SB 1065 should be a human health and public welfare priority for all Oregonians
By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon
SB 1065(1) must be a priority human health and public welfare bill for all Oregon legislators. Its provisions lie well within the 2nd Amendment constitutional principles litigated post-Heller. Issues addressed include stalking; dating partner violence; and the lack of adequate, statewide CHL requirements.
SB 1065 will protect Oregonians in four ways:
1. SB 1065 protects anyone, particularly women and youth, who is being stalked by prohibiting convicted stalkers from purchasing or possessing firearms.(2)
- Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 experience the highest rate of stalking victimization.
- 76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
- 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before they were murdered.
- 79% of abused femicide victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused.
- 54% of femicide victims reported being stalked to police before they were killed by their stalkers.
- Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that state laws disqualifying individuals under restraining orders from gun possession were associated with a 19 percent reduction in the risk of intimate-partner homicides and a 25 percent reduction in the risk of intimate-partner homicides with a gun.(3)
2. SB 1065 gives law enforcement tools to enforce existing gun laws by:
- Giving Oregon State Police 14 days(4) to complete background checks, and
- providing additional tools for police to enforce the Oregon Firearm Safety Act.(5)
- Protects families by giving law enforcement additional time to investigate pending firearm background checks while providing disqualified purchasers means of quickly addressing challenged disqualifications.
3. SB 1065 will help to reduce domestic partner violence by closing the Dating Partner Loophole. (6)
- Nearly half of all intimate partner homicides are committed by dating partners. (7)
- SB 1065 would treat domestic violence the same regardless of the marital or cohabitation status of the parties involved.
4. SB 1065 raises standards of Oregon’s embarrassingly low requirements to obtain concealed handgun license (CHL).
- Completion of a live fire practice exercise, including a minimum of 25 rounds fired;
- Training in the safe loading, unloading, storing and carrying of handguns and information on Oregon and relevant federal laws governing the lawful use of a firearm, including self-defense, the use of force, including deadly force, and the transportation and concealment of handguns;
- Evidence of experience with a handgun equivalent to the live fire practice exercise and the course or class through participation in an organized shooting competition or military service.
- Course may not be completed through the Internet or other electronic means.
- Even Texas does not recognize Oregon’s CHLs because of our lax training requirements.
- More than 220,000 people hold an Oregon CHL. Almost a quarter of a million people in Oregon are permitted to carry loaded, hidden guns almost anywhere–even in Oregon’s public kindergartens–without proof of firearm skill, let alone successfully de-escalate an argument or respond to an active shooter situation.
- Protects people participating in Oregon’s Confidentiality Program when applying for a CHL.
SB 1065 is not perfect.
- The bill provides an exemption allowing retired probation and parole officers to have CHL privileges without even taking a CHL online course. Why allow an exemption? All CHL applicants should be subject to the same requirements.
- The bill does not eliminate the Charleston Loophole but, instead, only extends the time law enforcement has to complete a background check. While this is an improvement, Ceasefire Oregon believes that gun sellers who sell a gun without a completed background check should lose immunity to prosecution. (If a gun seller is willing to bet the lives of Oregonians that a gun buyer is not a prohibited purchaser, then the gun seller should be willing to bet her/his freedom on that as well.)
- The bill extends a CHL license from four to five years. More than 220,000 Oregonians currently hold CHLs. What provisions do we have that will catch any CHL holder who becomes disqualified? Some Oregon sheriffs have repeatedly said they will not support the Oregon Firearm Safety Act (SB 941).(8) Will those same sheriffs turn a blind eye to someone whose CHL has been revoked? A renewal is one of the few chances Oregon has to complete a background check on a current CHL holder.
While SB 1065 is not a perfect bill, the provisions would protect Oregonians from gun violence, intimidation at gunpoint, and untrained (but well-meaning) CHL holders. We urge your support for SB 1065.
2. Stalking Victimization in the United States (2009) and National Center for Victims of Crime: Stalking Fact Sheet (2012)
3. April M. Zeoli and Daniel W. Webster, “Effects of domestic violence policies, alcohol taxes and police staffing levels on intimate partner homicide in large US cities,” Injury Prevention 16 (2) (2009): 90–95 cited in “Preventing Domestic Abusers and Stalkers from Accessing Guns” at page 10, footnote 73.
4. A “perfect” bill would eliminate “default” sales without a completed background check. To impose a limit on the period of time to complete a background check has no merit in either fact or law. While SB 1065 incrementally closes the Charleston Loophole, it does not eliminate it.
6. “Guns and Domestic Violence: Oregon’s Loophole,” Sarah Hansell, Street Roots news, 12 Apr 2017
7. “Ms. Blog: Closing the Boyfriend Loophole,” Kelly Roskam, 4 May 2017
8. CNN: “Oregon sheriff once posted link to Sandy Hook conspiracy video,” Doug Criss and Greg Botelho, 5 October 2015.