On Tuesday, Democrats in Oregon’s Senate ignored sheriffs and passed SB 941 by a vote of 17-13. This bill applies background checks to all gun sales in the state, retail and private, and provides a mechanism by which the guns of certain persons can be confiscated.
Bill sponsor Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) has been touting SB 941 as a way to fight crime by forcing everyone to go through the same background checks that individuals buying a gun in a gun store go through. Several sheriffs and Republican lawmakers made clear that criminals do not go through background checks and will not go through background checks with or without SB 941.
But Prozanski remained steadfast in his support for the measure, as did Gabby Giffords, who believes every Oregonian ought to have pass the same background check her attacker passed to get his gun.
The Statesman Journal reports that Prozanski pushed the measure in spite of the testimony against expanded background checks from law enforcement personnel like Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer. Palmer cited the the ineffectiveness of background checks to show that the passage of SB 941 is really just a way to get government more heavily involved in regulating the Second Amendment. He called it “borderline treasonous,” and said his sheriff’s department would not enforce it.
On April 3, Breitbart News reported that background checks are ineffective not simply because criminals go around them, but because many criminals simply pass them.
For example, Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Aaron Ybarra (Seattle Pacific University), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Jared Loughner (Tucson), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), and Naveed Haq (Seattle), all passed background checks for the firearms they used to commit their crimes.
Yet Prozanski says his background check bill will reduce crime.
The one thing his bill will do is open the door to legalized firearm confiscation in state, by requiring judges “to determine” whether an individual ordered to received outpatient mental care is unfit for gun possession.
According to Oregon Live, this widens a law already on the books that bans gun possession for persons who undergo inpatient care.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.