Oregon Senate approves gun control bill

Senate Bill 554 requires Oregon gun owners to securely lock up their firearms when not in use.

Posted: May 7, 2021 12:57 PM
Updated: May 7, 2021 7:55 PM

SALEM, Ore. -- A controversial gun control bill has made its way through Oregon's legislature and is now awaiting approval from Gov. Kate Brown.

Senate Bill 554 requires Oregon gun owners to securely lock up their firearms when not in use. The firearms must be secured using either a trigger lock or cable lock. In addition, the firearm must be placed in a locked container or gun room.

Adam Bryce is the one of the co-owners at Gunrunner Arms in Junction City. He said when panicking in an emergency, most people take about five attempts to open a safe that they can normally open on the first attempt.

"There's not an assailant or a burglar that's ever going to wait for that to happen," Bryce said. "They're going to take advantage of the situation while you're not prepared. Your firearm just became useless for home defense."

Senator James Manning is the second chief co-sponsor of the bill.

"Responsible gun owners are already doing the things that are in that safe gun storage bill," Manning said. "It's nothing new to them."

The bill would also ban the possession of firearms in the state Capitol and would allow public school districts and universities to make their own policies regarding firearm possession.

"Having people walk around carrying these guns like that creates an unsafe work environment and this bill helps to stop that," Manning said.

But not everyone agrees.

"Every concealed carry holder sitting there in a coliseum or at a sporting event or something like that makes everybody else safer," Bryce said. "If somebody comes out and starts shooting, you've got people to answer back."

Additionally, the bill states that if a gun is stolen, the owner must inform law enforcement within three days or they could face a fine. The bill also states that if a gun owner doesn't report a stolen firearm to law enforcement and a crime is committed with it, the gun owner could face consequences.

"If somebody steals my car and goes and runs through a crowd, I'm not responsible for that," Bryce said. "But if they steal my firearm, I'm responsible for it? This one's going to be an interesting one. It'll end up in courts."

Manning said responsible gun owners will not have to alter their behavior as a result of this bill.

"Any responsible gun owner would, or should, report the theft of a firearm from their home," Manning said.

The bill was approved by the Senate by a vote of 17-7.

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