Monday, February 25, 2013

OREGON: Worst Gun Laws in America?

Oregon House Bill 3200:  Summary

The  following  summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to  consideration  by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Creates  crime  of  unlawful  possession  or  transfer  of  assault  weapon  or  large  capacity  magazine.  Punishes  by  maximum  penalty  of  10  years’  imprisonment,  $250,000  fine,  or  both.
Requires  current  owners  to  dispose  of or register assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
Directs  Department  of  State  Police  to  conduct  background  checks  and  maintain  registry  of  assault  weapons  and  large  capacity  magazines.
Declares  emergency,  effective  on  passage.
This bill was introduced on my birthday to the Oregon State House of Representatives.

Michael Malkin has some unkind words to say about it.

Essentially, this bill includes:
  • Registration
    •  owners of "high-capacity" magazines and/or "Assault Weapons) must dispose of them either by selling (to a dealer who also must not possess this "bad stuff")
    • .or or turning them over to a governmental agency (without compensation)
    • or 'rendering (them) inoperable
    • or "registering" it/them.
And of course, after registration comes confiscation.

Assault Weapon: whatever we say it is
Hi Capacity Magazine: whatever we say it is (so far: 10 rounds)
 Actually, the provisions of this bill are nothing new at all at all at all.  See "1994 Assault Weapons Ban"(NOTE: A Wikipedia link.  As much as I am loath to accept Wikipedia as an authoritative resource, I'm inclined to cite them if only because their articles are subject to review by contributors with 'opinions' which may not directly agree with those of the original authors.)

Here's the Washington Post's take on the effectiveness of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban .. essentially, they think it was A Good Idea, but ten years was just not sufficient time to properly evaluate the laudable effects of the law.

Factcheck (an Annenberg project) strongly implies that the 1994 ban on assault weapons showed a lowered risk by "assault weapons" but it was offset by crimes involving "hi-capacity magazines".

Obviously, Oregon Liberal Representatives have decided to correct the errors of preceding administrations by banning both.

The National Institute of Justice, in a research brief, disingenuously observed that:

A number of factors—including the fact
that the banned weapons and magazines
were rarely used to commit murders in
this country, the limited availability of
data on the weapons, other components of
the Crime Control Act of 1994, and State
and local initiatives implemented at the
same time—posed challenges in discerning
the effects of the ban. The ban appears
to have had clear short-term effects
on the gun market, some of which were
unintended consequences: production of
the banned weapons increased before the
law took effect, and prices fell afterward.
This suggests that the weapons became
more available generally, but they must
have become less accessible to criminals

because there was at least a short-term
decrease in in criminal use of the banned
[emphasis added] Note that the comment "prices fell afterward" doesn't mean that prices fell after the ban took effect; it refers to the fact that prices fell after the "SUNSET CLAUSE" in the original bill took effect in 2004!  As for the comment that "...they must have become less accessible to criminals..."; that strikes me as especially facetious, in that criminals have always had access to banned items.  That IS their Job Description!


The State Representatives are all Democrats.  The State Senators are all Democrats.

I've written to MY state representative.  If you live in Oregon, I suggest you do the same.

Perhaps you'll manage to sound less outraged than I did.

UPDATE: February 25, 2013

I received a response from my state representative at 06:20 am this morning:
Thank you for your letter about HB 3200.  I am not one of the co-sponsors of the bill and I do not serve on a committee that considers gun related bills, so I have not had time to look at it carefully since it was introduced on Friday.  It is my understanding that gun bills are unlikely to receive hearings this session.  In the event the bill does come out of committee, I will remember your concerns as I evaluate the bill in its final format.

Thanks again for writing.


Representative Sara Gelser
Chair, House Education Committee
House District 16 (Corvallis/Philomath)
(503) 986-1416


Anonymous said...

Dem politicians are immune to outraged voters. Witness, Obamacare. If anyone recalls the majority of American voters were outraged. It passed congress anyway without a single republican vote. Oregon may end up with new gun laws.

Anonymous said...

If it makes the good people of Oregon and their representatives feel safer, and saves the life of one child, maybe the proposed laws will be worth it. Such laws would not be feasable in many states. But Oregon, especially Eugene, Portland, and the Williamentt Valley are full of gentle thoughtful people. Or, so I have heard.