Scenario: You have a Concealed Handgun License in Oregon. You have no criminal record. You’re an average person going about your day. Let’s say one of your parents is having health issues, so you travel across the state to help them out for a few days. You’re bringing groceries back to them. Then a cop pulls up behind you and turns his rack lights on. You have a tail light out. While running your plates the cop discovers you have a CHL and he asks if you’re carrying. You say yes, because you’re a licensed CHL holder and you’ve never had any trouble with the law. Unbeknownst to you, there is a school the next block over that you never noticed because you don’t travel from that direction to get to your parents’ home. Also unbeknownst to you, the city government has passed an ordinance that bans CHL holders from being “adjacent” to any school grounds.
All of a sudden you become a felon. You are arrested in front of your family, hauled off to jail, held on $25,000 bond, slandered by hysterical reactionaries in the media as “MAN WITH GUN ARRESTED NEAR SCHOOL” because alarming headlines sell, and eventually sentenced to prison for violating something that you didn’t even know you were violating.
This is the wet dream utopia that democrats in Oregon are pushing. SB554 removes large portions of state exemptions and allows municipalities to craft their own gun laws, ultimately creating a patchwork of varying laws that differ from arbitrary line to arbitrary line. What is perfectly legal in one county is suddenly illegal and felonious if you walk across the street into city borders where local politicians decided to pass a bunch of symbolic ordinances.
This bill only targets lawful CHL holders who have been through training and passed a background check. The bill does nothing to address the rampant crime and rise in shootings that Portland is becoming known for.
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SB 554 will effectively end concealed handgun licenses while ironically doubling their cost.
Under SB 554, any public building, and the property near it, can (and will) become a no-go zone for CHL holders while lawfully armed. (“Lawfully armed” soon to become an oxymoron.)
The definition of “public building” will be greatly expanded to include airports, any building owned or “controlled” by any city, county or metropolitan service district, any property owned by a college or university and any property near those buildings!
The penalty for being on or near any of these locations will be 5 years in prison and a $125,000.00 fine.
A CHL holder traveling from their home in Hillsboro to the Portland airport to pick up a family member will have committed countless felonies before they even get to the airport.
Under ORS 166.250 it is already technically illegal to go to the airport with a firearm in a locked case that you are intending to travel with if you do not have a CHL.However, in spite of the lunacy of that statute, people have not been prosecuted when declaring firearms at the airport.
Under SB 554, airports will have the power to ban even CHL holders, further exposing gun owners to arbitrary prosecutions.
In short, if the Democrats succeed in passing this as the first of many attacks on your rights, a concealed handgun license will become both more expensive and worthless at the same time.
It is telling that the Democrats are attempting to force through this horrendous attack on your rights and common sense at the same time they are ignoring the spike in criminal violence on our city’s streets and applauding the rioting and looting by their Marxist supporters.
Under this scheme, not only will you be subject to prosecution for defending yourself and your loved ones, you’ll be subject to 5 years in prison for simply having the means to defend yourself!
It’s no accident that the Democrats are determined to render you helpless while the thugs who back them are bringing chaos to our streets.
With super majorities in both chambers, the democrats can basically do whatever they want and disregard the minority opinions. Republicans have one tool to combat this. They can simply walk out and deny the democrats a quorum, as they have done in the last two legislative sessions.
While some of the Republicans are no-showing some of the sessions, so far the republican “leadership” is showing no signs of walking out, and it appears as though they are going to allow the democrats to pass this and other reckless bills.
Bills such as these do nothing to address the current crime and it’s obvious that the only purpose of these new laws is for democrats to exact revenge upon their political adversaries and wreck the lives of people who likely vote for their political opposition.
This bill is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow (Thursday, March 25th).
This is just one of many pointless gun restrictions that Oregon democrats want to pass this year.
You can reach Senate President Peter Courtney on his official office line at 503-986-1600.
You can also reach Republican minority leader Fred Girod at 503-986-1709 .