Benefit concert rallies support for stricter Oregon gun laws

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 5:42 AM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Musicians, poets, and community members got together Monday night to drum up support for two initiatives that would tighten Oregon’s gun laws.

It was a night of jazz, gospel and spoken word music and poetry put on by a group called Lift Every Voice Oregon, which is a coalition of faith leaders in Portland. They put on the concert Monday in an effort to gather signatures and donations, and raise awareness for the two ballot initiatives.

IP-17 would require a permit to purchase a gun and ban the sales of large capacity magazines, among other specifications. IP-18 would be semi-automatic firearms and ghost guns in Oregon, with a few exceptions.

Rabbi Michael Cahana of the congregation Beth Israel is a chief petitioner of the initiatives.

“It’s impossible to stand by and say thoughts and prayers are enough. They’re not enough, action is need,” He said.

Lift Every Voice Oregon
Lift Every Voice Oregon(KPTV)

Poet Emmett Wheatfall said the gun violence in Portland has been devastating for affected families and Portland as a whole.

“I’d like to see our city get back to that kind of city where people across the country want to come and visit, to recreate, to come and live,” Wheatfall said.

Supporters of the initiatives said restricting access to assault-style weapons and bullets could help prevent mass shootings.

The group chose Monday night for a special reason. On April 4, 54 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. died from gun violence.