The anti-gun legislators are doing their best to prevent people from using their second amendment rights. Now, a bill is going to the Senate in Oregon, which would allow people who have been reported as “mentally unfit” to lose their gun rights, without due process of law. This isn’t right!
People could be reported unfit by people are could be mistaken, seeking harm, or even someone who has very minimal contact with them. None of which have to be mental health professionals.
Yesterday, on the deadline for policy bills to move out of committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 719 with its -5 amendment. Because a number of bills were effectively dead for the rest of session, anti-gun legislators have been attempting to revive them by adding them on to other pieces of legislation as amendments, or by re-introducing them as priority bills. At the request of Senator Burdick, the Senate Judiciary Committee added the -5 amendment to SB 719 and voted it out of committee.
Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719 with the -5 amendment would create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member in an ex parte hearing to deprive someone of their Second Amendment rights without due process of the law.
By allowing a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member to seek the ERPO, SB 719 with the -5 amendment would allow people who are not mental health professionals, who may be mistaken, and who may only have minimal contact with the respondent to file a petition with the court and testify on the respondent’s state of mind. This ex parte order, which strips the accused of their Second Amendment rights, would be issued by a judge based on the brief statement of the petitioner. The accused would not be afforded the chance to appear in court to defend themselves against the allegations when the ERPO is issued. These orders may be issued without any allegations of criminal behavior.
In Oregon, people who pose a danger to themselves or others may be dealt with in a number of ways, depending on the circumstances. Under current law, every punitive measure which leads to a prohibition on firearm possession requires some type of judicial process, so people are not arbitrarily deprived of their liberty or their rights. SB 719 with the -5 amendment is unnecessary and goes far beyond existing law.
By this logic, anyone who is anti-gun could report their neighbor as mentally unfit, and until it is proven other wise, they lose their gun rights. How could this possibly be fair?