How Does the Gun Lobby Do It?

By Katie Pool of Portland, Oregon. Katie describes herself as a "retired lawyer and trophy wife."

The Oregon gun lobby is poised for another mind-boggling victory in Salem. On Monday, March 21, the Oregon House will vote on a measure to water down the qualifications for carrying a concealed handgun in Oregon.

HB 2792 will allow nonresidents from any state to carry concealed in Oregon if they have a license from home. Never mind that some of states dispense concealed handgun licenses like they were breath mints. Our good neighbor Washington, for example, doesn't require packin' Huskies to take any skill or safety course.

Why would any thinking legislator vote for HB 2792? If you think it's because voters want weaker gun laws, consider these results from the November 2010 Gallup Poll on gun control attitudes: 86% of Americans favor maintaining or strengthening gun control laws, including 30% who would ban handguns except for law enforcement and military purposes. Only 14% of those polled want to see gun laws weakened. Even among gun owners, Republicans, and conservatives, at least 84% oppose weakening gun laws.

Maybe visualizing political victory isn't enough. Even when we have an 82% margin, we progressives have to actually pick up the phone or email Salem once in a while. It's easy to shout down a silent majority.

And that's how the gun lobby does it.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Just curious, are drivers licensing and testing requirement around the country consistent with Oregon's standards? Given that there are more vehicle fatalities annually than those resulting from firearms, it would make sense to address this as well.

    BTW, I am in favor of stricter gun licensing and drivers licensing standards.

    • (Show?)

      Off the top of my head, having driven in more than half the states in the union, I'd say the licensing requirements in other states tend to be somewhat higher... Oregon is the only state I've been in where a significant number of drivers think it makes perfect sense to pull into a parallel parking place front end first.

      • (Show?)

        Hardly.

        I have lived in numerous states, and have actually driven within every one of the lower 48. Oregon drivers are a little above average by and large, with the exception of driving in snow and icy conditions.

        The worst drivers in the nation are Massachusetts drivers. Hands down. Though I find the most mind-boggling stupid moves on a regular basis carried out by Washington drivers (most likely I see more of that due to proximity than anything else).

        California drivers are ok on dry pavement, though they tend to tailgate more than most, and seem to not have any concept of what a turn signal is, when it comes to lane changes.

    • (Show?)

      I know someone who was able to get a Washington license that the state of Oregon prefers she not use, although technically I don't think it is illegal. She would not be able to get a drivers license in Oregon.

    • (Show?)

      I feel compelled to post on this as there seems to be a lot of blatantly false information being posted.

      First I suggest that people read ORS 166.--- for all firearms laws and in particular the law regulating obtaining a Concealed Handgun License in Oregon. The state of OR requires all applicants to take a 4 hour course on basic firearms safety with emphasis on pistol. At no time is ORS law required to be discussed. Many instructors do how ever tell their students where to get the information at and to seek a lawyer for answers to any questions they may have regarding OR laws.

      Oregon is in fact more lax in the licensing process than other states. That being said if the state of OR wants it's CHL holders permits allowed in other states by law the state of OR must honor those other states permits. This is why OR CHLs is not honored in WA and vice versa.

      In discussions I have had with law enforcement though out Multnomah and Washington Counties, all have said that the CHL is viewed as a "good guy card". They know that CHL holders go threw extensive back ground checks (locally and federally) and then again every time they purchase a new firearm from any licensed dealer. To my knowledge and please correct me if I am wrong and only if someone can produce the evidence, but in the last 20 years there has never been a single conviction of a CHL holder for murder or other serious violent crime in the state of Oregon.

      Lastly I am sick and tired of hearing the BS about 2A only applying to militias. This issue was settled in the Supreme Court in Heller VS DC and the "pertains only to militias" issue was killed by all the judges(including the liberal/progressive ones). I highly suggest that some people read the decisions on the case.

      Last but not least if one does their homework on the subject instead of going to their favorite pro/anit gun lobbyist web page for info, and instead look at studies by the ATF, FBI, Harvard ect... one would see that from 1990 to 2000 firearms ownership went up 120% while crime dropped aprox 27% nation wide. This trend is continuing. The US does not have the highest homicide/suicide rate in the world per capita. Not to mention that the top 5 states with the highest crime rates also have the harshest firearms restrictions. After those states enacted restrictions on CHLs or out right banned them. Those cities crime rates continued to be unabated despite the rest of the States around them dropping significantly each year that have less restrictive laws..

      I understand that Firearms are a touchy subject but a little homework from Non political sources and on the current laws from the ORS and people might be at least better educated to argue their point of view. They also use to site their sources. Hell dont trust me, verify your selves.

  • (Show?)

    None of our legislators appear to have the stomach for a bad rating from the NRA.

    For me, a low rating from the NRA is a sure way to get my vote. They've pushed the gun owner envelope off a cliff. It's one thing to say everyone should have a right--it's quite another to essentially absolve owners of most/all of their responsibilities of ownership.

  • (Show?)

    A better question than "How Does the Gun Lobby Do It" is "Why is the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association as dangerous as the NRA?"

    Their tag line is "Oregon Sheriffs -- Conservators of the Peace" In the direct mail fundraising appeal I received recently they claimed they want to see "an overall improvement in our criminal justice system" and claim to "speak up for all law-abiding citizens in our state." The Oregon Sheriffs' effort to shield the names of concealed handgun licensees shows they don't speak of for me -- the Oregon State Sheriffs Association speaks for the gun lobby. And that's scary.

    The Oregon State Sheriffs' Association "Code of Ethics" says they have a duty to "protect the innocent against deception." By leading the way the cloak the names of concealed handgun licensees from public review, the Oregon Sheriffs are deceiving the public in their claim to be conservators of the peace.

    • (Show?)

      Just curious, Chuck, why you think it's any of your business whether an individual has a carry permit? As a financial supporter of both OCPP and OSSA, I'd be interested in the reasoning for your position.

      • (Show?)

        First, I wrote my comment from home over the weekend based on a letter sent there -- while OCPP has some interest in public records law because we rely on it extensively, OCPP does not have an interest in this particular issue. I wrote "they don't speak for me" not OCPP.

        That clarification made, I think public access helps the public monitor the appropriateness of decisions granting the licenses, helps in finding out whether certain people may be carrying in places that we might not want them to be (such as schools and places of employment), and could help in averting dangerous situations of domestic violence. The public records law has a personal safety exemption to disclosure, so I don't understand why there should be blanket nondisclosure. How is public safety and the work of the Oregon sheriffs enhanced by nondisclosure? I fail to see how the work of the police is helped by secrecy regarding who has a concealed weapons permit.

        • (Show?)

          I'm fine with the personal opinion, just happens to be the first time I strongly disagree with what you've written here.

          It seems to me that the burden of proof is reversed. It's the burden of the advocate for public disclosure who needs to argue how that enhances the safety of the license holder. I feel comfortable is assuming that most people who get carry permits do so for reasons of personal protection.

          • (Show?)

            We'll just have to agree to disagree on this issue. Oregon's public records law is already too riddled with exceptions from disclosure. And the burden of proof is set by statute and court decisions.

  • (Show?)

    How? Fear and money.

  • (Show?)

    Gun lobbies have massive public support and funding. That is where their power derives from. There is also a little something in the constitution called the second amendment. Maybe you've heard of it?

    The November 2010 Gallup poll that is linked shows there is record low support for gun control and that only 44% support stricter gun control laws. So where is this 86% coming from?

    My recommendation to Katie Pool would be to put down the crack pipe. Infringing on the rights of citizens is the complete opposite of "progressive" and I doubt there is much support within the progressive movement to destroy the right to keep and bear arms.

    • (Show?)
      44% support stricter gun control laws. So where is this 86% coming from?

      86% + 44% = 124%

      Enough said.

      And while you seem to want to short-stroke it over the second amendment, it was put in place for the purposes of having a well trained and REGULATED militia.

      That said, I have no problem with personal ownership of firearms.

      • (Show?)

        You do know, I hope, that when the Bill of Rights was written that the term "regulated" meant provisioned or supplied. It does not carry the same meaning as the word does today.

    • (Show?)

      "86% of Americans favor maintaining or strengthening gun control laws"

      "So where is this 86% coming from?"

      44% favor strengthening, 42% favor maintaining. 44+42=86%.

  • (Show?)

    Let's be real here. Oregon is libertarian when it comes to gun control. Look at the positions of Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader. They get re-elected because they represent their constituencies. And who was that rabid right extremist, Democratic Speaker of the House, Vera Katz, who cut the deal with the NRA to make it so easy to get concealed gun permits across the state?

  • (Show?)

    You are completely missing the bigger danger here.

    Let me preface this by saying that I am very much pro-guns. I own several and shoot them often. When I bought my first gun about 15 years ago, I was able to walk out of a sporting goods store with a handgun and ammo WITHOUT EVER HAVING HELD, LET ALONE FIRED, A LOADED GUN IN MY LIFE.

    Now, I find the idea of this happening today utter lunacy. Everyone should be required to pass a gun proficiency/safety test prior to being able to purchase one. The fact that we don't require this is indeed insane.

    • (Show?)

      What do you think of mandatory liability insurance for gun owners?

      • (Show?)

        Not opposed in principal but do not see how it could be applied in the real world.

        Are you going to only single out one potential type of deadly weapon? What about autos? Knives? Are you going to tell poor people who couldn't afford the policy they don't have the right to defend themselves?

        • (Show?)

          Uh, Michael, there already is mandatory insurance for autos.

          • (Show?)

            Oops. I meant in an amount consistent with what was proposed in the IL gun liability legislation ($1M)

            • (Show?)

              How about lower limits- say 50 or 100K? Even with relatively low minimums the auto insurance market incentivizes safe driving (traffic infractions drive cost of insurance up). Is there anything like that in operation with gun ownership?

              • (Show?)

                At those levels I wouldn't have a problem with the basic concept. My concern would be...

                That a certain amount of wealth would be required to have the legal right to defend you and your family.

  • (Show?)

    Dear Friend,

    I just took action on an important Oregon concealed handgun license bill that is up for a vote on Monday, March 21. This gun lobby bill, HB 2792, would eliminate Oregon’s concealed handgun license requirements for nonresidents. Join me in asking Oregon’s House of Representatives to continue requiring Oregon licenses for anyone who carries a concealed handgun in our state. Please spend a minute to take action on this important measure. Thanks!

  • (Show?)

    There must be something more to this bill than is apparent from the text of the law. This bill was filed pre session so it’s been around a while. And with Thatcher as the sponsor I am somewhat suspicious of the purpose. With thousands of bills being considered, it is not inconceivable this is to establish a voting record for the next elections. It helps defeat rural Democrats.

    On the other hand, there is a policy issue worth discussing. Hunters and other sportsmen travelling across state lines can face a confusing mess of regulations without some sort of reciprocity. This reciprocity might make sense for those travelling between Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. If this is the reciprocity bill, it is certainly written to be confusing to anyone but a lawyer in the basement of the Capital. If this is a legitimate issue, I’d have expected at least on Democrat as a sponsor.

    • (Show?)

      I am not sure this applies to hunters and other sports folks since they tend to use rifles and shotguns and concealed weapons permits refer to handguns.

      I understand and respect the motive behind the bill but do disagree with it. As long as other states have lower standards for concealed handgun permits, I do not think that we should recognize permits from all states in Oregon.

      • (Show?)

        The relationship between hunters and sportsmen and a license to carry a gun is coincidental. One does not cause the other. However, they are highly correlated and I suspect it is about having guns as a hobby. Sportsmen are almost evenly divided between the two parties, making this group slightly more conservative than the state as a whole. And, they vote at somewhat higher rate than even Republicans. This is a wedge issue that is well utilized to defeat rurl Democrats. And, elections have consequences.

      • (Show?)

        I agree. Growing up in Missouri many years ago, my brother and I were each taught how to hunt at age 12 and have each owned a number of guns. But those were LONG GUNS used by sportsmen and sportswomen in the field, rifles and shotguns, not pistols. I don't hunt any more: do hunters now carry pistols in the field? If so, what for?

        Any reasonable reading of the 2nd amendment indicates that it's long guns that an 18th-Century militia required. I'm really tired of men who brag in bars about what they'd do with their concealed pistols in an emergency. My brother, who served in the army years ago and was trained in sidearm use for the purpose of escorting prisoners, was outraged at the though of untrained people carrying concealed weapons and trying to pull them and use them in anger or panic. I still think he was right.

        • (Show?)

          In Oregon, those braggarts are violating the law and the consequences are pretty severe. Given the constitution and hundreds of years of established law, you can chose either concealed carry or open carry. Concealed carry is the stronger gun law so one could make the argument it is the better option.

  • (Show?)

    It appears that HB 2792 is the reciprocity law and a bipartisan support was fully expected. I wish there was a method of seeing the daily schedule of votes without being in Salem. Some of this is interesting stuff but it is impossible to read between the lines via the web.

    Oregon’s concealed weapons permit is no guarantee of safety or competency. It is training in the law followed by a more extensive background check. I don’t think that Oregon’s law is superior to other states or that law enforcement in other states are less competent than ours.

    The two hour training emphasizes three points. The first warns that the use of a firearm will change your life forever regardless of justification. The anecdotal stories are evidence of the seriousness of ever using a weapon for any reason. Think legal hell.

    The second issue is the seriousness of the law. Violating the concealed weapons law will ensure you are treated as a criminal and even simple mistakes are treated seriously. And, if you are stopped for a traffic violation, you need the secret hand sign to avoid a concerned officer.

    Lastly, the weapon is to be either in your personal control or locked. There is no grey area here.

    A surprising number of attendees are young women. One might wonder why so many women want some sort of security in our society?

    The license requires a background check as well as a photo and a fingerprint record. This seems much like what one gets for a secret clearance from the government. The police don’t seem concerned about the license holders. In fact, they seem very helpful and treat you as one of the good guys.

    Given the ease of purchasing a gun, I’d judge the concealed weapons license a step in the right direction of stricter control. Encouraging open carry for non-residents seems like a step in the wrong direction given the lax background check at places like gun shows.

  • (Show?)

    I'll wait patiently for someone here to produce a list of CHL holders, maybe even from a state like Washington where they hand licenses out like breath mints, who have committed acts of violence with their firearms.

    • (Show?)

      I believe Washington is just as diligent as Oregon, perhaps more? Or breath mints are really difficult to get in Washington, even more so than Pseudoephedrine which I buy there.

      You must meet all of the following requirements to get a concealed pistol license: • Be 21 years of age or older at time of application. • Be a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien with permanent resident card or “green card.” • Have no pending trial, appeal, or sentencing on a charge that would prohibit you from having a license. • Have no outstanding warrants for any charge, from any court. • Have no court order or injunction against possessing a firearm. • Have no mental health conditions that would prohibit you from having a license. • Have no felony convictions, or adjudications for a felony offense, in this state or elsewhere. “Felony” means any felony offense under the laws of Washington, or any federal or out-of-state offense comparable to a felony offense under the laws of Washington. • Have no convictions for any of the following crimes committed by one family member against another on or after July 1, 1993: o Assault IV o Coercion o Stalking o Reckless Endangerment o Criminal Trespass in the first degree o Violation of the provisions of a protection order or no-contact order restraining the person or excluding the person from the residence

  • (Show?)

    I appreciate Steve's thorough and though out comments, Thank you. However I want to add I fully support this bill.

    Their are only 4 states that do not require a permit to carry a handgun concealed. Permits consist of AT MINIMUM a background check more stringent than the check to purchase a rifle or shotgun. Some require range time, including Oregon...but in Oregon the major classes you only shoot 50 rounds. Hardly enough time to be fully trained as some here suggest should be required. It takes hours of rounds at a range or at a gravel pit in the woods to really understand the weapon you carry.

    This bill allows citizens doing the best they can to follow the law do so more easily. A simple mistake or oversight carrying a firearm can result in a life changing felony. All because of an "oops" that didn't and wouldn't have injured anyone.

    I've read reports that show concealed handgun permit holders end up using it in a crime less than 1% of the time (off the top of my head, whatever the number it was EXTREMELY low). I've also read reports that show they use it to successfully defend themselves or others a higher percentage of time than those with permits who used it in a crime. I don't have the reports handy to back it up, but I suggest research because that data is out their.

    Lets loosen the grip on law abiding citizens. Gangs and drug runners don't spend the time or money to get a concealed gun license...

  • (Show?)

    Reciprocity laws are a good thing people. Citizens that are applying for concealed handgun permits are not committing crimes. Please stop trying to take out your fears on my rights...

  • (Show?)

    Many states who have reciprocity for CHL require reciprocal reciprocity (I don't think that is redundant). Anyway, currently Oregon CHL holder's licenses are not currently valid in some other states, but they would be if this law passed.

    If this bill passes, Oregon's statute will match what Washington has had in place for many years.

  • (Show?)

    Since no one responded with a list here is one of my own:

    Number of people killed by Oregon CHL holders: zero

    Number of people killed by Carla Axtman: one (and it was an innocent unborn baby)

    • (Show?)

      Thats a really nasty and really uncalled for personal attack on her. She isn't even the author of this post. Plus wheres your citation that zero people have been killed by Oregon CHL holders because its false. I couldn't find any deaths from last year or this year but found a CHL holder who murdered his wife and her lover and was convicted for murder.

      some lessons to learn: 1- Nasty personal attacks don't work and speak poorly of one 2- Don't throw out facts without being able to back them up.

      Here are my sources 1- "Ablany man arrested for love-trianle muder," kgw.com August 27, 2007 2- "Muder defendent testifies at trial," Albany Democrat- Herald, February 13, 2009, 3-"Jury finds Ablany man gulity of muder," Associated Press, kval.com, February 18,2009

      • (Show?)

        Note about my previous comment, one person killed by a CHL holder does not do anything to indicate what stance people should take on this issue. The man killed his wife and her lover at home so it was not a crime made any easier by having a CHL. If you go to http://www.docstoc.com/docs/21997860/Total-People-Killed-by-Concealed-Handgun-Permit-Holders-May there is a document with all the people killed by CHL holders in the past few years with sources.

      • (Show?)

        Daniel is not in a very good position to make personal attacks of the type he just made, given his arrest record.

    • (Show?)

      This thread is about HB2792. This bill is a bipartisan effort and marked by civil debate that should be encouraged. Regardless of one’s opinion, it is a worth debate to have amongst civilized people.

      I consider Carla to be a friend and am deeply offended by this remark. Her opinions are worthy of thoughtful consideration and can help refine flawed thinking. Insults just push people from open debate to entrenched ideological positions. The Catalyst would be a better place for your Republican speaking points.

  • (Show?)

    The article says a majority favor "maintaining or strengthening" gun laws; the poll says 44% favor strengthening and 42% favor maintaining, for a total of 86%. The article says 30% favor a near-ban on handguns (poll says 29%) more than twice the 14% (in the west) who would weaken gun laws. In the final paragraph, the author's math is wrong - she says "strengthen or maintain" has an 82% edge; it's actually only 72% (86%-14%)

    • (Show?)

      A poll on gun control is easily manipulated. I feel if the majority of American's favored more strict gun laws more legislation for strict changes would be proposed and passed. Which is the opposite of what we see happening right now.

  • (Show?)

    How Does the Gun Lobby Do It?

    For many Americans, gun = penis.

  • (Show?)

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20046151-10391695.html?tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea

    Anyone been following the "Project Gun Runner"? A prime example of the need to enforce the laws we currently have. They ATF let 2,500 guns walk and it ended up costing, so far, the life of a border patrol agent. More are surely to follow. . .

    • (Show?)

      In Arizona it is 100% completely legal to call up your local gun store and ask, "How many AK-47s do you have in stock? 40? 50? 60? Great! I'll take 'em all." Do we really want to give citizens from states like that a "free pass" when it comes to firearms?

      Sounds to me like a race to the bottom... of a six foot hole.

      • (Show?)

        Im sure its also 100% legal to call up your local book store and ask how many copies of "dude wheres my country?" they have in stock. If they wanted they could also purchase as many of them as they wanted.

        But,unfortunately for you unless that person who wants to puchase the firearm passes a background check, it is illegal to sell to that person.

        So ultimately I dont get what your point was...

  • (Show?)

    Oh, and for those who think loose gun laws reduce gun violence, think again:

    [Arizona] ranks dead last in gun controls... [but] the state ranked 7th in the country in per capita gun deaths, according to statistics compiled by The Daily Beast, and eighth in terms of the overall rate of violent crime, according to Census data.

    More here: Arizona Has Turned into a Gun Lover's Paradise -- and That's Why It Ranks Among the Highest in Gun Deaths

    Unfortunately, as we all know, if you have enough money, you can make people believe anything.

    • (Show?)

      And just so you know strict gun laws dont reduce gun violence either. We have a ton of examples in DC, Chicago and California. Its funny how criminals feel like they should not have to follow existing laws.

      I guess this world will never safe enough for people like you.

    • (Show?)

      Arizona also has one of the biggest issues with illegal immigrants running drugs, cash and more illegal immigrants....

      Coincidence? I think not!

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