Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Senator Doug Whitsett
R- Klamath Falls, District 28

Phone: 503-986-1728 900 Court St. NE, S-303, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/whitsett
State Seal
Oregon Anti-Gun Bills      E-Newsletter

This Friday, April 5th at 8:30 A.M, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold public hearings on four bills relating to firearms. Many citizens and legislators alike consider all four of these measures to be both anti-gun and a challenge to our Second Amendment rights.

Several anti-gun bills were scheduled for a Friday hearing earlier in the session. At that time, the Senate Democrat leadership proposed that the Senate Rules be changed to prohibit open carry of firearms in the Capitol. The Democrat leaders withdrew that proposal when all fourteen Senate Republicans unanimously opposed that change in Rules. The initial anti-gun hearings were then postponed.

The Judiciary Committee Chair is Senator Floyd Prozanski. He is a Democrat representing much of the Eugene area. In his recent posting of the four bills for hearings and possible work sessions, he stated that “I intend to conduct a civil, orderly and respectful hearing in accordance with the Rules of the Senate”.

The first bill is SB 347 sponsored by Senator Ginny Burdick and ten other Democrat legislators. This bill is Senator Burdick’s perennial measure to allow each school district to establish a written policy regarding the legal ability for holders of concealed handgun licenses to carry a concealed weapon on school grounds.

Oregon currently has a preemption law that prohibits any government entity other than the state legislature from enacting laws or ordinances regarding firearms. Obviously, enacting this law would negate that preemption law. It would authorize nearly two hundred school districts to write their own concealed carry restrictions. The certain outcome and, in my opinion, the primary purpose of Senator Burdick’s bill is the creation of a mosaic of anti-gun laws in every district, village and town in Oregon.

SB 699 is sponsored by the Committee on Judiciary. Sponsorship by the Committee does imply that all members of that Committee support the bill.

The measure would prohibit a person, who possesses a concealed handgun license, from carrying a firearm in the Capitol building, without the written permission of the Legislative Administrator. The disarming of state legislators and their staffs is the last thing that I wish to see. In my opinion, gun free areas might as well be advertised as potential killing zones.

SB 700 is also sponsored by the Committee on Judiciary. This bill requires a person to request a criminal background check before transferring a firearm to any other individual outside of the person’s immediate family.

As you may know, the transfer of firearms between private citizens who are not in the business of trading firearms does not require any form of background verification. This bill creates a penalty for failure to request a criminal background check starting at up to 30 days imprisonment and a fine of $1,250. The penalty progresses to a felony crime with up to five years in prison and a fine of $125,000.

SB 796 is sponsored by Senator Floyd Prozanski. His bill would require any person applying for a concealed handgun license to first-pass a live-fire test at a firing range. The test would require accuracy while repeatedly firing up to twenty shots in 60 seconds or less.

This would certainly be difficult to achieve using a handgun, such as a revolver, that only holds six rounds of ammunition. One would have to reload the weapon three times in order to fire twenty rounds in a minute or less.

This rule would appear to require the use of a semi-automatic weapon, with a large capacity magazine, to complete the test. This might make it virtually impossible to obtain an Oregon concealed handgun license in the event that the possession of semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines becomes illegal.

Each of the four bills has one or more amendments. It appears Senator Prozanski may plan to adopt those amendments, even though none of the bills have had a previous public hearing. This is, in of itself, is an unusual way to hold an “open and transparent” public hearing. A cynical mind might conclude that the outcome of these hearings has been predetermined.

It should be noted that all four bills carry an emergency clause. The emergency clauses have the purpose of prohibiting the people of Oregon from exercising their constitutional right to gather signatures and to refer the bills to the people to decide.

I recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 35 that would greatly restrict the use of emergency clauses. The resolution would refer a constitutional amendment to the people requiring a two thirds majority vote of both legislative chambers in order to attach an emergency clause to any bill.

The resolution has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee chaired by Senator Diane Rosenbaum. I doubt that the resolution receives the courtesy of a hearing; however, I do believe that it is past time to start the dialogue regarding the preservation of our constitutional right to refer legislative acts to the people to decide.

It should also be noted that both SB 699, relating to weapons, and SB 700 relating to firearms, could be used for a vehicle to include all four bills in a single legislative act. It should further be noted that either of those relating clauses would allow virtually any provision relating to weapons to be amended into the bill.

Finally, Senator Jackie Dingfelder, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is the sole sponsor of SB 760. Her bill would essentially require a person to turn and run away when confronted with physical force rather than to stand their ground. I have obtained one legal opinion suggesting that the language of the bill would even require a person to leave their own home when confronted with physical force rather than to defend their own property.

I strongly oppose any infringement on our Second Amendment right for private citizens to own and bear arms. I believe that all four of these bills are both unnecessary and unconstitutional.

I will do everything within my power to keep them from being enacted into Oregon law.

Please remember, if we do not stand up for rural Oregon no one will.

Best regards,





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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Monday April 08, 2013 02:16 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2001 - 2012, All Rights Reserved