PORTLAND, Ore. – On the heels of a proposal to ban assault-style weapons in Oregon comes a second gun control proposal, this time taking its aim at unsafe gun storage.
The latest proposed measure may have an easier time navigating Oregon’s political landscape than the proposed assault weapons ban sought by an interfaith group, which no politician has explicitly supported. That ban would require legal gun owners to surrender or register their assault-style weapons or face felony charges.
On Monday, a group called Oregonians for Safe Gun Storage filed a prospective petition for a ballot measure in the November 2018 general election.
The group noted that most school shootings involve guns taken from the shooter’s family or relative’s home, and children are disproportionately likely to be hurt by improperly stored guns.
“Oregon deserves a culture where gun owners behave responsibly,” said Paul Kemp, one of the petitioners. “This is how we will make our communities safer and cure the scourge of gun violence that is plaguing our state.”
The measure would require gun owners to secure their firearms with a trigger, cable lock or in a locked container, when they are not carrying or controlling the gun.
It would also make gun owners liable for crimes committed with their unsecured guns by other people, except for self-defense or defense of another person.
Stolen guns must be reported within 24 hours of a gun owner learning about the theft, and minors who don’t own guns won’t be able to carry someone else’s gun unless they’re directly supervised.
Gun owners who violate the proposed law could face fines, or in the case of crimes committed by others with their guns, further legal action.
Kemp and another petitioner, Jenna Yuille, both lost family members to gun violence. Kemp’s brother-in-law was Steve Forsyth, who died in the Clackamas Town Center shooting in 2012.
The Oregonians for Safe Gun Storage group said it expects to collect enough signatures to qualify for a ballot title by the end of this week.