Pro Statehouse Trends: Oregon on verge of implementing gun safe storage law

 
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BY LIZ CRAMPTON

*This article was originally made available to POLITICO Pro subscribers on 05/20/2021 at 05:48 PM EDT

POLITICO Pro Statehouse Trends is a regular analysis of legislative activity in statehouses across the country.


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HAPPENING NOW: 

Oregon this month may become the latest state to enact a law mandating safe storage of guns if Gov. Kate Brown signs recently passed legislation that would also ban guns from the state Capitol.

As gun control advocates and lawmakers have been lobbying for a complete overhaul to the nation’s gun laws, they’ve been able to pass legislation in nearly a dozen states that require gun owners to keep firearms securely stowed away. The goal is to keep the weapons from being accessible by children and teenagers in hopes of preventing accidental deaths, suicides and mass shootings.

Nearly 2,000 children and teenagers have been killed or injured by guns so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. And a number of school shootings are carried out by people who obtain guns from their homes. Gun safety experts say those incidents could happen less frequently if guns were not as easily accessible.

The Oregon bill, which was named after two people who were shot and killed at a mall in 2012, would require guns to be secured with a trigger or cable lock, in a locked container or gun room. It would impose fines on gun owners who do not properly store their firearms, secure guns during transport or immediately report lost or stolen weapons. Gun owners who leave their firearms unsecured would also be liable for damages resulting from another person using the firearms.

The legislation would also ban guns from the state Capitol, overriding an existing rule that allows concealed handgun licensees to bring firearms inside. Armed protesters stormed the building in December, angry that it was shut down due to the pandemic.

Here’s what’s going on in other states:

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in April signed a measure, HB 1106, that requires firearm owners to use a gun safe, trigger lock or cable lock. He also signed another law, SB 78, that mandates gun owners to report their lost or stolen firearm within five days.

Other states that have safe storage laws on the books include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Safe storage bills were proposed in a number of other states this session but failed, such as in Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico and Virginia.

ELSEWHERE: 

Here's the latest on other policy issues we're watching.

Death penalty: People on death row in South Carolina now have the option to choose execution by firing squad or electric chair if lethal injection drugs are in short supply, due to a new law signed last week. Read a detailed Pro Bill Analysis here.

Gambling: Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature on Wednesday approved a sweeping gambling deal that will bring sports betting to the nation's third largest state for the first time. Read about the legislation here.

Cannabis: The New Jersey Legislature passed a bill this week to allow private equity firms to hold meaningful stakes in cannabis businesses owned by women, members of marginalized communities, individuals with disabilities or veterans. Read more about the legislation here.


More on Biden's First 100 Days:

Access more in-depth analyses and infographics from POLITICO Pro that will help you stay ahead of new policies and regulations coming from the Biden administration. 

Visit the resource center >>

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