SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s governor, backing gun-control legislation on Tuesday before a panel of state senators, said anguished voices in the wake of the school shooting in Florida must be heard.
Gov. Kate Brown appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to support a bill that would expand a ban on the purchase or possession of firearms or ammunition by people convicted of stalking and domestic violence or with restraining orders.
Opponents say it would violate Second Amendment protections on the right to bear arms.
“Gun violence must end,” said Brown, a Democrat. “We hear the anguished voices of families fresh with grief from this latest school shooting, joining with families from across the nation and here in Oregon who’ve lost loved ones from gun violence. They call on us to take action.”
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A group of students who survived the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that claimed 17 lives traveled on Tuesday to Florida’s state capital to pressure lawmakers to pass gun control laws. Brown said that call should resonate across the nation, including Oregon.
“We are hearing a call for action from the very high school students who ran for their lives a week ago,” Brown said.
The Oregon bill was approved by the state House 37-23 on Feb. 15. Rep. Knute Buehler, who is running for governor in the 2018 elections, was among two Republicans who supported the bill.
“I think survivors of domestic violence shouldn’t have to live in fear that their abusers can obtain a firearm,” Buehler said.
The bill adds to the list of those who could be barred from ownership after a conviction, add to the list of those who could be barred after a receiving a restraining order, and adds stalking as a qualifying crime. Supporters said the bill would close a loophole in a 2015 law that allows some abusers, such as boyfriends who abuse partners they don’t live with, to be excluded.
The proposal is now being considered by the Oregon Senate.
Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky