners hope this initiative will make it onto the November ballot.
It will need 1,000 initial signatures in order to receive a ballot title drafting process by the Attorney General. After which, 88,184 valid signatures will need to be submitted by July 6 in order to make it onto the ballot.