Gov. Brown announces effort to address gun violence

Issues executive order to help OSP, police track gun transactions; calls for closing 'loopholes,' annual Health Authority report

PORTLAND, Ore. - Governor Kate Brown announced Friday "Oregonians United to End Gun Violence," a plan to address gun safety in Oregon and across the country.

Here's the rest of her news release, in full:

Governor Brown was joined by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, faith leaders, advocates for gun safety, and more than 30 other community leaders from across Oregon to call for an end to gun violence.

"Since I was sworn in as governor 17 months ago, more than 600 Oregonians have died from violence inflicted by a gun," Brown said. "Violence answers nothing, offers nothing, solves nothing. If we want to end violence, we must instill hope and create opportunity. I call on each of us, as Oregonians and as Americans, to join this call to end gun violence now."

Brown will take immediate action through executive order to strengthen existing Oregon law, giving Oregon State Police and local authorities more tools to track and analyze gun transactions. These tools can be used in the prosecution of illegal firearms sales and help to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands.

Additionally, Brown's executive order establishes a new work group to review and assess firearms-related domestic violence offenses. The work group will make recommendations for a statewide policy that enhances the safety of domestic violence survivors.

The executive order also directs the Oregon Health Authority to report annually on gun violence and its effect on public health, and when warranted, recommend policies to increase gun safety in Oregon. 

Brown also committed to working with the Oregon Legislature during the 2017 session to pass critical gun safety measures. The following three legislative priorities were outlined by Governor Brown:

  • Close the "Charleston Loophole." In Oregon, if the state police are unable to determine a person's eligibility to purchase a firearm within three days, current law requires approval of the sale of the firearm. Governor Brown will prepare legislation that will make sure individuals who should not own a gun are not able to obtain one simply because authorities were unable to complete the background check within the current timelines.
  • Close the "Boyfriend Loophole." By expanding the types of relationships that qualify under "domestic violence" charges, those convicted of certain crimes of domestic violence and stalking will no longer have access to firearms.
  • Ban extended-capacity magazines. Outlaw the future purchases of extended-capacity magazines in Oregon. This type of ammunition enables individuals to fire repeatedly without the need to reload and significantly increases a shooter's ability to injure and kill large numbers of people.

With support from Senator Wyden and Congresswoman Bonamici, Governor Brown also called on Congress to act now to pass national firearms safety legislation in a letter to Oregon's congressional delegation.

"Every day in the United States, 22 people die from homicidal gun violence," Brown said. "I urge Congress to ban assault weapons and strengthen anti-terrorist legislation by passing the common sense 'No Fly, No Buy' ban."

Supporters of Governor Brown's "Oregonians United to End Gun Violence" plan include representatives from the following organizations:

A transcript of Governor Brown's remarks is available here.

We will add or post separately full statements from those reacting or responding to the governor's announcement. (The governor's plans also are the topic of our current KTVZ.COM Poll, which you can find halfway down the right side of our home page.)


Statement From House Republican Leader Mike McLane On Governor Brown's Firearm Policy Agenda

Salem, Ore. - House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) issued the following statement in response to Governor Brown's firearm policy agenda:

"Oregon House Republicans welcome a conversation about how to address violence in our communities, but it is absolutely critical that those conversations maintain the appropriate level of respect for Oregonians' constitutional rights and the thousands upon thousands of gun owners in this state who responsibly exercise their Second Amendment rights and Article I, Section 27 rights every day. Sadly, this element of the conversation is all too often an afterthought for politicians in Salem.

"We can and, indeed should, do more to address violence in our communities, but I firmly believe that these solutions should be borne out of bipartisan consensus and honest efforts to find common ground that works."  


Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety Commends Governor Kate Brown's Plan to Stop Gun Violence

Portland – Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety President Jenn Lynch released the following statement today in response to Governor Kate Brown's Oregonians United to End Gun Violence plan to reduce gun violence:

"Gun violence is a daily tragedy here in Oregon, taking lives and causing irreparable harm to the community. Today's announcement by Governor Brown is an important milestone in reducing gun violence, underscoring the shared commitment by our political leaders to not let this state sit passively by while our residents die in senseless violence. The steps proposed will have a significant impact in reducing gun deaths, building on the important work we've done to strengthen our background checks system and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. The Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety looks forward to working with Governor Brown, our legislative and congressional champions, and people from across the state to adopt these proposals and make our communities safer."

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