PORTLAND, Ore. — A new Oregon bill goes into effect Saturday that requires guns to be securely stored when not in use.
Senate Bill 554 requires Oregonians to keep guns secured with a trigger or cable lock, in locked container or in a gun room except in specific circumstances. It also allows places like the state capitol, airports, schools and universities to prohibit firearms in buildings.
The bill goes into effect one day after yet another horrific scene of gun violence in Portland. One person was killed by the gunfire and other people were injured at Silver Dollar Pizza on Northwest 21st Avenue early Friday morning. Countless others in nearby bars ran away terrified.
"All we heard was bang, bang, bang, and you see the whole place just duck down," witness Sukhreet Cheema said. "It was pretty scary."
With more than three months to go in 2021, there have already been more than 920 shootings in the Rose City. That is up from 388 in all of 2019. The dramatic uptick has not gone unnoticed.
"My heart breaks and bleeds for the people of Portland," Oregon state senator James Manning Jr. said. "Portland is a great city but we've got to get a handle on this."
Sen. Manning is one of the chief sponsors of SB 554.
"It breaks my heart to know how many innocent lives we lost and continue to lose," Sen. Manning said.
Sen. Manning knows this bill will not necessarily solve the gun violence plaguing Portland, but he believes it is a step in the right direction.
"It's about accountability and hopefully we'll get to a place where we don't have all of this gun violence and innocent people being killed," Sen. Manning said. "We've got a lot of work to do and a long ways to go."
The hope is that the work does not take too long, at least that is the hope for people living near Silver Dollar Pizza on Northwest 21st. The neighborhood now understands all too well the devastating effects of gun violence.
"It's finally encroaching, the violence up here, and you never would think that," said neighbor Avery Lemons.