This bill allows the State Capitol, colleges, universities, school districts, and the Portland Airport to ban carried firearms in or on their grounds by those with Concealed Handgun Licenses (it’s already illegal if you don’t have a CHL), making possession a Class A misdemeanor (364 days jail and or $6,250 fine).
SB 554-B has been combined with HB 2510 and contains the mandatory lockup provisions from that bill, making firearm owners legally liable for damages caused by someone who stole their firearm unless the owner can prove they secured or locked it if it was out of their sight and that they reported the theft, or if a minor accesses it and the owner fails to supervise the minor.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
This bill is shocking as it is aimed directly, and only, at those with concealed handgun licenses. There is no justification for this. CHL holders are the most law-abiding segment of society, committing crimes at even a lower rate than police officers. Further, they constantly save lives by being ‘there’ and stopping or at least slowing an attacker until police can arrive. See for example the Titusville FLA back to school event in August 2018, where a concealed carrier immediately stopped a shooter who otherwise could have killed scores of children. The authors of this bill would make it impossible to stop that tragedy or any of the school shootings in recent decades.
76% of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs said “law-abiding armed citizens help law enforcement reduce violent criminal activity” in the 28th annual survey by the National Association of Chiefs of Police at http://www.mrctv.org/blog/survey-76-police-chiefs-say-armed-citizens-reduce-violent-crime. The FBI report on 50 active shooter incidents in 2016-2017 https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-incidents-us-2016-2017.pdf/view concluded that “Armed and unarmed citizens engaged the shooter in 10 incidents. They safely and successfully ended the shootings in eight of those incidents. Their selfless actions likely saved many lives.”
There is NO problem this bill needs to solve, as concealed carry permit holders not only do not cause problems, they often stop them: Americans use firearms to protect themselves from violent crime in the millions of times per year. This bill if enacted will lead to the loss of life of innocent, defenseless people.
With regard to securing firearms, of course responsible gun owners already do. Those that don’t aren’t likely to be affected by this bill, many being people not legally allowed to possess guns anyway. Responsible gun owners who under this bill would not be able to take a gun onto school grounds when picking up their child would have to leave it in the car, and the majority of gun theft by criminals, is from cars.
Holders of concealed permits have gone through extensive background checks and have proven they are not a threat to anyone. For the government to force these citizens to disarm and be defenseless is unconscionable. NO ONE has a right to deny someone else the ability to defend their life.
We are in favor of “local control” – deferring to local government wherever possible rather than state or federal government. But the U.S. Constitution, where there is a conflict, supersedes all and in the protection of rights enumerated in the bill of rights, must be the deciding factor. Court cases across the country are finding it unconstitutional for states and localities to ban citizens who are not prohibited from owning firearms, from carrying those firearms, and this bill if enacted will also be found to be unconstitutional.