Oregon group demands more action on gun control following recent shootings
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — The group behind getting Measure 114 on the 2022 ballot, is demanding the state legislature do more to pass laws that they say promote responsible gun ownership.
Measure 114 is one of the strictest gun control laws in the country but it’s currently in legal limbo. Last year, a judge in Harney County put a pause on the law as the debate over its constitutionality continues. But in the meantime, the Oregon State Senate is debating a new gun control labeled SB 348. This bill was introduced by Democratic Sen. Floyd Prozanski (District-4) and aims to amend portions of Measure 114. Lift Every Voice said they support the bill but want the state to fully implement the measure they fought for.
“Oregonians, teenagers, all ages got out there, got this on the ballot did the heavy lifting, and now gave courage to our state legislature to say let’s do more because people passed it,” Rev. Mark Knutson, Chair of Lift Every Voice Oregon said.
Most of SB 348 keeps Measure 114 intact but there are some key differences. The minimum age to buy a gun would go from 18 to 21 with some exceptions for hunting rifles. It also raises the price of a permit from $65 to $150 with a renewal permit price of $110. When it comes to the permitting requirement, the bill would postpone that until the summer of 2024. It also outlines that permits can only be issued by law enforcement agencies. But Lift Every Voice Oregon wants state lawmakers to do more, like ban assault rifles.
“We’re seeing far too many gun deaths in our state and in our nation,” Michael Cahana, Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel said. “We cannot rest, we cannot stop for a moment, it is our responsibility to speak up to act up, and to keep marching and to keep speaking.”
The Oregon Hunter’s Association and the Sportsmen Foundation sent the Senate Judiciary Committee a joint let in opposition to SB 348. The organizations claim said the state legislature should wait until the constitutionality of Measure 114 is determined by the courts. They claim the law would also impact conservation funding the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife gets through a tax on the sale of hunting guns.
While SB 348 and Measure 114 will be debated over the next few weeks, Lift Every Voice Oregon called on city and community leaders to do more now to curb gun violence.
“How do we teach our children to talk to each other? Communicate with each other? Because you hit me, I’m going to get my gun?” Antoinette Edwards, a member of Lift Every Voice Oregon said. “When I was young we would fight, piss, and cuss but then love each other. We have to go back to honoring our lives and honoring our children.”
Copyright 2023 KPTV-KPDX. All rights reserved.