HB 2572 Paramilitary civil disorder

VOTE:NO – Signed into law by Gov.Kotek
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Measures/Overview/HB2572
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Committees/SRULES/Overview

This bill expands definition of “civil disorder” for purposes of crime of unlawful paramilitary activity. The bill defines “Private paramilitary organization” that describes a constitutional authorized militia group as the Second Amendment protected as a collective right tied to militia or military use of firearms. United States v. Nelson, 859 F.2d 1318, 1320 (8th Cir. 1988) protects the right of state militias.

The bill ties the legal private paramilitary organization to unlawful activities, but the description of the organization is lawful: “Private paramilitary organization” means any group of three or more persons associating under a command structure for the purpose of functioning in public, or training to function in public, as a combat, combat support, law enforcement or security services unit.

The activities described are clearly unlawful, but the definition of “Private paramilitary organization” does not include unlawful intent, so it is illegally taking constitutional rights away.

HB 2572 uses subjective language that does not have a definite act associated with it. The use of “purport” is defined as profess or claim, and often is false.

Creates right of action for person injured by paramilitary activity. Authorizes Attorney General to investigative demands during investigation into paramilitary activity and bring civil action for injunctive relief against paramilitary activity.

By repealing ORS 166.660 in Amendment -1, it removes any lone-wolf committing an unlawful paramilitary activity and places such unlawful acts committed as part of a private paramilitary organization. By doing so, any lone-wolf will dirty the entire private paramilitary organization regardless of no involvement. There are no consequences for the private paramilitary organization outside of convicted members, so what is the purpose of bringing an organization, that is lawful under the constitution, into the definition of an unlawful paramilitary activity?

Dash 3 Amendment appears to violate the Constitution allowing the rights of citizens to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. It furthers adds a section authorizing the Attorney General to seize organization documents for suspecious investigations that could lead to discovery – going around the protections of law. It opens up law abiding protesters to lawsuits
Contains an exception for “ Members of an organization that is authorized under state or federal law to provide paramilitary, law enforcement or security services training or to engage in paramilitary activity or the provision of law enforcement or security services, when performing the functions authorized by law and, in the case of paramilitary activity and law enforcement services, when under the direction and control of a governmental authority.”
However, the exception is unclear about at what point “security services” cross the line into “paramilitary activity.” Is a private security guard or company acting outside of the law if it is not “under the direction of a governmental authority?”

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