Intending to prevent suicides and shootings, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill in to law on Wednesday that will require a person to surrender his or her firearms if a judge rules the individual poses a threat to themselves or people they live with.
The problem is, this bill allows police to immediately confiscate firearms based on hearsay and then a person who’s 2nd amendment rights have already been violated without due process has to file for a hearing within 30 days to plea to have his rights reinstated.
Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby, expressed doubts that Boquist’s bill could do much good to prevent suicide.
“If a person wants to commit suicide, they will,” Olsen said, before urging lawmakers to explore ways of expanding mental health treatment programs.
Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, said he sees “good intentions” in Boquist’s bill, but was concerned about what he says is vague language that could lead to misuse by authorities.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday approved Democrat-backed gun control legislation to establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders, forcing subjects to surrender their firearms.
The law, SB 719A, allows police, or a member of a subject’s family or household, to file a petition with the court which could lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession if it is believed they pose an imminent risk to themselves or others. The bill passed the Senate 17-11 in May and the House 31-28 last month, picking up only one Republican supporter along the way.
Brown, a Democrat, signed the bill without comment this week but in remarks to lawmakers during the legislative process she called Extreme Risk Protection Orders the “best way to ensure that a person who is at risk of harming themselves or others is identified, while still ensuring their rights are protected by a court review.”
The new law will establish a process for obtaining an order issued by a judge in a civil court prohibiting the subject from possessing or buying firearms or ammo for one year. It grants police enforcing such orders the power to search for and seize guns that were not surrendered or stored with a third party such as a gun dealer. The subject of the order has 30 days to request a hearing to keep their firearms, which must be held within 21 days.
Those filing fake orders could be imprisoned for up to a year, or pay a fine of up to $6,250, or both.
“By allowing a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member to seek the ERPO, SB 719A would allow people who are not mental health professionals, who may be mistaken, and who may only have minimal contact with the respondent to file a petition with the court and testify on the respondent’s state of mind,” says a statement from the National Rifle Association’s legislative lobby arm.
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