Enactment of a new gun control law in Oregon requiring safe storage may be a piece of trophy legislation for proponents including perennially anti-gun State Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), but the true acid test may be whether the safe storage requirement has any impact on the bloodbath in Portland.
Already this year, according to KPTV News, the Rose City has seen 63 murders, up from the 53 reported last year, and on the way to match or beat the record of 70 killings set in 1987.
Portland, according to the new FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2020, saw an 83 percent spike in murders last year, up from the 29 posted in 2019. KOIN News reported last year’s number was “more than double the number in 2018 and 2017.” Those slayings were part of the 122 murders logged for all of Oregon last year, which translated to a 16 percent increase over 2019, KOIN said.
So it is not likely Oregon’s new safe storage gun control law is going to slow down the slayings. As reported by the Salem Statesman Journal and other publications, the new law—which took effect last Saturday—slaps a fine of up to $500 on someone failing to securely lock up a gun. That goes up to $2,000 if a child accesses the unsecured gun.
Guns are not considered “secure” if an “unauthorized person” is able to get a key or a combination to the gun safe, box, trigger lock or cable lock.
Gun owners can be sued in civil court if they violate the law and it results in the injury of another person. It would be up to the court to determine negligence.
Gun owners who transfer a firearm where a background check is required must supply a trigger lock or locking container with the gun.
As noted by Oregon.Live , the legislation also includes a ban on guns at the Capitol in Salem. Under this provision, school districts, community colleges and universities are also permitted to establish their own firearm policies.
Oregon Public Broadcasting said an effort to detail the law failed when Republican lawmakers could not get the required number of signatures on a referendum petition to put the challenge on the ballot in 2022.
Burdick insisted the new gun control law is what the people want. Will the same public be so keen on the new restrictions if, or when, they do not stem the killings in Portland?