Oregon gun owners will have to pay out of pocket to lock their weapons away and come unarmed to protests under a bill signed into law this week.
The omnibus gun control bill combined two bills which set statewide standards for gun storage and allowing local governments to set up “gun-free zones” guns in public places. Gov. Kate Brown signed it into law on Tuesday. It takes effect 90 days after the state legislature is set to adjourn on June 28.
SB 2510 was intended to reduce suicides and domestic violence involving guns. It has gun owners to store their weapons in a locked container at all times with a padlock or trigger cable and gives them 72 hours to report thefts.
Supporters hailed SB 2510 as a common sense safety measure akin to wearing a seatbelt. Opponents have railed against it as a ‘backdoor tax‘ on gun owners that will hamper their right to self-defense.
SB 554 gives municipalities the power to ban guns in such places as public parks and buildings. It raises the cost of concealed handgun licenses and give shooting victims the right to sue for damages. Violating gun-free zone laws would count as a felony.
On Wednesday afternoon, three Oregon lawmakers—state Reps. Mike Nearman, R-Polk County; David Brock Smith, R-Port Orford and Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls—filed a petition with the Secretary of State to repeal SB 554. The petition needs 74,680 signatures 90 days after the state legislature adjourns on for it to qualify for the November 2022 ballot.
Voter referendums in Oregon have seen success in recent years. In 2014, voters approved Measure 88, overturning a bill that would have made driver licenses available to undocumented U.S. residents.
Gun control continues to be a hot button issue in Oregon and across the country as states endure a host of mass shootings. Guns have become a constant sight at far-right rallies around the state, especially in Salem where political protests have sparked street violence and pushback from law enforcement.
In Oregon, a religious coalition has announced plans to gather signatures to put two initiatives on the 2022 ballot. IP 18 would ban the sale of assault weapons. IP 17 would ban high-capacity magazines, requiring gun buyers to complete a background check and live-fire training in a classroom. Neither are mandatory in Oregon for open-carry.
The two initiatives need 140,000 signatures by July 8, 2022 to make the next step to being ballot-ready.