We work to prevent gun violence

Statement from Ceasefire Oregon about the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber

We at Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation are saddened by the this news of Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation. For many years, Governor Kitzhaber has been committed to gun violence prevention in Oregon. He helped draw attention to the Asking Saves Kids Campaign by proclaiming June 21, 2014 "ASK Day" in Oregon and championed expanded background checks for firearm sales.

In February 2014, Governor Kitzhaber joined Capt. Mark Kelly to testify in support of SB 1551 which would have closed the private sale loophole in firearms background checks. Gov. Kitzhaber said the bill is "a reasonable step that shows Oregon is being serious" about reducing gun violence by preventing felons and domestic abusers from buying guns. We are grateful to Governor Kitzhaber for his commitment to reducing gun violence and we wish him well.

Ceasefire Oregon will continue to work with the Oregon legislature and we look forward to working with Kate Brown as she becomes our new governor. Working together, we know we can reduce gun violence in Oregon.

Joanne Skirving, President, Ceasefire Oregon 

Penny Okamoto, Executive Director, Ceasefire Oregon

Julie Wheeler, President, Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation

The legislative session has begun! Bills aiming at reducing gun violence will soon be introduced. Ceasefire Oregon is currently working to mobilize support for these proposals. Stay tuned for more news. 

Cease Violence: A second anniversary memorial of the Clackamas Town Center and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings to remember all victims of violence.

Thank you for joning us on Friday, December 12 at 7 p.m. at Augustana Lutheran Church, 2710 NE 14th Ave., in Portland to honor all victims of violence, including those lost at Clackamas Town Center, Sandy Hook Elemenatry School, Reynolds High School, or through domestic violence, gang violence or suicide. And thank you to the scheduled speakers, Gary Spanovich of the Wholistic Peace Institute, Jenna Yuille whose mother, Cindy, died at Clackamas Town Center, and Pastor Mark Knutson.

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Oregon voters delivered an emphatic message to our legislators last week: Oregonians want to end gun violence! We demand common sense gun laws and we will vote out legislators who refuse to take simple steps to keep guns away from criminals.

You helped create a huge victory for gun violence prevention in Oregon! Thank you! Thousands of you stood up to the gun lobby and paved the way for Oregon to pass a strong background checks bill in 2015. Read about the victories in our blog.

Ceasefire Oregon and the Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation extend our deepest sympathies to the community of Marysville-Pilchuck High School and the families whose children have been killed or injured. The loss faced by the families and communities is horrific. The weapon used was believed to have been a Beretta .40-caliber handgun purchased by the shooter's father. (CNN, Oct. 24, 2014) Responsible gun owners must keep their weapons under control at all times and not accessible to teenagers. If you decide to purchase a weapon consider the home, the family and the community into which you are bringing a gun. Keep guns locked up and unloaded with the ammunition stored separately. Do it for your community and your family.

Ceasefire Oregon is currently working to elect candidates who support background checks and other common-sense gun laws. Interested in volunteering? Please email ceasefireoregon@gmail.com or email Michael DeLong at michael.ceasefireoregon@gmail.com.

James Brady passed away on August 4, 2014, at the age of 73. He was the man behind the Brady Handgun Bill to Prevent Gun Violence, which blocked an estimated 2 million gun sales to criminals, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people. After he was wounded during an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady and his wife worked to pass stronger gun laws and reduce gun violence. They saved countless lives through their courage and determination. Ceasefire Oregon and countless other gun violence prevention advocates mourn the loss of a true American hero. 

Governor John Kitzhaber issued a proclamation designating June 21st, 2014 as Asking Saves Kids Day, and encouraged all Oregonians to join in this observance. The ASK Campaign encourages parents to ask "Is there is an unlocked gun in your house?" before sending their child over to play. Asking this question is a simple step that every parent can take to keep their child safe, and possible save their child's life. 

In America today, shootings happen so frequently that usually only mass shootings gain attention. Sadly, in addition to these horrifying acts, gang violence is common. And that doesn't even touch the numbers of suicide by gunshot. Over 300 people in Oregon committ suicide with guns every year. 

Gun violence is a huge issue and we need more than just one solution. Just like cancer has many causes and requires many different treatments, gun violence has many roots and requires many different tactics. One tactic would be requiring background checks for all gun sales in America. Another would be increased support for mental health treatment. 

In the Seattle Pacific shooting, as in many mass shootings, the killing is ended when the murderer stops to reload and heroes have a chance to tackle the shooter. It's one reason why Ceasefire Oregon has worked to limit the number of bullets allowed in gun magazines. 

Does it work? When Adam Lanza took 11 seconds to reload at Sandy Hook, 11 kids escaped. Yes, it works. But it's not enough. We need to stop these murder rampages before they begin. 


Three Beverly Cleary students have won second place in the middle school category in the national 2014 C-SPAN Student Cam documentary contest for their film "Gun Control in America." Contestants were asked what issue they thought was the most important facing Congress in 2014.

These students decided to address gun violence in America. Their seven minute film includes interviews with Representative Earl Blumenauer and a Ceasefire Oregon volunteer.

President Obama has nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy, a distinguished and well-qualified doctor, to be the next Surgeon General. However, his nomination is being opposed by the National Rifle Association. The reason? Dr. Murthy supports effective gun laws and views gun violence as a public health issue that can and should be addressed immediately. 

The New England Journal of Medicine ran an excellent editorial supporting his nomination. Please contact Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley and urge them to support Dr. Murthy! 

In 2007 Missouri repealed a law requiring background checks and licenses for all gun owners. A new study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research shows that after this law was repealed, firearm deaths in Missouri increased by 23 percent (55 to 63 more murders annually from 2008 to 2012). 

This study provides compelling confirmation that weaknesses in gun laws lead to deaths from gun violence. 

The 2014 Oregon Legislature did nothing to prevent gun violence. SB 1551, which would have required background checks on almost all gun sales in Oregon, did not come up for a vote and died in the Senate Rules Committee. The lack of a vote was despite promises made to Rules Committee Chair Senator Floyd Prozanski that SB 1551 would receive a vote. 

We ask Oregonians to hold their legislators accountable for not enacting laws that will reduce gun violence. We demand that our legislators stand up for the lives of Oregonians. 

Ceasefire Oregon will continue to work to pass common-sense gun safety laws and educate the public about the effectiveness of laws including universal background checks and child access prevention. 

Thank you for joining us for the January 28th Gun Violence Prevention Summit! 

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence released their 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter. The report contains analyses of the gun laws in every state, and it ranks states according to how effective and strong their laws are. Every state is awarded a letter grade indicating the overall strength or weakness of its gun laws. Oregon's grade is a D+.

2013 was an important year. After the horrifying massacre at Sandy Hook, twenty-one states passed new laws to reduce gun laws, and eight of them enacted major reforms. 

Thank you for joining us at the December 11th vigil in honor of the victims of the Clackamas Town Center! 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all victims of gun violence, their families, and their friends. The mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16 resulted in 13 deaths (including the shooter's), and many others were injured. This is the deadliest shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Just three days after the Navy Yard shooting, 13 people were shot in a park in Chicago. Thankfully, all survived, but several were seriously injured. 

While mass shootings receive the most media attention, dozens of people are victims of gun violence every day--in moments of rage, feuds with neighbors, drive-by shootings, domestic violence, suicides, unintentional shootings, and many other instances. 

Since the massacre at Sandy Hook, Joe Nocera, a columnist for The New York Times, has issued the Gun Report, a daily update that provides a grim record of the carnage and death on our streets, much of which results from inadequate gun safety laws. Visit http://nocera.blogs.nytimes.com/category/gun-report/

A different blog, www.kidshootings.blogspot.com, reports shootings involving kids. Reports of shootings in Oregon are collected at https://www.facebook.com/oregonshootings.

The American people deserve better than this. While laws that present real opportunities to save lives sit on the desks of legislators, many Americans continue to die as a result of gun violence. The American people are calling for action. Our legislators need to act now.

The 2013 Oregon Legislature did nothing to prevent gun violence.

We are deeply disappointed that even after the recent horrific shooting tragedies here in Oregon and across the country, the 2013 Oregon Legislature chose to do nothing to reduce gun violence. Oregonians overwhelmingly support common-sense steps like requiring universal background checks to ensure that guns do not end up in the hands of criminals. It is our hope that our elected leaders will soon catch up with the views of their constituents.

The movement to strengthen our gun laws is stronger today than at any time in the last decade. With our partners in the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action and the Brady Campaign, we will continue gearing up for new educational campaigns and the next legislative session. We appreciate the hard work by Senators Floyd Prozanski and Ginny Burdick this session and look forward to successfully passing legislation to make our communities safer.

Ceasefire Oregon mourns the death of Julie Sterling, our dear friend, co-founder, board member, and lifelong advocate. She was an inspiration to all of us, and we will miss her dearly.

Oregonians support common-sense gun safety laws: watch and share this video.



Keep guns away from dangerous people

Require universal background checks
Background checks prevent criminals and people with serious mental illness from buying guns. That's why a background check should be required for every gun sale. 81% of Oregonians support universal background checks on all gun sales. Ask your legislators in Salem to require universal background checks. This is a terrific reform that we strongly support.
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Latest News

  • October 2014

    Oregon has some laws restricting access to firearms by domestic abusers. Much more
    can be done to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous persons, including convicted
    domestic abusers, stalkers, and persons subject to domestic violence protective orders.

    Oregon is home to a staggering amount of gun violence.
    • From 2002 to 2011, 4,007 people were killed with guns in Oregon. That is more than
    the number of all U.S. combat deaths in the Iraq...

    → view full article

  • October 2014

    Oregon has some laws restricting access to firearms by domestic abusers. Much more
    can be done to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous persons, including convicted
    domestic abusers, stalkers, and persons subject to domestic violence protective orders.

    Oregon is home to a staggering amount of gun violence.
    • From 2002 to 2011, 4,007 people were killed with guns in Oregon. That is more than
    the number of all U.S. combat deaths in the Iraq...

    → view full article

  • A new report shows that many people already banned by existing federal law from purchasing guns are using online sales to evade background checks and acquire guns illegally. There are no federal background check requirements to prevent such online sales, and many people who would be discouraged by background checks at gun dealers are taking advantage of this online private sale loophole.

    Current Oregon law also does not require background checks for these online sales.

    → view full article