Oregon Legislature Passes Bill Banning Domestic Abusers From Owning Guns

| by Ethan Brown
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On Tuesday, Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill that would grant law enforcement officials to remove firearms from the homes of convicted domestic violence abusers and those with a restraining order against them.

The legislation is similar to federal laws that do not allow those convicted of domestic violence or the continuation of a restraining order to hold firearms in their possession.

Oregon’s legislation passed with bipartisan support, by a vote of 51 to 8. The bill now advances to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s desk for her official approval.

Supporters of the bill stated that there are not enough federal authorities to handle the volume of cases where federal law is not being enforced by the state, The Associated Press reports.

“Just because a restraining order is in place does not mean victims are guaranteed protection from their abuser. If a weapon is within reach of an abuser, the risk of homicidal violence is extreme,” Democatic state Rep. Carla Piluso, stated.

Some Republicans felt differently about the legislation, saying it did not go far enough to protect police officers.

“There comes a time when we ask people to do things that are basically a suicide mission,” Republican state Rep. Carl Wilson commented.

However, officers have supported the bill, believing that it will allow local law enforcement to better enforce laws that are already in place, such as the federal regulations.

“This bill would adopt federal law into state law so that these offenses could be prosecuted by the local district attorney in front of a local judge,” said Steve Bellshaw, the deputy chief of police for the Salem Police Department.

Just last month, state lawmakers approved legislation that would expand background checks on all gun sales conducted in the state of Oregon, Oregon Live reported. That measure received public support from a well-known former member of Congress.

“Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women,” said former U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a Democrat. Giffords was shot in the head by an armed assailant during a meet-and-greet with her constituents in January 2011, where she somewhat recovered after months of physical therapy.

Sources: Oregon Live, The Register-Guard via the Associated Press

Photo Credit: katu.com, Robert Nelson/Flickr