PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – There is renewed hope for the sweeping gun control measure Oregon voters approved last fall as Oregon Senate Democrats work to pass a bill with similar restrictions.
Senate Bill 348 reads similar to 114. Both would create a permit-to-purchase system, require firearm training and limit magazines to 10 rounds. This hope for Democrats is that – with process improvements over the permitting – the bill could go into law.
“We know there are some things that need to be changed to help ballot Measure 114 be implemented in the right way,” said Jonathan Eames of Everytown for Gun Safety.
But several people testifying on the bill say the proposal infringes upon the Second Amendment.
“Senate Bill 348 is a disingenuous attempt to usurp the authority of Oregon courts, an attempt to violate the separation of powers,” said Oregon NRA Director Aoibheann Cline.
The contents of this bill really only became known on Friday, when it was introduced early in the session, but sponsor State Senator Floyd Prozanski introduced a 64-page Amendment that is the actual substance of the bill.
It would create the permit-to-purchase and 10-round magazine limit part of Measure 114, but requires a background check to be completed before a purchase or transfer of a firearm.
It would raise the purchase age to 21 – with the exception of hunting rifles and shotguns.
Most of the testimony Monday night came from people opposing the bill, but there were some supporters too.
It came the same day as six people, including three nine-year-olds were shot in a school in Nashville.
Elizabeth Howe of the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety said permit-to-purchase and licensing have been shown to reduce both gun homicides and gun suicides.
“When Connecticut passed its licensing law, its firearm homicides dropped by 28% and its firearm suicide rate dropped by 33%,” Howe said.
However, there was overwhelmingly more testimony opposing SB 348 than supporting it.
Shortly after Measure 114 passed by around 25,000 votes, it was blocked from going into effect by lawsuits.
Federal Judge Karen Immergut held up the law versus Second Amendment challenges, but Oregon Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio temporarily blocked it because the systems for permitting weren’t in place.
In addition to this bill, there are three other pieces of legislation in Salem being considered to raise the purchase age to 21, ban and punish the ownership or sale of untraceable guns – like kits bought online. The third would allow government agencies to ban guns on its property.
However, law enforcement agencies were concerned about Measure 114 not providing enough money for their offices to cover the cost of background checks and firearms training.
Law enforcement agencies expressed concern over Measure 114 – saying the $65 fee wouldn’t cover their costs. Senate Bill 348 raises the permit cost to $150, stipulating a maximum of $48 dollars can go to Oregon State Police for background checks, and the remaining to go to local law enforcement.
“This can put some people out of the ability to actually buy a firearm and use them,” said Candace Yow, the Oregon Director for DC Project.
Stay with KOIN 6 News as this story develops.