HB 4147 Denies firearm purchase if background check cannot be completed01/29/2016HB 4147 VOTE:NOIn Committee
Public Hearing 02/04/2016 3:00pm
House Committee On JudiciaryChairRepresentative Jeff BarkerMemberRepresentative Brent BartonMemberRepresentative Mitch GreenlickMemberRepresentative Wayne KriegerVice-ChairRepresentative Ann LiningerVice-ChairRepresentative Andy OlsonMemberRepresentative Bill PostMemberRepresentative Sherrie SprengerMemberRepresentative Jessica Vega PedersonStatus (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Measures/Overview/HB4147
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Committees/HJUD/Overview
HB 4147 Summary
Prohibits transfer of firearm by dealer or private party if Department of State Police is unable to determine whether recipient is qualified to receive firearm.
As the law now stands, if the State cannot show within one business day that you should NOT be able to purchase a firearm, the seller can go ahead with the transfer to you. So today, when the State Police Firearms Check system is “down” or otherwise malfunctioning as it often is, you can be delayed only a short time if you received an “initial denial.” With this law, if the FICS unit does not positively say that you CAN purchase a firearm, you are delayed – indefinitely. Currently about 1% of background checks run in Oregon – 2,000 out of roughly 200,000 checks run per year, result in an “initial denial.” Investigation and state police records then show that 90% + of those are for non-prohibited persons – “false positive.” So with this law, the 1800 people per year who are not prohibited but are initially denied, can be denied forever or until FICS figures out the problem du jour, whichever comes first. This is a clearly unconstitutional prohibition of exercise of a constitutional right by law abiding people. Statistics from http://www.oregon.gov/osp/ID/Pages/Firearms-Denial-Information-and-Reports.aspx.
This is being introduced in an off-year legislative session which were implemented for purposes of small housekeeping work, not introducing radical new changes, and scheduled for a hearing the very first week of session, giving the public very little time to provide input. This methodology is downright offensive.
SB 1551 Allows hold on firearms purchaser by defined “reporters”01/29/2016SB 1551 VOTE:NOIn Committee
Public Hearing 02/03/2016 8:00am HR 50
Senate Committee On JudiciaryMemberSenator Sara GelserVice-ChairSenator Jeff KruseChairSenator Floyd ProzanskiMemberSenator Kim ThatcherMemberPresident Pro Tempore Diane Rosenbaum
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Measures/Overview/SB1551
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Committees/SJUD/Overview
SB 1551 Summary
Authorizes specified reporters to make report to Department of State Police Firearms Unit that person is experiencing mental health emergency and is danger to self or others with firearm. Directs department, upon receipt of report, to record temporary firearm purchase hold preventing person from purchasing firearm. Provides civil immunity to reporter acting in good faith. Provides that knowingly making false report is criminal offense. Punishes by maximum of one year’s imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both. Creates processes for person to obtain relief from firearm purchase hold. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
As with so many bills in the last couple of years, the sponsors of this bill are not listed and it also has an emergency clause at the end which causes it to go into effect before it can be referred to the voters. If you believe your bill is good, why will you not put your name on it? And why if everyone supports your position as you claim, will you not allow the voters to have a say? These things alone should disqualify this bill. Then, the bill is deemed an emergency so must go into effect immediately but the rules under which it will be carried out “shall be adopted” by the Department of State Police – with NO time frame given! So the law is in effect, with no rules or procedures of how to implement it! Finally, this is being introduced in an off-year legislative session which were implemented for purposes of small housekeeping work, not introducing radical new changes, and scheduled for a hearing the very first week of session, giving the public very little time to provide input. This methodology is downright offensive.
Personal choice and responsibility
This bill as written is rife with the possibility of abuse of the liberties of perfectly sane and law abiding people. The hold is for 30 days now but once this is in effect that could be extended to a year with a “housekeeping” bill with little notice or public input. What about penalty for a false report? Is a class A misdemeanor sufficient penalty for effectively falsely denying someone’s exercise of a constitutional right and possibly endangering their life by denying the means to self-defense? While this bill may be well-meaning, this needs a lot of work in order to ensure that protection of society is gained without loss of liberty.