The Oregon legislature just passed a gun control measure that substantially weakens constitutional rights. Senate Bill 719 will allow a family member or a police officer to obtain a civil court order immediately stripping someone of the right to possess a firearm for up to a year, if a judge finds the person presents a danger to himself or others.
Proponents hail the law as an effective way to prevent suicides. Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) argues that it will bring the number of veteran suicides down. Gun control crusader Gabrielle Giffords has called it a “responsible bill that helps keep guns out of the hands of individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis.”
Paul Phillips, president of the group Oregon Gun Owners, retorts that the bill does little to prevent suicides but does deprive gun owners of basic constitutional protections. Gun confiscations under SB 719 will be “based on hearsay evidence alone, and the firearm owner is not privy to a fair trial,” he says.
According to the bill, any law enforcement officer and family member—including partners, siblings, or even roommates—can request a hearing with a judge to get a “extreme risk protection order.” If issued, this would prohibit a person from possessing or purchasing a firearm.
by Christian Britschgi