Oregon governor pushes for stricter gun control

Kate Brown reaffirms commitment to increase regulations

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In the midst of the national debate about gun rights, Oregon governor Kate Brown is maintaining her stance that higher restrictions will lead to the less gun-related violence in the state.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families suffering from gun violence in Oregon and across the country. But, I know my condolences will never be enough to keep families safe from violence,” Brown said in an announcement made in response to the Las Vegas shooting that killed over fifty people and left hundreds of others wounded.

Brown’s statements were also made in reference to the second anniversary of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg.

Brown has been a strong proponent of gun control throughout her tenure as governor and has announced that she plans on backing more stringent gun-control legislation. In particular, she said that she is hoping to write legislation to close the “Boyfriend” and “Charleston” loopholes.

Closing the “Boyfriend Loophole” would prohibit people who are considered domestic violence offenders from purchasing firearms, as well as people convicted of misdemeanor stalking.

The “Charleston Loophole” allows people to buy guns without a complete background check if the check takes too long. The loophole got its name from a mass shooting in Charleston, S.C. in which the shooter, Dylann Roof, was able to buy the gun he used without a complete background check. F.B.I. statistics show that the “Charleston Loophole” allowed 4,170 people who weren’t otherwise qualified because of criminal records, mental illness or other factors, to purchase guns last year.

These announcements from Brown come as a coalition of Democratic Attorney Generals from 17 states, including Oregon, call on Congress to reject the NRA’s continued advocacy for looser gun restrictions.

Brown also signed the controversial legislation SB 719 into law this summer, which allows police or members of one’s family to file a petition in order to have an individual’s right to possess firearms prohibited if they pose a threat to themselves or others.

Critics of gun control in Oregon argue that these increased restrictions are endangering citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

“By allowing a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member to seek the ERPO [Extreme Risk Protection Order], SB 719A would allow people who are not mental health professionals, who may be mistaken, and who may only have minimal contact with the respondent to file a petition with the court and testify on the respondent’s state of mind,” reads a statement made by the NRA in regards to the legislation signed over the summer.

The legislation to close the loopholes remain in the Oregon House and will likely be voted on before the State Congress’ next recess.

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