In response to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Oregon recently passed the first gun control law since the tragedy. The law bans domestic abusers and stalkers from buying and owning guns. Oregon is not the first state to pass a law like this, nor will it likely be the last.
Recently, two additional gun laws have been put forth to gather petitions. At the time of this writing, one has gathered the necessary number of signatures and is being reviewed; the other is still gathering signatures. The first law will prohibit the possession and sale of assault weapons, along with magazines larger than ten rounds; and the latter requires gun owners to store their firearms responsibly and be liable for injury caused by their firearm.
The assault weapons ban was brought forth by a coalition called “Lift Every Voice,” and is a well thought out piece of legislation. It clearly defines what classifies an assault rifle, pistol, shotgun and different magazines. It also requires owners of qualifying firearms and magazines to turn-in their guns and magazines for destruction or be registered permanently inoperable within 120 days.
However, the law would allow previously lawful owners to keep their guns and magazines if they go through a registration and background check process. Not complying with this new law would be a Class B felony.
The other law, petitioned by family members of the Clackamas mall shooting victims, would require gun owners to store and transfer their weapons with trigger locks or in tamper-proof locked boxes and be fully liable for an injury caused with their gun, unless the injury results from self-defense or defense of another person.
Both initiatives also require owners to report a stolen firearm. The assault weapons ban would require owners to report a theft of their registered assault weapon within 48 hours of when they knew it was gone. The other would require owners to report a stolen weapon with 24 hours of when they knew or should have known.
These are the reasonable gun laws we need. They are by no means perfect and should be contested to make them more perfect.
For example, 48 hours from knowledge of the theft to report a stolen weapon seems much more reasonable than 24 hours from when one “should” have known. What does that even mean? When “should” someone know of a single stolen item?
These laws also recognize the kind of responsibility a citizen must have to own tools capable of easily accessible murder.
If these initiatives make it to the ballot, Oregon will have the chance to pass landmark gun regulation laws and become a role model for the country, which it should. Oregon is a great state, it deserves recognition and is capable of being a leading voice in national politics.