Group announces gun safety petition drive
An interfaith group announced ballot measure drives on Friday, March 26, to reduce gun violence in Oregon.
In a press conference at Augustana Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland, the Lift Every Voice Oregon said it would gather signatures on initiative petitions to ban the sale of assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines larger than 10 rounds, and to require gun owners to obtain licenses and submit to full background checks.
"It's going to be a victory like no one has ever seen in this state," Rev. Dr. W. J. Mark Knutson said.
The group said it wants Oregon to lead the way for the rest of the country by passing stricter gun laws and are hopeful this will give Congress the courage to do so.
The group is aiming to put the two measure on the November 2022 general election ballot. It has previously tried to put such measures on the ballot but ran out of time to collect the necessary number of signatures.
The group said its movement is an effort to "promote public safety through education, legislation, advocacy and initiative petitions dealing with assault-style weapons, large-capacity magazines and common-sense laws that will help end the epidemic of gun violence."
The announcement came after several recent mass shootings across the nation, including on in Georgia in which eight people were killed, including six Asian-American women, and one in Colorado in which 10 people were killed, including a police officer.
The group also spoke about the months-long surge in shooting in Oregon, saying the state is facing several different kinds of "pandemics," including the rise of white supremacy and gun violence.
The group's movement is an effort to "promote public safety through education, legislation, advocacy and Initiative Petitions dealing with assault-style weapons, large-capacity magazines and common-sense laws that will help end the epidemic of gun violence."
Earlier this week, the Oregon Senate voted in favor of a contentious bill that would ban guns from the Capitol and other state buildings, and would allow jurisdictions to decide whether people with concealed handgun license can bring guns into public buildings.
Despite four hours of discussion and overwhelming opposition by gun owners and Republicans, the bill passed 16 to 7 on Thursday and will be move to the House.
Republicans in the House likely will echo the remarks of those in the Senate, where tensions have risen as the Legislature debates several-gun control measures introduced this year.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.