Burdick: Biden’s gun actions aim at ‘epidemic of violence’


Oregon, Washington already have Red Flag laws in place

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Biden administration announced a series of executive actions aimed at addressing gun violence Thursday, including a new rule combatting “ghost guns” and publishing “red flag” legislation for states to adopt.

“Ghost guns” are self-assembled weapons that require no serial number and no background check. Biden also wants a 60-day review of how stabilizing braces for pistols are regulated.

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and international embarrassment,” Biden said during remarks at the White House. “Whether congress acts or not, I’m going to do everything I can to protect the American people.”

The “red flag” laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, is something both Oregon and Washington already have in place.

State Senator Ginny Burdick was instrumental in getting the Red Flag law passed in Oregon. It allows a judge to issue an order to temporarily take weapons away from a person in crisis.

State Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, August 8, 2019 (KOIN)

Burdick said the law has saved lives and prevented gun tragedies in Oregon and she hopes other states will follow suit.

“He hit so many bases that really need to be hit to control the epidemic of gun violence that we have in this country and in this state,” Burdick told KOIN 6 News. “We lose 100 Americans every day from gun violence.”

Penny Okamoto, the Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon Education Foundation and part of Lift Every Voice Oregon, said she thinks Biden’s announcement “acknowledge(s) and promises to address how people have suffered from gun violence throughout the United States.”

Another part of the Biden announcement includes a proposed rule to curb the number of ghost guns, which anyone can assemble at their home.

Oregon has tried to introduce legislation to address ghost guns but has not been able to get it through.

“Oregon has actually tried to address the rather alarming, frankly alarming issue of ghost guns for a few years now,” Okamoto said.

Cody Wilson
FILE – In this Aug. 1, 2018, file photo, Cody Wilson, with Defense Distributed, holds a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator at his shop in Austin, Texas. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, filed a multistate lawsuit that again seeks to block the Trump Administration from allowing 3D-printed gun files to be released on the internet. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Another part of the Biden plan includes funding for community organizations working to reduce gun violence. On Wednesday, the Portland City Council authorized $6 million for a gun violence reduction plan that includes community groups.

KOIN 6 News reached out to Republican lawmakers, several gun stores and gun rights advocacy groups. All declined a chance to speak on the record, although one gun store owner called the plan disgusting.

The Oregon Firearms Federation also declined to comment. When KOIN 6 News asked for a statement, they said: “I would if I thought there was any chance it would not be mangled. But those days are gone.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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