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Gun control conversation comes to Eugene in the wake of mass shootings

The City Club Eugene held a gun control forum featuring two state lawmakers.

Posted: Nov 17, 2017 5:37 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - Two of the four deadliest shootings in the history of the United States happened in the past six weeks. Because of this, gun control has once again become a hot topic.
The City Club Eugene brought two strong advocates from the state legislature to talk about balancing the risks and rights of gun ownership. They brought in the Democratic State Senator representing Eugene, Floyd Prozanski, and Republican State Representative from Independence, Mike Nearman.
The two agreed on the right to bear arms and that risks and rights should be balanced, but they didn't quite agree on how to do that.
Senator Prozanski said he grew up in Texas and is a long time gun owner. He said his gun training has largely shaped his views along with the murder of his older sister. He said when he was 18, his 21-year-old sister was shot by a felon. Because of this, he believes strongly in the background check and the ability to deny firearms to felons.
"But at the same time [it] limit individuals who have been claimed or deemed ineligible through a court system, through a judicial proceeding, to actually be prohibited from having easy access to firearms," said Prozanski.
Representative Nearman said he feels these laws can sometimes manipulate people into losing their rights. He said he has a friend who lost the right to bear arms when he went through a divorce. He said his wife filed a restraining order and that kept him from hunting for two years. Nearman said watching someone use the law to their advantage like that was upsetting.
"No matter what we do with the rules or whatever, bad guys will always break the rules and they'll always find a way to get a gun. If they can't get a gun they'll get a truck at Home Depot or a knife or whatever. So it's the good guys with a gun is going to be the solution to the problem," said Nearman.
They also disagreed on Senate Bill 719, which was signed by Governor Kate Brown in August.
Prozanski likes the idea that a close family member can ask the courts to take away someone's firearms. However, Nearman doesn't think that's right. He especially doesn't agree with the ability for an "intimate partner" to make that decision.
The two agreed on gun storage. They said properly stored guns can keep children and other people away from the firearms and can make sure you avoid an accidental tragedy.

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