Gubernatorial candidates share stance on gun control

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 5:13 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The nation is still reeling from weeks of deadly mass shootings and gun violence. Many are wondering if there is anything that can be done and are turning to elected officials to see where they stand on the issue.

FOX 12 spoke with two of the three gubernatorial candidates about where they stand.

Former House Speaker, Tina Kotek toted her record on gun control measures but said it’s not enough.

“I don’t think if you are under 21 that you should have access to an assault rifle,” Kotek said.

She also wants to ban ghost guns and make sure those convicted of hate crimes cannot buy guns. As for an assault weapons ban, she said that should be done at a national level.

“I think the universal ban has to come from the federal level because then you couldn’t walk across the border and then buy them and then walk into Oregon, it really should be a national policy,” Kotek said.

Betsy Johnson, the independent candidate, has had a recent shift in her stance following the mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa.

“The fact that these came one right after another is evidence that the extremes dominating this conversation is going to get us nowhere,” Johnson said. “As governor I would support and enforce much more robust background checks and raising the age limit on semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21.”

When asked about an assault weapons ban, Johnson said it’s a complex issue.

“I would rather start with the incremental wins that I know or at least I believe in my heart Oregonians can come together on,” Johnson said.

FOX 12 reached out to Republican candidate, Christine Drazan, but were told she was not available for an interview. Her campaign did send a statement that didn’t mention guns but said, “As governor, my budget will provide dedicated funding to strengthen school safety measures and fully fund mental health services. That includes funding local priorities to invest in school resource officers, increasing access to mental health supports, and ensuring that individuals who should not have access to a school do not gain access.”