SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Gun owners would be required to keep their guns safely locked away when not in use under a measure making its way through the Oregon Legislature.
It's a response to the 2012 Clackamas Town Center Shooting, when a 22-year-old masked man opened fire on a crowded shopping mall using a firearm stolen from a friend's apartment. Proponents say gun owners should be held responsible if their weapons are unsafely stored and then used to commit a crime.
Democrats are also considering other gun restrictions, including a proposal to allow retailers to set minimum age requirements for purchasing firearms.
Gun owners slammed the proposals during hearings on Tuesday, saying easy access to guns is essential for self-defense and that the restrictions go against their Second Amendment rights.
Gov. Kate Brown news release:
Governor Kate Brown Calls for Stronger Commonsense Firearms Legislation
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today called for strengthening Oregon's commonsense firearms legislation, urging the legislature to pass two bills that work to keep firearms out of the hands of children and domestic abusers.
"Gun violence tears apart our communities, devastating families and households throughout Oregon. We all know that while mass shootings make headlines, it is all too common that gun violence occurs behind closed doors," said Governor Brown. "Every session, I am proud that we are able to make progress to ensure that every Oregonian can be safe from gun violence. We have accomplished a lot, but we have more work to do."
House Bill 2013 seeks to improve the lives and safety of Oregonians by making a handful of changes to existing law while protecting the due process rights of gun owners. Senate Bill 978 includes policies on safe storage and retail sales of firearms.
News release from Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum:
AG Rosenblum Testifies in Support of Stronger Oregon Gun Laws
Salem, Oregon—Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today testified before the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee in support of stronger guns laws, specifically creating stronger regulations of untraceable “3D-printed” firearms and other “ghost guns”. Senate Bill 978 is the legislature’s omnibus gun bill and focuses on safe storage and transfer of guns, gun liability, outlawing untraceable guns, regulating firearms in public buildings, and creating a minimum age for certain firearm sales.
Specifically, the legislation would require all individuals who build 3D-printed or other “ghost guns” to pass a background check and require all of these guns to have a serial number.
“Like many of you, I am increasingly concerned about the growing incidents of undetectable and untraceable guns that can be built with a 3D printer, or by purchasing the physical parts and using a few common tools, to build your own ‘ghost gun’,” said AG Rosenblum. “What I am talking about is a person who can build a semi-automatic weapon all in the privacy of their own home. And, the scariest part? Both of these classifications of guns have no serial number, do not require a background check, and there is no way they can be traced by law enforcement.”
A 3D-printed gun is made using a 3D printer, with the instructions typically being downloaded on online. Ghost guns can also be assembled at home using purchased parts purchased from internet websites, including firearms such as the AR-15. Neither a 3D-printed gun, nor a home assembled ghost gun, have serial numbers and their users do not have to pass a background check. For example, an individual can purchase an unmilled lower receiver of a firearm, which just requires additional home milling in order to become a functional firearm. The individual would need a home drill and other tools to make their own AR 15, or other untraceable weapon.
AG Rosenblum also described watching a video of how build an untraceable AR 15 with unregulated parts purchased over the internet. “Even I could do it,” she remarked.
“Ghost guns are a real and dangerous menace, and allow individuals to lawfully purchase or manufacture a firearm despite a prior violent felony, all without a background check or serial number,” testified AG Rosenblum.
“Senate Bill 978 closes this dangerous loophole by imposing the established background check requirements and serialization expectations on both 3-D printed firearms and unfinished receivers. It also enhances expectations of safety by outlawing the possession of any firearm built to avoid metal detectors. These are important and common sense protections that will enhance our public safety, and I urge the Oregon legislature to support this bill.”
In 2018, AG Rosenblum and 20 other Attorneys General successfully sued the U.S. Department of State to block the Trump Administration from reversing their rules that would have allowed downloadable 3D-printed gun tutorials to be made available online. The U.S. District Court in Washington issued a nationwide injunction to stop the federal government from allowing online users to post instructions.