Ore. lawmakers pass bill to take guns from people deemed danger to self, others

Oregon lawmakers have approved a bill that aims to prevent suicides and shootings by taking firearms away from people deemed at risk.

Senate Bill 719 allows a law-enforcement officer, or a person’s family or household member, to petition the court for a one-year extreme risk protection order that would prohibit the respondent from possessing a deadly weapon.

If a judge finds clear and convincing evidence that the respondent is in imminent danger of hurting themselves or another person, the respondent would have 24 hours to surrender all deadly weapons.

“Nationwide, 60 percent of gun deaths are suicides,” Rep. Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, said. “It is my hope today this bill will help address that crisis.”

The bill is especially important to military families, whose loved one may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth, said.

"I’m tired of going to funerals of military kids who didn’t have to die,” Evans said.

Opponents, including the National Rifle Association, had argued that the bill violates Second-Amendment rights.

But similar laws in Connecticut and Indiana have been challenged and have held up in court, Williamson said.

House Republican Leader Mike McLane, of Powell Butte, said the bill attempts to forecast what crimes people will commit, like in the movie “Minority Report.” He also questioned why it applies to more than loaded guns.

“This goes beyond people who are suicidal,” McLane said.

The House passed the bill Thursday 31-28. It had narrowly passed the Senate in May.

The bill now goes to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature. Brown pushed for an earlier version of the bill.

tloew@statesmanjournal.com, 503-399-6779 or follow at Twitter.com/Tracy_Loew

© 2017 KGW-TV


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