Salem, Oregon (AP) — The strictest gun storage bill in the United States was voted in the Oregon Legislature on Monday, with supporters claiming to save lives and opponents claiming it could be fatal.
Hundreds of people testified primarily in writing about this measure because they did not have enough time to give all the verbal testimony. Among them was Paul Kempf, whose brother-in-law Steve Forsyth was stolen and killed in a shooting at a shopping mall in the Portland area in 2012.
“I will never forget the screams I heard when I had to tell my teenage nephew that his father had been killed in a shopping center,” Kemp said.
But opponents say forcing people to keep their guns locked can waste precious moments when they need to protect themselves from armed intruders.
Jim Michelle of Sheridan, Oregon explained how his wife woke up one night in 1981 when he was absent. She heard the noise, went to investigate and saw a man break into the house.
She returned to her bedroom and tried to go to the pistol in the locked gun box of the nightstand.
“She couldn’t unlock the box and unlock the pistol before entering the bedroom and threatened her with a gun,” Michelle said. “She has never recovered.”
The debate over guns in Oregon reflects similar debates nationwide, even as the number of mass shootings increases again as the country relaxes restrictions on the blockade of the coronavirus. There is almost no movement regarding.
Massachusetts is the only state that requires all unmanned guns to be stored with locking devices, according to Gifford’s gun safety advocacy group. Penalties for violations can range from imprisonment to fines of thousands of dollars.
States that have passed legislation requiring some degree of safe storage of firearms include California, Connecticut, and New York, said Alison Anderman, senior adviser to Gifford.
Colorado will join them. A bill requiring safe storage of unmanned guns passed the Colorado State Capitol this month and is ready to be signed by the Governor.
If a person who knows that the boy can access the gun without permission keeps the gun, or if the resident on the premises is not eligible to own the gun, it causes a crime of illegal storage of the gun.
Oregon building It’s even wider. Gun owners are required to secure unmanned weapons in trigger locks or locked compartments. Those who do not have strict liability for injury or property damage. If a minor picks up an unsafe gun, the gun owner can be fined up to $ 2,000.
Tensions are rising as the Oregon Legislature is considering bills for this and other guns, even threatening to kill them.
Recently, six Republican senators have stayed to vote for another gun bill instead of striking what has become a tactic to prevent voting. The bill bans guns from parliament buildings and other state buildings and decides whether local jurisdictions can bring guns into public buildings by people with hidden pistol licenses. Will make it possible.
Instead of joining the Republican boycott to deny quorum, they voted “against” the bill. All six Republican senators who stayed received threatening emails.They were handed over to Oregon police for investigation
“You should be shot,” said one of the emails.
Proponents of the gun storage bill said it would reduce suicide. Anderman said putting something between the urge to take his life and the gun can give him a moment to rethink.
Elizabeth Klein testified in favor of the bill “on behalf of her deceased brother” who committed suicide with a gun.
“My family has been overwhelmed by my brother’s gun suicide, which seems to me to always be preventable,” Klein writes.
Safe storage can also reduce school shootings. Minors who make these attacks often get guns from their own homes, relatives and friends’ homes.
Opponents said the bill was a constitutional infringement of arms rights.
James Perbine of Eugene, Oregon, testified in writing to the House Medical Commission about the bill.
The committee approved the bill and sent it to the house floor for a vote on Monday.
Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky.