Students for Change lobbied the legislature, along with Gov. Kate Brown last year. Being unsuccessful, the group claimed it would come back with a proposal for consideration. Oregon’s legislative session begins Jan. 22.
SB 501 would raise the legal age to purchase guns to 21. It would also require purchasers to obtain a permit from the local sheriff before being able to buy a gun. To obtain the permit, applicants would have to be at least 21 years old, have no criminal convictions, have not violated a restraining or stalking order and provide proof of completing a firearms safety course. However, local sheriffs could still deny the permit if he or she believes the person is likely to be a danger to themselves or others.
Additionally, this bill would limit magazine capacity to five rounds, require all guns to be locked and limit the purchase of ammunition to 20 rounds a month. Gun owners would also have to report stolen guns within 24 hours.
Oregon Gun Bill Opposition
Now this bill has little chance of passing as written. In fact, even Wagner claims he has no idea of the bill’s constitutionality. However, other legislators have already come out against it.
“The Oregon Constitution is clearer about the Second Amendment than the United States Constitution,” said Rep. Bill Post, according to the Statesman Journal. “We value and respect firearms in Oregon — and this is not a partisan issue. The bill is culturally blind to the heritage of our state and Oregonians’ values.”
However, gun owners should still have concerns. This bill shows the overall desires of anti-gun forces, basically limiting access to firearms and ammunition. There is no grandfather clause on magazines that hold more than five rounds. So, gun owners would have to turn in or destroy all magazines above the limit. This basically eliminates the use of most semi-auto pistols and rifles. It also eliminates the sale of 50-round boxes of ammunition, which reduces the ability to conduct training.
This bill, along with other anti-gun bills, will face opposition from gun rights groups.