Oregon: Push to Repeal Gun Confiscation Bill Fails

Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill in August after it barely passed through the legislature, which only left a short window to gather signatures.

Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill in August.
Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill in August.photo from guns.com

Back in August we reported that Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a bill that established Extreme Risk Protection (ERP) Orders, which force subjects to surrender their firearms.

Now, a drive to overturn the statutes failed to gain the signatures it needed to be placed in front of voters on the next ballot.

Guns.com reports Republican House members Bill Post and Mike Nearman along with 2016 House candidate Teri Grier filed Referendum 302 in August with the Oregon Secretary of State's office. Titled the "Say No to 719" initiative, it aimed to push repeal of the ERP bill entirely.

Organizers fell short of the 58,789 signatures from registered voters no later than Thursday to qualify for the 2018 general election ballot, the story says.

Nearman said in a statement that he placed the blame squarely on Brown.

"It wasn't for lack of support. We just simply did not have enough time. I blame Governor Kate Brown for that," he said.

He further explained that, because they could not begin gathering signatures until Browned signed the measure on Aug. 15, and as they had 90 days from the end of the session on July 7 in which to circulate petitions, they had a very short window to work with.

The story says the initiative still garnered about 25,000 signatures.

The law allows police, or a member of a subjects family or house hold, to file a petition with the court that could lead to an order stripping an individual’s Second Amendment rights if it is believed that they pose an imminent risk to themselves or others.

The bill, SB 719A, passed the Senate 17-11 in May and the House 31-28 in July.

The law Brown signed established a process for obtaining the orders, which will be issued by a judge in civil court. The subject will be prohibited from possessing or buying firearms or ammunition for one year, and must surrender any firearms they own, or they may be stored with a third party fur the duration of the order.

Once a judge issues an ERP order, the subject has 30 days to request a hearing to keep their firearms, which then must be held within 21 days, the story says.

The reason the word “confiscation” is attached to the ERP laws is because, once an order is issued, it grants police enforcing the order the power to search for and seize guns that were not willingly surrendered.

Gun rights supporters worry that it will create situations where armed police officers are forced to go to private citizens homes to seize their firearms, which could result in violent confrontations, especially since the citizens in question are likely disturbed in some way because of the nature of the of the ERP orders.

Anyone discovered filing a fake order could be imprisoned for up to a year, and/or pay a fine of up to $6,250.