Central Oregon

Oregon gun laws already similar to Georgia's

Oregon gun laws similar to Ga.'s

BEND, Ore. - Georgia's "Safe Carry Protection Act" -- or as critics call it, the "Guns Everywhere Bill" -- sparked controversy nationwide.

"Gets me worried though, walking into a bar where people have been drinking and a couple of guys are packing a Colt .45," Fox News anchor Stuart Varney said on his program last week.

For Oregon gun rights advocates, the question is: What's new about that?

"The changes they've made in Georgia law bring them very close to what we have in Oregon," Kevin Starrett of the gun rights group Oregon's Firearm Federation said Tuesday. "License-holders are free to carry their firearms in most places. So in Georgia, where now they allowed them to carry them in a few more places., it seems long overdue."

Under Oregon law, anyone with a concealed weapon permit has the right to carry guns almost anywhere, including schools, churches and bars.

Oregon's Firearm Federation challenges public bodies, such as schools, that put up signs prohibiting guns.

"It happens all the time," Starrett said. "And then we contact them and we fight about it, and then they take their sign down.

"And it's not just schools. The Deschutes County commissioners had a sign up that said "no guns" in their buildings and they promised us they were taking them down."

You don't need a license to purchase or carry a gun in Oregon, but you need a license to carry a concealed firearm.

According to the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence, which scores state on how strict their gun laws are. Oregon got a D+ grade. The full report is at: http://www.bradycampaign.org/sites/default/files/SCGLM-Final10-spreads-points.pdf

Even so, the group Legal Community Against Violence ranks Oregon near the middle when it comes to gun laws. California has the strictest gun laws, while Arizona has the most lenient.

"The one place were Oregon really (falls) behind -- it refuses to accept licenses from any other state, and that's really unusual," said Starrett.

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