OR Lege: Gun legislation still alive

Carla Axtman

For awhile, it started to look like any chance for the Oregon Legislature to pass meaningful, common sense legislation around guns wasn't going to happen. But a ray of hope has emerged:

Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian:

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney pulled a package of gun bills from the Senate floor last month after it was clear that Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose would not join her 15 Democratic colleagues in voting for them.

Johnson's opposition left the bills one vote short of passage as the 14 Republicans were united in opposing the measures.

But senators are continuing to talk about the issue behind the scenes, and it appears that Johnson is amenable to a compromise, particularly on what she calls, in a recent Facebook post, "reasonable gun background check legislation."

Mapes goes on to discuss the fact that with Johnson open to compromise, Republicans now see the need to talk on the issue. I've heard that the main issues holding things up have to do with the reporting around mental health issues, making it so background checks don't always capture those folks who shouldn't have access to guns. Some are arguing that these mental health reporting requirements need more teeth before we beef up background checks.

Frankly, we need this background check change in the state. It's a huge necessity. Right now in Oregon, anyone can walk into a garage sale where guns are being sold, purchase a gun without a background check, and walk out ready to shoot.


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