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Procedural Error in Senate Judiciary Committee Muddies Fate of Bills

By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon

Our thanks to all of you for an incredible turnout in Salem today! Thanks to everyone who called legislators, wrote email, attended the hearings, or submitted testimony. Your voices and your strength are why these bills are becoming reality.

Very special thanks to everyone who gave powerful, moving testimony. Your stories make people listen, think, and develop a clearer understanding of the need for legislatition.

As of Monday night, the fate of the bills is not clear. Due to a procedural error, the Senate Judiciary Committee did not take the necessary actions to allow the bills to have a work session tomorrow. (Bills in a committee must be voted out of that committee during a work session.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee is working to protect SB 797 and SB 868. HB 2526 is safely scheduled for a work session (vote) on April 18.

Here’s what we know:

SB 797 Close Charleston & Dating Partner Loopholes, No Guns for Stalkers, etc:

  • SB 797 could still be added to another bill as an amendment.
  • The bill could be sent to the Senate Rules Committee (which has different rules).
  • This bill contains Governor Kate Brown’s gun violence prevention priorities so the Senators are working hard to protect the bill.

SB 868 Extreme Risk Protection Order:

  • SB 868 has been folded into SB 719-5.
  • The bill will have a work session (vote) tomorrow, April 18, at 8 AM.
  • This bill is very important to Senators Burdick, Boquist, and Prozanski. They are doing all they can to pass the Extreme Risk Protection Order.

SB 764 Relating to Concealed Handgun Licenses:

  • SB 764 has not been scheduled for a work session (vote) but still could be.
  • The bill could be sent to the Senate Rules Committee (which has different rules).
  • The bill might be dead. It’s a bit like Schrodinger’s Cat: we don’t know if it’s alive or dead and won’t know until we observe it.

HB 2526 Gun Dealers Provide Safety & Suicide Prevention Information:

  • HB 2526 was heard in a different committee (House Judiciary Committee) and was not involved in the error.
  • The bill is scheduled for a work session (vote) tomorrow, April 18.
  • No need to take action tomorrow.
  • A new amendment (HB 2526-2) calls for the Oregon Health Authority to:
    • study firearm injury and deaths, and
    • create firearm safety and suicide prevention educational materials.
    • The OHA materials will be made available to gun dealers to provide to gun buyers.
  • Ceasefire Oregon is disappointed that the law has been weakened by changing the language from “shall” provide information to “may” provide information.
  • While we applaud an OHA study, we urge the Senate to take immediate action and require gun dealers to use currently available information from OHA or information from Harvard’s Gun Shop Project.

In summary:

  • SB 868 is now SB 719-5 and scheduled for a vote on April 18.
  • SB 797 is in limbo but we are confident it will be saved.
  • SB 764 has not been scheduled for a vote and probably will die.
  • HB 2526 is scheduled for a vote on April 18.

Again, thank you for your great support. We will keep you up to date.

Penny, Joanne, and the Ceasefire Oregon Team

P.S. The gun lobby was so embarrassed at how outnumbered there were at today’s hearing that they claimed we were brought in from another state!