concerns: Proposed gun law fails to exclude antique weapons
I am writing on
behalf of myself and my fellow service men and women.
There may be an
unintended consequence of SB 978-5 if passed. Most of the
VFW and American Legion post’s throughout the state have in
their armories Pre-1968 rifles such as the 1903 Springfield.
Because these rifles are bolt action, they are still fully
functional and can fire live ammo, (we don’t). However, we
do use blanks for our honor guard functions.
If SB 978-5
passes there is a section that would make it a felony to
posses a pre-1968 rifle — Section 17 (1) (b) & Section 17
(2) will criminalize possession of nearly all pre-1968
firearms manufactured in U.S., nearly all firearms imported
in to U.S. prior to 1968 and nearly all home built firearms
made with unserialized receivers or frames regardless of
SB 978-5 does
not offer any grandfathering clause for these groups of
firearms. That will result in hundreds of thousands of
currently owned firearms becoming illegal with passage of
the bill as currently written.
firearm” means a firearm other than an antique firearm for
which the sale or distribution chain, from a licensed
retailer to the point of first retail sale, cannot be traced
by a law enforcement agency by means of a serial number
affixed to the firearm by a federally licensed manufacturer
or importer ...
requires that nearly all firearms in Oregon have a serial
number that was done by the licensed manufacture of the
older firearms have serial numbers, many won’t be legal
under SB 978-5 law. Pre-1968 U.S. made and imported firearms
will not have serial numbers done in accordance with the
I am not sure
how many other veterans groups have thought about this, nor
do I know if the legislature has taken this into account.
Since our rifles were issued to us on a temp/forever loan by
the U.S. Army and are still U.S. government property it
might cause some conflict were this bill to pass and the
rifles to be confiscated by the state!
Springfield rifles that are in the possession of most of
these veterans organizations started out as issue weapons to
World War I soldiers. Many of these rifles have been sent
back to an arsenal to be rebuilt, re-barreled or have many
new parts installed between seeing duty in combat.
None of these
1903 Springfield rifles was originally sold through a
licensed dealer, they would under SB 978-5 be considered an
Upon passage of
SB 978-5, most commanders of veterans service groups such as
the VFW and American Legion would immediately become felons
due to the fact that they are the ones who have
custodianship of these rifles. Now, whether the state police
would pursue these “crimes” would remain to be seen.
would also no longer be afforded a true military funeral,
where a 21-gun salute is our nation’s final farewell to an
honored son or daughter. To intentionally take this away
from the families of our brave veterans is unconscionable.
In closing, I
ask for your help in stopping this unconstitutional bill
that discriminates against Oregon’s veterans.
— Lawrence Cottingham is
a SFC U.S. Army retired veteran, VFW and American Legion
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, any copyrighted material
herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more
information go to: