Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Measures/Overview/SB1551
SB 1551 Summary
Authorizes specified reporters to make report to Department of State Police Firearms Unit that person is experiencing mental health emergency and is danger to self or others with firearm. Directs department, upon receipt of report, to record temporary firearm purchase hold preventing person from purchasing firearm. Provides civil immunity to reporter acting in good faith. Provides that knowingly making false report is criminal offense. Punishes by maximum of one year’s imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both. Creates processes for person to obtain relief from firearm purchase hold. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
As with so many bills in the last couple of years, the sponsors of this bill are not listed and it also has an emergency clause at the end which causes it to go into effect before it can be referred to the voters. If you believe your bill is good, why will you not put your name on it? And why if everyone supports your position as you claim, will you not allow the voters to have a say? These things alone should disqualify this bill. Then, the bill is deemed an emergency so must go into effect immediately but the rules under which it will be carried out “shall be adopted” by the Department of State Police – with NO time frame given! So the law is in effect, with no rules or procedures of how to implement it! Finally, this is being introduced in an off-year legislative session which were implemented for purposes of small housekeeping work, not introducing controversial and impactful new changes, and scheduled for a hearing the very first week of session, giving the public very little time to provide input. This methodology is offensive.
Personal choice and responsibility
This bill as written is rife with the possibility of abuse of the liberties of perfectly sane and law abiding people. The hold is for 30 days now but once this is in effect that could be extended to a year with a “housekeeping” bill with little notice or public input. What about penalty for a false report? Is a class A misdemeanor sufficient penalty for effectively falsely denying someone’s exercise of a constitutional right and possibly endangering their life by denying the means to self-defense? While this bill may be well-meaning, this needs a lot of work in order to ensure that protection of society is gained without loss of liberty.