EUGENE, Ore. — Five gun safety bills are going back into committee hearing by order of Senate President Peter Courtney, who believes the proposals need more work if they have a chance to pass.
Courtney says he’s doing this in the interest of seeing the bills succeed, but some legislators are worried this detour could stifle the bill’s potential.
Five gun bills are being re-routed in the Oregon Senate this week, including the background check bill, bills regarding concealed handgun requirements, and other gun safety.
The decision was Courtney’s, who feels the bills wouldn’t get the support he thought they needed.
Courtney said in a statement Monday, “Right now the votes just aren’t there for the gun bills.”
Senator Floyd Prozanski disagrees.
“I actually believe we clearly have the votes for the background check bill based on what it would accomplish,” Prozanski said.
Prozanski chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee that originally passed three of the five bills being discussed to the Senate. He says he believes the bills could pass, particularly Senate Bill 700 regarding stricter background checks for gun owners.
“In the democratic caucus, we had 15 out of 16, and there are at least four areas that are represented currently by Republicans that are known as swing districts, and all of those districts have polled very highly in support of universal background checks,” Prozanski said.
President Courtney, however, thinks they all need more work. He’s sending the five bills in question to the Senate Rules Committee to be negotiated by a work group he’ll put together in hopes that “a bipartisan solution can be reached before the end of the session.”
“I believe the bills as they were drafted and passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee can in fact be passed out of the rules committee for a floor vote at any time. I don’t believe anything will keep that from occurring except for the president saying no,” Prozanski said.
It seems regardless of the means used, Courtney and bill supporters have the same goals in mind–to get the bills passed.
Prozanski says even with the detour to the Senate Rules Committee, he believes the bills can and will pass this session. Others aren’t so sure there’s enough time this time around.