Amended gun bill passes Oregon House, heads back to Senate

ONTARIO

The Oregon House took up final passage of Senate Bill 554 B-Eng, which combined two gun bills, on its third and final reading during an emotional debate on Thursday. The bill was passed 33 to 25.

Originally it was two separate bills to stop gun violence through requirements to keep guns secured in a gun safe or room, and to keep concealed weapons out of schools, university buildings and out of the Portland airport.

The fees for concealed licenses will go up from $50 to $100 for the initial license and $75 for a renewal.

Whether these steps will be successful, or will be successful in reducing gun violence, was debated back and forth over the nearly three-hour debate.

The carrier of the bill Rep. Rachel Prusak, D-Tualatin/West Linn, said the vote is hard but added, “I am a survivor of gun violence.”

She said she was speaking for other survivors of gun violence.

The main parts of the bill, besides storage focused on transfer of firearms and safe handling of firearms by juveniles. Prusak and other bill supporters said that securing guns would reduce accidental shooting and suicides with guns.

Rep Mark Owens, R-Crane, said, the bill violated U.S. and state constitutions in guaranteeing the right to self-protection.

“It makes criminals out of victims,” he said. “Most mass shootings happen in gun-free zones. There are not gun problems, there are people problems.”

Rep. Andrea Salines, D-Lake Oswego, protested against the threats being made against her by opponents of the bill and the impact it was having on her staff.

The bill now heads back to the Senate, since it was modified, for possible consideration of the House amendment.

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