Leftists in Oregon have succeeded in passing a likely unconstitutional gun grab bill that could see legal gun owners stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights.
SB719 gives the state the right to seize the legally purchased guns of law abiding citizens if a judge decides that they shouldn’t be allowed to carry.
Requires court to order respondent to surrender deadly weapons and concealed handgun license within 24 hours of service of initial order, and immediately upon service of continued or renewed order. Provides for law enforcement officer serving order to request immediate surrender of deadly weapons and concealed handgun license and authorizes law enforcement officer to take possession of surrendered items.
The NRA is calling on their members to demand legislative action and to speak out on behalf of Oregon’s gun owners.
Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A 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 719A 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 719A is unnecessary and goes far beyond existing law.
Republican leaders in Oregon are not happy with this bill or the way it was passed. State Representative Bill Post (R) said that the law is likely unconstitutional. “I do not begrudge the sponsors of this bill nor the spirit in which this legislation was brought forward, but there are several pieces of this bill that should give us pause. SB 719 sets up a constitutionally tenuous process for stripping Oregonians of their rights and puts the burden of enforcement on the backs of our already strained law enforcement community. If we want to reduce violence in our communities, we need to get serious about investing in mental health programs and ensuring that Oregonians have access to the care they desperately need,” Post said.
Another Republican, David Brock Smith (R) argued that the bill’s goal may be noble but the process is seriously flawed. “The process established under this bill has some significant flaws that could allow for abuse of the system and result in innocent Oregonians having their rights compromised without just cause. We have an obligation to preserve and protect the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, including the right to bear arms, and I believe this bill runs the risk of coming into conflict with that obligation,” Smith argued.
Regardless of the concerns of most Republicans in Oregon, the bill now heads to Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s (D-OR) desk, where it will likely be signed into law.